State Budget Update: Fall 2017

2/19/2018

Introduction

Midway through fifiscal reportscal year (FY) 2018, state revenues appear to be relatively strong.

This in contrast to last year when many states had to revise their forecasts downward and make due with less revenue than anticipated. Through the fall of last year, 36 states were expected to meet their latest revenue forecasts. Only four states do not anticipate meeting their revenue estimates this fiscal year, and six states believe they will exceed their projections.

Personal income tax collections are performing relatively well through the first half of the fiscal year, with 29 states reporting collections are either on target, or exceeding estimates. Twenty-eight states also anticipate corporate income tax collections to be on target or above estimate. Similarly, 27 states report general sales tax revenues are on target or above estimate. At this point last year, sales tax collections were below estimate in over 20 states, compared to 14 states this year.

States that rely heavily on severance tax collections are also seeing some positive developments. Ten states expect severance tax revenues to come in as expected, and five anticipate greater than expected revenues.

Overall, state budgets appear stable and legislative fiscal officers are cautiously optimistic.

This report highlights results from NCSL’s most recent survey of legislative fiscal officers about state tax collections and other indicators of state fiscal health. Tennessee and the District of Columbia did not participate in the survey. Detailed tables for each section are contained in the report’s appendix.