State Revenue Reports
State Revenue Special Report: Windfall “April Surprises”: Strong Growth in Overall Income Tax Revenues Despite Weak Withholding
States that collect personal income taxes faced widespread income tax shortfalls last year and income tax windfalls this year, according to a Rockefeller Institute report. The study — Windfall “April Surprises” — examined January to April tax collections for 38 of the 41 states that impose broad-based personal income taxes. It showed income tax growth of 11.5 percent, or $13.2 billion, compared to the same period a year earlier. However, state forecasters should be careful not to overestimate revenues for future years and elected officials should not build budgets based on windfall revenues.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, June 11, 2015
State Tax Revenue Report #99: Revenue Collections Show Solid Growth; Good “April Surprises” on the Horizon
Total state tax collections showed growth at 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. Preliminary data for the January-March 2015 quarter suggests continued growth in overall tax collections. Moreover, early data on personal income tax collections for April suggest that revenue from tax returns is up considerably over last year and most states should expect good April surprises.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, May 19, 2015
State Tax Revenue Report #98: After Weak Performance in the First Half of 2014, Tax Revenues Resume Growth in the Third Quarter
After two consecutive quarters of declines, total state tax collections grew 4.4 percent in the third quarter of 2014. Preliminary data for the October-December 2014 quarter suggest further strength in overall tax collections. However, the growth is not evenly distributed among individual states. Officials in oil-rich states are facing new fiscal challenges due to large drops in oil prices in recent months, and subsequently large declines in severance taxes.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, February 12, 2015
State Tax Revenue Report #97: Personal Income Tax Revenues Decline for the Second Consecutive Quarter
Total state tax collections declined by 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014 after softening significantly in the second half of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. Despite this downward trend, preliminary data for the July-September 2014 quarter suggest that relatively strong growth is projected in overall tax collections and personal income tax collections for the third quarter of 2014.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, November 5, 2014
State Tax Revenue Report #96: After Four Years of Uninterrupted Growth, States Reported Declines in Tax Collections
State tax collections showed a decline of 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2014, which follows four years of uninterrupted growth. The declines are neither surprising nor a sign of a slowing economy, but more due to the impact of the fiscal cliff, which led taxpayers to shift income from tax year 2013 to tax year 2012 to minimize federal tax liability. Early figures indicate further declines in the second quarter of 2014. However, state tax collections will likely resume the growth in the second half of 2014.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, August 14, 2014
Tax returns on 2013 income that were filed in April show large and widespread declines, mostly driven by behavior of taxpayers, who shifted income from tax year 2013 to tax year 2012 to minimize federal tax liability. While many forecasters expected declines in capital gains in 2013, still it was extremely hard to forecast the magnitude of the decline, leaving many states with large shortfalls.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, June 12, 2014
State Tax Revenue Report #95: Personal Income Tax Revenues Show Significant Softening in the Fourth Quarter of 2013
The fourth quarter of 2013 brought bad news for many states as personal income tax and overall tax collections softened significantly. In the fourth quarter of 2013, states reported 0.4 percent growth in income tax collections, down from the 10.9 percent growth of a year ago. It seems that even worse news is on the horizon for many states: early figures for the first quarter of 2014 indicate possible declines in income tax collections. We believe some states anticipated this slowing and have reflected it in their budgets, but others may face unpleasant surprises. The recent slowdown makes the April tax filing season all the more important, and uncertain.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, April 29, 2014
Special State Tax Revenue Report #94: State Tax Revenue Growth Slows Sharply in the Third Quarter of 2013 as Atypical Factors That Propped Up Prior Growth Fade
According to the new Special State Revenue Report, the growth in state tax revenues softened significantly in the third quarter of 2013. However, such slowdown is not a sign of warning, but more an indication that the impact of federal tax changes on state tax revenues had faded away and states are back to a slower revenue growth trend.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, December 19, 2013
State Tax Revenue Report #93: Strong Growth in the First Half; Softening Growth Outlook for the Rest of 2013
According to the new State Revenue Report, at the end of Fiscal 2013 inflation-adjusted revenue collections surpasses the peak levels recorded in fiscal 2008. While most states reported strong revenue growth in the first and second quarters of 2013, early figures indicate that the growth has softened significantly since then
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, December 9, 2013
State Tax Revenue Report #92: Strong Tax Revenue Growth In the First Quarter; Growing Tax Volatility
According to the new State Revenue Report, states reported strong growth in overall tax collections in the first quarter of 2013, mostly boosted by personal income tax. The income tax growth was largely uneven among the states, with California leading with the largest share of growth. As stated in earlier reports, the artificially propped-up income tax revenues will lead to lower income amounts in the coming years.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, August 8, 2013
Despite the strong growth in overall tax collections in the fourth quarter of 2012, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The strong growth in personal income tax collections and, particularly, in estimated payments is a strong indicator that some income was accelerated into tax year 2012. This would contribute to the uncertainties in making accurate projections of the personal income taxes in the coming quarters
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, April 24, 2013
States reported another quarter of growth in tax collections in the third quarter of 2012. Income tax revenue growth would likely be artificially accelerated in the coming quarters, driven by the federal actions to avert the fiscal cliff.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, February 5, 2013
New data show states’ tax collections grew for the 10th straight quarter through mid-2012. However, growth rates in state tax revenues have slowed, and state revenues are still lower in nominal and real terms than they were in 2008.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, October 25, 2012
States’ tax collections grew for the ninth straight quarter in the first three months of 2012. Overall state tax revenues rose above pre-recession levels, as well as above peak levels that came several months into the Great Recession. Yet fiscal challenges remain. Twelve states reported tax revenue declines in the first quarter, and local taxes fell.
