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States Finished Fiscal 2015 on a Strong Note, But Forecasts for 2016 Are Less Promising
State tax revenues grew by 6.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015, the final quarter of the fiscal year for 46 states, according to the most recent State Revenue Report of the Rockefeller Institute. Personal income tax growth was robust at 14.2 percent, which was driven by strong payments with final returns up 20.0 percent and estimated taxes up 18.2 percent. This trend is not expected to continue, as this year’s revenue figures were bolstered by the strong stock market of 2014. States expect fiscal year 2016 to be weaker than 2015, largely because of an anticipated slowdown in income tax revenue.
Blinken Report: States Struggling With Slow Fiscal Recovery
Despite the rising U.S. stock market and the fifth year of continuous growth in employment, state and local governments still face enormous fiscal challenges, including slow growth in tax revenues, cuts in most areas of spending, and difficulties in performing essential functions. Conditions will likely be inadequate to restore state government spending cuts, fund infrastructure expansion, pay for growth in Medicaid, and cover insufficiently funded public pensions, making the choices available to states even harder. This is the second of an ongoing series of reports funded by former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken and his wife, Vera, longtime supporters of the Rockefeller Institute.
Partnerships with Private Sector Fuel Arkansas’s Expanded Health Care Coverage
A report released by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) reveals significant collaboration between Arkansas’s public and private sectors to expand health care coverage through the Health Care Independence Program (commonly known as the “private option”) and the federally facilitated marketplace partnership. The political environment in Arkansas that led to decisions related to the ACA are detailed in the report, along with the fluid status of the state’s pioneering decisions in light of recent leadership transitions and uncertainty at the federal level.
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The Institute in the news...
The Huffington Post cites Institute state revenue research in this story on state budget shortfalls.
Institute Deputy Director Robert Bullock is quoted on the Institute’s plans to inform the electorate about the upcoming 2017 constitutional convention ballot proposal.
Institute Senior Researcher Don Boyd, co-author of the Blinken Reports, comments on the pension crisis facing many states.
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