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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government



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States Forecast Slower Tax Growth Through 2017 and Beyond

A new brief released by the Rockefeller Institute indicates that a majority of states are forecasting slower personal income tax and sales tax revenue growth in 2016 and 2017. The sluggishness in tax revenues is partly due to expected slower growth in the economy and long-term demographic changes as well as due to volatility in stock market and prolonged declines in oil and gas prices. This will result in continued fiscal challenges and economic uncertainties for the states, the brief concludes. The Rockefeller Institute’s By the Numbers briefs were developed to spotlight emerging trends in state economies and finances.

2015 Was a Good Year for State Revenue Forecasters, But the Road Ahead Is Uncertain

2015 was a good year for the accuracy of state revenue forecasts according to a new brief by the Rockefeller Institute of Government of SUNY. This year’s record contrasts with that of previous years, when errors in state revenue forecasts swelled during and after the last two recessions partly due to increased tax volatility. Despite the good news, state forecasters are facing large uncertainties due to implications of the volatility in the stock market, declines in oil prices, and interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve Board. This is the first brief in the new By the Numbers series, which will provide short summaries of evidence on key state and local fiscal issues.

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.

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The Institute in the news...

“Increasing Number of States Facing Budget Woes a Troubling Sign for America”

; The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post cites Institute state revenue research in this story on state budget shortfalls.

“Time for state constitutional convention”

; The Daily Gazette
Institute Deputy Director Robert Bullock is quoted on the Institute’s plans to inform the electorate about the upcoming 2017 constitutional convention ballot proposal.

“States face shaky financial futures; pensions at risk”

; USA Today
Institute Senior Researcher Don Boyd, co-author of the Blinken Reports, comments on the pension crisis facing many states.

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