Lucy Dadayan, August 2, 2012
States’ tax collections grew for the eighth straight quarter at the end of 2011, for the first time topping peak revenue levels seen at the beginning of the Great Recession, according to Rockefeller Institute research and Census Bureau data. Growth appears to be softening, however, and local governments are not faring as well.
Lucy Dadayan, April 19, 2012
States’ tax collections grew for a seventh straight quarter and are now topping pre-recession levels, though they remain below peak levels seen after the recession's start, according to this Institute report. Looking forward, the rate of revenue growth may slow in light of broad economic trends. New to this quarterly report is an analysis of states’ fiscal positions at the end of fiscal year 2011.
Lucy Dadayan, January 26, 2012
State tax revenues grew again in the second quarter of 2011 — the end of the fiscal year for 46 states — marking six straight quarters of year-over-year growth and the strongest annual gains since 2005, according to this Institute report. State collections from personal income taxes took a dramatic jump — rising more than 16 percent — in the April-June quarter, compared to the same period of 2010. But tax collections for local governments have headed in the opposite direction.
Lucy Dadayan and Robert B. Ward, October 26, 2011
States’ tax revenues grew by 9.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011, marking the fifth straight quarter of growth, according to this Institute report. Preliminary data indicate growing revenue strength through the second quarter, although such robust gains are not expected to last. Local tax revenues declined for the second straight quarter, due primarily to weak property tax collections.
Lucy Dadayan, July 2011
States’ tax revenues finished 2010 strong, with 7.8 percent growth in the fourth quarter and solid gains continuing in early 2011, this Institute report shows. Tax collections by local governments, however, declined by 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, driven mostly by declines in property tax collections.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, April 19, 2011
After the deepest recession since the Great Depression, most states are on the gradual road to tax revenue recovery, according to this Rockefeller Institute report. Final third-quarter and early fourth-quarter data signal an upward trend. Yet several indicators suggest broad state fiscal conditions remain fragile.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, February 2011
States’ tax revenues rose for a third consecutive quarter, continuing the reversal of a downward trend that has devastated state budgets, according to preliminary data in this report. States’ overall tax collections increased by 3.9 percent nationwide in the third quarter of 2010, compared to the same period a year earlier, based on data from 48 states. Despite the improved collections in July-September 2010, however, revenues remain significantly below peak levels and are still weak in a number of states, the report shows.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, November 30, 2010
State Revenue Report #81: Revenue Now Growing in Most States;
Sales Tax Gains 5.7 Percent in 2nd Quarter
The second quarter of 2010 represented the second period in a row that states reported overall gains in tax collections — following five straight quarters of decline — according to this study. Overall state tax revenues grew by 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2010, according to the Institute’s latest State Revenue Report. Thirty-four states reported gains in revenue during the second quarter, with 12 showing double-digit growth. The two-quarter trend has begun to reverse the overall declines reported by states from the fourth quarter of 2008 through the end of 2009.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, October 2010
State Tax Revenues Are Slowly Rebounding: Two Straight Quarters of Growth, But Total Collections Are Still Below Prerecession Levels
Tax collections for states across the country rose by 2.2 percent in April-June, the second consecutive quarterly increase, according to preliminary data in this “flash” report. Sales tax revenues were particularly strong, rising 5.9 percent compared to a year earlier. Yet revenues remain sharply below prerecession levels.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, August 30, 2010
States’ total tax revenues rose in the first quarter compared to last year, marking the first such gain since the third quarter of 2008, according to this Institute report. But most states still saw tax collections drop, and early data suggest the second quarter may be weaker. Overall revenues still lag behind pre-recession levels.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, July 2010
States’ overall tax revenues rose in the first quarter of calendar 2010 on a year-over-year basis, marking the first such gain since the third quarter of 2008, according to preliminary data in this “flash” report. Despite the overall growth in revenues, a majority of states still saw declines. Further, early indications of revenues in the April-June quarter are not promising.
