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POLICY INSIGHT
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Time for States to Invest in Schools

January 31, 2018

State cuts in K-12 education funding over the past decade, which we’ve detailed, have affected more than schools’ operating budgets for teacher salaries, textbooks, and so on. Capital spending — to, for example, build new schools, renovate and expand facilities, and equip schools with more...

Capital Spending for K-12 Schools Well Below 2008 Levels

States Should Take Initiative on Infrastructure to Boost Economic Growth

August 10, 2017

The condition of roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants, and other physical assets greatly influences the economy’s ability to function and grow. Commerce requires well-maintained roads, railroads, airports, and ports. Growing communities rely on well-functioning water and sewer systems and uncrowded, safe schools. Every state needs infrastructure improvements that have the potential...

State and Local Spending on Infrastructure Is at 30-Year Low

Harmful Tax Cuts Helped Fuel Oklahoma’s Budget Woes

March 7, 2017

The bond rating agency Standard & Poor’s has lowered Oklahoma’s bond rating due to two years of budget shortfalls and the state’s use of one-time funds to address them. Some of the budget stress is due to volatile energy sector revenues, but ill-advised tax cuts pose at least as big a problem.

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Harmful Tax Cuts Helped Fuel Oklahoma's Budget Woes

States Shouldn’t Wait to Invest in Infrastructure

February 24, 2017

States are awaiting details of a promised federal plan to invest more in roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure. More federal help would be welcome, but states would be wise to move ahead on their own.

The need to invest in America’s roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants, and other physical assets is well-documented. ...

Public Infrastructure Has Been Neglected

States Can Extract Lessons from Energy-Related Revenue Woes

February 14, 2017

Energy-producing states that rely heavily on volatile energy-related tax revenues offer a cautionary tale for other states, our new report shows. The short-sighted fiscal actions that energy-producing states took — and things they didn’t do — show how...

Dollars Spent on Tax Cuts Would Help Plug Budget Holes

New Jersey’s Inequality Problem

January 9, 2017

Former New Jersey treasury officials recently took issue with my report on state tax policies and income inequality, which found New Jersey among the states...

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A State-by-State Look at Income Inequality

December 15, 2016

Our state-by-state fact sheets that accompany our report on income inequality show that the concentration of incomes among the wealthiest residents is striking in every state.  And...

Income Inequality in New York: A Snapshot

New Jersey Takes Wrong Road to Invest in Infrastructure

October 13, 2016

A New Jersey measure to raise gas tax revenue for transportation projects while cutting other taxes would “worsen the state’s existing budget challenges” by leaving less money for other state needs, Moody’s credit rating agency warned this week.  While now is an...

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State Spending Caps No Formula for Budget Success

September 19, 2016

Most states have laws limiting spending growth — or, less often, tax revenue — according to formulas based on factors like growth in personal income, population, or inflation.  But voters and policymakers are coming to recognize the problems with these caps.  Attempts to impose caps have failed in recent years in Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, and Washington, and a legislative commission in...

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Rainy Day Fund “Fix” Would Reduce North Carolina’s Ability to Budget Responsibly

July 1, 2016

North Carolina’s House may soon consider a Senate-passed proposal that would amend the state constitution to establish a new rainy day fund.  States should have strong reserves, but this proposal would hamstring decision-makers and hurt the state’s fiscal health.  ...

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