Saturday, July 31, 2021

Play

Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

Play

Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Report: Revenue Projection Errors Plague States, TX Not Immune

Play

Monday, March 7, 2011   

AUSTIN, Texas - When economic times are bad, mistakes tend to multiply when it comes to forecasting state revenue, according to a new report from the Pew Center on the States, and Texas has not been immune. In fact, states with biennial budgets face the toughest challenges in being accurate. Plus, Texas has been hit by double-digit declines in energy revenue, and the redesigned business tax put in place in 2006 has underperformed by more than $1 billion.

Study researcher Steve Fehr says no one expects perfection in forecasting, but "we found that more states are getting those estimates wrong during economic downturns and the errors are getting larger."

Fehr says in the case of Texas, the strong reliance on sales tax revenue is cited as one reason numbers were off, as consumers unexpectedly, drastically cut spending.

Fehr says the report, issued in conjunction with the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, found there were a handful of states where forecasters took note of consumer behavior in the Great Recession, such as Indiana, and they issued more frequent forecasts to keep on top of looming budget gaps.

"This is all about knowing how much money you have to spend every year. If you don't know how much is coming in, it makes it difficult to deliver the services that taxpayers expect."

Fehr notes the report researchers also looked at revenue projection accuracy during economic boom times and found similar forecasting problems. He says that led some states, notably Arizona, to spend unexpected revenue on tax cuts that came back to cause problems when the recession hit.

"As the recession deepened, states didn't know from month to month how much money they had coming in, and it led to a lot of quick, hasty spending cuts."

As far as solutions, the report suggests coming up with ways to decrease reliance on volatile revenue streams. That can be done by establishing rainy day funds, and using them when revenue is down to buffer the need for budget cuts or new taxes. The Texas legislature is expected to address tapping the rainy-day fund this week.

The full report, "States' Revenue Estimating: Cracks in the Crystal Ball," is available at http://ht.ly/48R5G.


get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


Environment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …


Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021