With revenues performing better than expected and additional federal funds helping to stabilize their budgets, many states have enacted various forms of tax relief in 2021. In particular, personal and corporate income tax cuts have re-emerged as post-pandemic policy pursuits.
Federal stimulus funds are flowing into the states at unprecedented levels, including aid for state governments to use at their discretion. This has led to battles in some states over who can allocate those funds – the legislature or the governor? This brief explores the difficulty in answering this question and some of the tensions that have surfaced.
This brief reviews how states are preparing to receive and spend the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Over the last year, the pandemic has left small businesses and the economies they support, vulnerable. Lawmakers at all levels of government took action to prioritize business relief to keep main street and state economies from irrevocable damage. This brief reviews state grant, loan and tax relief actions for small businesses.
Sports betting is now legal in half of the states, but many questions still linger about how to tax and regulate this new, legal market. In particular, the apparent revenue boost associated with the adoption of mobile gambling has many states considering whether they will bring operations online. This brief covers the significant fiscal policy considerations associated with this new area of state-sanctioned gambling.
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, legislators continue to raise concerns regarding potential liability for exposure to and injuries from the coronavirus. This brief examines liability legislation to address health and medical, business, PPE and general liability issues.
A review of state approaches to cannabis taxation, revenue collections to date and other policy considerations.
The federal deadline for states to spend resources from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund is Dec. 30. This brief reviews state spending trends and examines the possibility of additional relief, flexibility and a deadline extension.
Voters in states across the country must decide on at least 30 tax- and revenue-related ballot measures during the November 2020 elections. This brief provides an overview of the proposals with the most significant fiscal ramifications.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on distance learning and working from home has illuminated the digital divide—the gap between those who have access to high-speed internet and devices and those who do not. This brief provides examples of how states are using their COVID-19 relief fund allocation for broadband and technology purposes to help people working remotely, patients getting treatment through telehealth and students attending school online.
Relatively few states have authorized lottery and casino play over the internet, but that may change as states look for options to shore up their budgets.
Many states have allocated funding to various relief efforts. Others are meeting in special session to decide how and where to spend the federal funds. As the nation continues to endure this unusual public health and economic crisis, strategies to spend relief funds vary by state.
The majority of states began fiscal year 2021 on July 1, and uncertainty around fiscal conditions led some to adopt creative budgeting maneuvers. This brief provides insight into what happens when a state budget is not passed on time, and the disruption of the budget process from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heading into 2020, state budget reserves were as healthy as they had ever been, averaging between 8% and 12% for most states. Yet faced with the pandemic and massive revenue reductions from the economic shutdown, those seemingly plentiful rainy day reserves amount to a mere drop in the bucket.
As the United States confronts COVID-19 with stay-home orders, economic activity has come to a screeching halt. The result, while beneficial to human health, will be devastating to state fiscal health. The problem is particularly acute in states that rely heavily on sales and income taxes, which it turns out, is most states.
The impact COVID-19 is having on the American economy is unprecedented. While the full economic ramifications of these disruptions are still unknown, it is safe to say that state coffers will soon be under significant distress. While the current fiscal crisis is unique, it may be helpful to revisit revenue actions during the Great Recession as states once again chart a course toward recovery.
It’s rare to find a popular tax, but the tobacco tax comes pretty close. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents support it. As the usage rates of electronic cigarettes has increased, many states have taken action to incorporate them into the tax code.