Finance

Socking Away Money for the Bad Times Requires Strategic State Practices

The Volcker Alliance report grades states on their reserve fund balances and policies and makes 10 recommendations for how states can control withdrawals from rainy day funds, replenish spent funds, and address revenue volatility.

Why States and Cities Should Stop Handing Out Billions in Economic Incentives to Companies

COMMENTARY | Recent scandals involving economic development programs in New Jersey, Baltimore, and elsewhere illustrate just what’s wrong with these programs.

A State Opts to Use Added Online Sales Tax Revenue to Offer Income Tax Cuts

Wisconsin will soon begin collecting sales taxes from companies that provide online marketplaces for other vendors.

A Nationwide $15 Minimum Wage Could Have Mixed Results

A new report says that a $15 federal minimum wage could help lift low-wage workers out of poverty, but also cause job losses.

State Savings Policies Evolve Amid a Decade of Economic Growth

The amount states have in reserve is at a high mark and savings practices have become more sophisticated. But lawmakers are at times still drawn to tap the large pots of money.

Gap Grows Between Well-Off and Troubled State Public Pension Plans

The findings from The Pew Charitable Trusts come as the U.S. enters a record phase of economic expansion.

Who's Benefitting from U.S. Economic Expansion?

COMMENTARY | Unfortunately, economic growth during the current expansion has neither been deep nor broadly distributed among most Americans.

‘There Are No Yachts in Falls Church’: Debate Over State and Local Tax Deduction Flares

GOP House members say Democrats’ claim that eliminating the deduction has hurt ordinary taxpayers is a “false narrative.”

Disputes Over State Taxes on Train Fuel Won't Go Before Supreme Court

A federal law has led to years of messy litigation over levies on locomotive diesel.

‘Contrarian’ State Pension Plan is One of The Nation’s Best-Funded

South Dakota's retirement system for public employees has been over 90 percent funded for nearly two decades. The state's investment officer discusses how its assets are managed.

Tracking State Spending in Real Time with Budget Transparency Websites

Oklahoma and Idaho are the latest states to launch budget transparency websites as a way to give residents access to real-time agency spending data.

Report: State Expenditures Now Growing at Greatest Clip Since Before the Recession

A new report estimates state expenditures will grow to $883 billion and rainy day funds will reach $68.2 billion in fiscal 2019.

Treasury Blocks State Charitable Deduction Workarounds to SALT Cap

Taxpayers won't be able to write off contributions they make as charitable donations, if they receive tax credits in return.

Forget Lower Jobs Growth, Focus on the Number of People Who’ve Stopped Looking for Work

COMMENTARY | An economist explains why the long-term drop in the participate rate is an even bigger problem for the U.S. economy than the May slowdown in jobs growth.

How One City Gets Residents to Actually Participate in the Budget Process

Fort Collins, Colorado uses a "budgeting for outcomes" system that officials say prioritizes initiatives that are likely to help the city achieve its overall goals.

Years Later, the Recession’s Sting is Still Tough to Shake for Many States

New research takes a look at the lingering mark the downturn left on state budgets.

A State Forges Ahead With a Controversial Plan to Control Pension Costs

Public employee unions have decried the pension measure as unfair, but Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and others have framed it as a needed step to ease the strain on government finances.

The Economic Cost of Devastating Hurricanes and Other Extreme Weather Events is Even Worse Than We Thought

With hurricane season starting in June, coastal areas should understand the comprehensive cost of storm damage.

Trade Groups, Lawmakers Deride Trump’s Mexico Tariff Plan

The escalation of tariffs would add $17 billion in new taxes at the 5 percent rate and $86 billion at the 25 percent rate.

Alabama Moves to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Connecticut mandates climate change education in schools … Texas legislature allocates no money for Census outreach … Baltimore recovers from ransomware attack.