Tax and Budget

State budget shortfalls are expected to balloon to $82 billion by 2004. What avenues are available for governors to bring about fiscal solvency in the states? This article assesses their plans to navigate this continuing fiscal storm. The author then reviews the state government revenue situation and draws conclusions based on the content of governors’ 2003 state of the state addresses.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

This essay describes some recent patterns of state financial activity – how the state governments obtain their revenues, the types of activities on which they expend their resources, their reliance on economic resources such as borrowing and the state of their financial assets. The analysis relies primarily on data from U.S. Census Bureau surveys of state and local government finances, the most complete set of comparative information available. It is primarily a retrospective look, using the information for fiscal year 2000 and comparing that with trends from prior years. The final section looks at a few present-day issues and prospects for state finances.

Chapter 7 of the 2002 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

Chapter 9 of the 2000-01 Book of the States contains the following tables:

Chapter 6 of the 2000-2001 Book of the States contains the following tables:

Until recently, legalized gambling spread across the states rapidly. Seen as an effective way to create jobs, promote economic development, help community revitalization, expand tourism, and raise state and local revenues, legislatures in all but two states (Hawaii and Utah) passed laws allowing a variety of gaming activity. During the past few years, however, legislators and voters in many states have been reluctant to legalize more games, and, as a result, most legislative efforts have been defeated either in legislative chambers or by referenda. In 1996, for example, only one gambling bill passed, and in 1997, although gambling was a legislative issue in 23 states, gambling bills were defeated in 14 states. In states such as Iowa, Louisiana, South Carolina and West Virginia, which have legalized gambling, voters have been reluctant to repeal it.

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