Lucy Dadayan, June 3, 2010
A decline in states' tax collections for the fifth straight quarter suggests a long, slow fiscal recovery ahead, according to this State Revenue Report. While the decline in the final quarter of 2009 was not as steep as in previous quarters, preliminary figures for early 2010 show continued weakness.
Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, April 2010
State tax collections fell for the fifth straight quarter on a year-over-year basis, but the decline during October-December 2009 was not as sharp as those during the three preceding periods, according to this Institute report on state finances. A few states are now seeing modest revenue growth.
Lucy Dadayan, Feb. 23, 2010
State tax collections for the third quarter of 2009 showed a double-digit decline from the previous year — for the third consecutive quarter. Negative revenue numbers remained widespread, with 48 states seeing total tax collections fall during the quarter on a year-over-year basis. The number of states reporting double-digit declines fell, however, from 36 states in the preceding quarter to 22 in the third quarter. Revenue fell most sharply in Western states, with Eastern states experiencing more moderate declines in collections.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, January 2010
States suffered from falling tax revenues again in the third quarter, compared to the previous year, according to preliminary data in this report. Tax collections fell 10.7 percent overall. It was the fourth consecutive drop for two major revenue sources — personal income and sales tax. Further declines are also expected in the fourth quarter.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, November 23, 2009
State tax collections for the second quarter of 2009 dropped 16.6 percent, marking the second consecutive quarter for record-breaking declines, according to this Institute report. All but one state (Vermont) saw total revenue fall. Thirty-six states reported double-digit decreases. And, according to early signs, more troubling news is likely for the third quarter.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, October 2009
State tax collections during the first quarter of 2009 showed the sharpest decline on record, according to a new Rockefeller Institute report. Early figures for the second quarter reveal continued, broad worsening of fiscal conditions for states. Local tax revenue, meanwhile, remains relatively steady.
Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, July 2009
Read the News Release
Personal-income tax revenues plunged in April, a June 18 Institute report shows. Overall, states' personal income-tax collections declined 26 percent, or $28.8 billion, when compared to the year-ago period. The sharp declines in revenue will punch deeper holes in states’ budgets, making further spending reductions and tax increases more likely this year and in 2010.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, June 2009
Read the News Release
State tax collections plummeted in the first quarter of 2009, with almost every state showing a decline from a year earlier, according to the Institute's latest state revenue "flash" report. The bulk of the decline came from a 15.8 percent drop in personal income tax revenue.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, May 2009
Read the News Release
State tax collections for late 2008 dropped by 4 percent nationwide – with dips in 41 states – marking the first such decline in more than six years. The drop in sales taxes was particularly sharp, at over 6 percent. Including local sales taxes, the decline was the worst in a half-century. Data for early 2009 show even more dramatic worsening of states’ fiscal conditions.
Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, April 2009
Read the News Release [PDF]
Last year ended badly for states, and the first part of 2009 looks to be even worse, according to the Rockefeller Institute’s latest “flash” report on state revenues. Three-quarters of states reporting saw tax collections drop at the end of 2008, compared to the same quarter of 2007. Overall, states' revenues fell 3.6 percent in the quarter.
Lucy Dadayan and Donald J. Boyd, March 2009
Read the News Release
Fiscal conditions in the states worsened dramatically in the last quarter of 2008, according to preliminary data analyzed by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Total tax collections during the quarter declined more than 4 percent from the previous year, based on available data. The forecast for early 2009 looks similarly bleak.
Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, January 2009
Read the News Release
The Rockefeller Institute’s latest flash report on state tax revenues finds a growth rate of only 0.1 percent during the third quarter of 2008, the first time since the 2002 recession that tax collections showed essentially no growth. The preliminary report on 42 states also concludes that, in light of the ongoing economic weakness, further deterioration in state revenues is expected.
Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, November 2008
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While overall tax revenues were “superficially strong” in the second quarter of 2008, sales-tax collections are down and declines in income-tax revenue are highly likely in the months ahead. More widespread budget cuts by states “are virtually certain,” the Institute concludes.
Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, October 2008
SRR #73 data [XLS] Read the News Release
State tax collections are at their weakest in five years, with one key revenue source — sales taxes — showing no growth in the first quarter of 2008. The result: Governors and legislators who have just completed action on 2008-09 fiscal plans are likely to face the need to make budget cuts in the months ahead.
Donald Boyd, Lucy Dadayan, and Nino Giguashvili, July 1, 2008
SRR # 72 data [XLS] Read the News Release
State sales tax revenues delivered the weakest performance in six years during the first quarter of 2008, while growth in overall state tax revenues continued to deteriorate, according to preliminary data compiled by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. With 36 of the 45 states that collect sales tax reporting, revenue from sales taxes declined both nationwide and in 21 states during January to March 2008, compared to the same period a year earlier. Southeastern states were hit the hardest: nine of the 21 states reporting sales tax declines were in that region. When adjusted for inflation, sales tax revenues declined in at least 27 states.
Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, May 2008
Read the News Release
States all across the country are experiencing "a classic nutcracker effect," as revenues weaken and costs rise sharply. After adjusting for inflation and legislated tax changes, states' tax revenues dropped 4.3 percent in the most recent quarter.
Lucy Dadayan and Robert B. Ward, March 2008
SRR # 71 data [XLS]
After adjusting for inflation and legislated tax changes, state tax revenues fell by 0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2007 — the first such decrease in four years.
Alison J. Grinnell, January 2008
SRR # 70 data [XLS]
Growth in state tax revenues was stronger in the second quarter of 2007 than in the first. Revenue collections improved in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms. Alison J. Grinnell with Robert B. Ward, September 2007
SRR # 69 data [XLS]
Revenue growth increased in January-March 2007, but still lags behind long-term historical levels. Two of the three major taxes showed a weaker performance than the previous quarter; however, the increase in personal income tax collections outweighed the weaker increases of the corporate income tax and sales tax.
Alison J. Grinnell and Robert B. Ward, June 2007
SRR # 68 data [XLS]
Fourth quarter state tax data continue to show a caution flag.
Alison Grinnell and Lucy Dadayan, March 2007
SRR # 67 data [XLS]
Revenue growth slowed sharply this quarter, with collections at their lowest point since mid-2003. All three major taxes showed significantly weaker growth than the previous quarter.
Brian T. Stenson and Nai-Ling Kuo, December 2006
SRR # 66 data [XLS]
Covers tax collections for the July-September quarter of 2006 for 34 states, which account for more than 78 percent of total tax collections for all the states.
Nai-Ling Kuo and Brian Stenson, November 2006
Revenue growth accelerated again in the second quarter of 2006, marking two quarters of improvement from the slight slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2005. This state tax collection strength was at odds with national economic growth, which slowed sharply this quarter.
Brian T. Stenson with Nai-Ling Kuo, September 2006
SRR # 65 data [XLS]
Tax revenue totaled $138.2 billion in April-June 2006 (for 34 states), up 10.2 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
Nai-Ling Kuo and Brian Stenson, August 2006
State tax revenue reflected only 6.8 percent growth this quarter; however, after adjusting for the sharp falloff in California's corporate income tax collections due to last year's tax amnesty, tax revenue actually increased 8.9 percent.
Brian T. Stenson with Nai-Ling Kuo, June 2006
SRR # 64 data [XLS]
State tax revenue increased 7.6 percent in the October-December quarter of 2005 compared to the same quarter the year before. Although this growth rate appears to be robust, growth adjusted for legislated changes and inflation was only 0.9 percent this quarter, making it the slowest real adjusted growth since the third quarter of 2003.
Nicholas W. Jenny, March 2006
SRR # 63 data [XLS]
State tax revenue enjoyed a strong start to fiscal year 2006, growing 9.2 percent in the July-September quarter compared to the same period in 2004. This was the fastest third-quarter growth seen since at least 1991.
Nicholas W. Jenny, December 2005
SRR # 62 data [XLS]
State tax revenue increased 13.3 percent in the April-June quarter of 2005 compared to the same quarter the year before. This is the strongest nominal revenue growth since 1991.
Nicholas W. Jenny, September 2005
SRR # 61 data [XLS]
2005 opened with strong growth in state tax revenue, continuing the upward trend from the close of 2004. The 11.7 percent increase in collections compared to the same period last year is the strongest January-March quarter tax revenue growth since at least 1991.
Nicholas W. Jenny, June 2005
SRR # 60 data [XLS]
State tax revenue grew by 7.8 percent in the October-December 2004 quarter. This was the strongest fourth-quarter growth since at least 1991.
Nicholas W. Jenny, March 2005
SRR # 59 data [XLS]
State tax revenue grew by 8.6 percent in the July-September 2004 quarter.
Nicholas W. Jenny, December 2004
SRR # 58 data [XLS]
State tax revenue grew by 11.3 percent in the April-June 2004 quarter, the strongest growth in four years.
Nicholas W. Jenny, September 2004.
SRR # 57 data [XLS]
State tax revenue grew by 8.1 percent in the January-March 2004 quarter, the strongest growth in almost four years. Personal income tax revenue grew by 8.7 percent, growth that matches pre-recession levels.
Nicholas W. Jenny, June 2004
SRR # 56 data [XLS]
State tax revenue grew in the October-December 2003 quarter.
Nicholas W. Jenny, March 2004
SRR # 55 data [XLS]