State Policy Reports

State Policy Reports is rich with information about the 50 states. Published twice a month (except in August and December when it is published once), each issue covers a variety of topics including trends in state spending, the quarterly index of state economic momentum, federal aid to states and state tax burdens.

March 2015, Volume 33, Issue 6

Index of State Economic Momentum

The Index of State Economic Momentum, developed by Reports founding editor Hal Hovey, ranks states based on their most recent performance in three key measures of economic vitality: personal income growth, employment growth and population growth. Reports updates the index each quarter. In the first quarter of 2015, the District of Columbia most closely approximated the national average economic performance.

March 2015, Volume 33, Issue 5

K-12 Funding: It’s Complicated

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently published new finance data for school year 2011-2012. The data show a decline in per pupil spending for K-12 education, with a -2.5% annual change in current spending per pupil, in inflation-adjusted dollars. They also measure state success in equalizing spending among school districts, with many states showing room for improvement.

February 2015, Volume 33, Issue 4

State Tax System Shaming

“The bottom line is that every state fails the basic test of tax fairness.” So concludes the biennial release of the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy’s most recent evaluation of state tax systems.

Cigarette Taxes and Smuggling Go Up Together

A recent release by the Tax Foundation finds that raising cigarette taxes leads residents to consume more smuggled cigarettes, at least when that is an option.

February 2015, Volume 33, Issue 3

State Tax Collections after the Tumult

Recent years have been unkind to state revenue estimators. Coming out of the Great Recession, a number of events have derailed the steady improvement one typically observes in state tax collections. 

January 2015, Volume 33, Issue 2

Swapping with Eyes Wide Open

In a recent analysis, Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS, publisher of Reports) provided background information on state reliance on federal funds in a number of program areas. Such information could inform conversations about potential state-federal “swaps” in an era of constrained federal spending.

January 2015, Volume 33, Issue 1

State and Local Finances in FY 2012

The Census Bureau has released its state and local finance series for fiscal year (FY) 2012, which allows an apples-to-apples comparison of tax structures and burdens among the states. This issue focuses on the revenue highlights of the newly released data.

December 2014, Volume 32, Issue 23

Index of State Economic Momentum

November 2014, Volume 32, Issue 22

Energy-Related This-and-That

November 2014, Volume 32, Issue 21

TANF Report Challenges Conventional Wisdom

October 2014, Volume 32, Issue 20

How Liquid Are Your Assets: FAQs on HQLAs

October 2014, Volume 32, Issue 19

State Prison Population on the Uptick

September 2014, Volume 32, Issue 18

Index of State Economic Momentum

September 2014, Volume 32, Issue 17

Where it Pays to be a Working Woman

August 2014, Volume 32, Issue 1516

Taming the Impact of the Business Cycle

July 2014, Volume 32, Issue 14

Caution on State Pension Plans

July 2014, Volume 32, Issue 13

Areas with Concentrated Poverty

June 2014, Volume 32, Issue 12

Index of State Economic Momentum

June 2014, Volume 32, Issue 11

A Silver Lining in Weak Tax Collections

May 2014, Volume 32, Issue 10

Real Personal Income Estimates Shake Things Up

May 2014, Volume 32, Issue 9

The 2014 Camelot Index

April 2014, Volume 32, Issue 8

What Census Can’t Tell You (Anymore)

April 2014, Volume 32, Issue 7

Many Minimum Wages

March 2014, Volume 32, Issue 6

Index of State Economic Momentum

March 2014, Volume 32, Issue 5

High(way) Finance

February 2014, Volume 32, Issue 4

State Government General Expenditures in 2012

February 2014, Volume 32, Issue 3

State Government General Revenues in 2012