Tax Policy Center

Experts

Expert

Kim S. Rueben

Senior Fellow

Understanding and explaining the role of government is increasingly important. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, state and local governments need to reconsider what the business of governing is, and how we raise enough money to provide the services we need to build our future. This will require more transparency and discussion about what taxes buy and how we spend public funds. Policymakers at all levels need to think about these questions and how to cooperate. Our role is to help them make these decisions and explain the interactions between policy choices.

Brief

In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue of Illinois, that a business must have a physical presence within a state’s borders for the state to collect sales taxes from that business. In 1992, the court reaffirmed the physical presence requirement in Quill...

June 26, 2018
Richard C. Auxier, Kim S. Rueben
Brief

Balanced budget requirements (BBRs) prohibit states from spending more than they collect in revenue. This fact sheet describes how BBRs vary in stringency and design and reviews evidence on whether stricter antideficit provisions produce “tighter” state fiscal outcomes, such as reduced spending...

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall
Brief

Although most states produce a budget annually, 20 states produce a budget every other year for the upcoming two fiscal years, or biennially. This fact sheet describes the budget process and reviews the evidence on how annual and biennial budgeting, as well as the line item veto, affect fiscal...

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall
Brief

Budget stabilization funds (BSFs), also known as rainy day funds, allow states to set aside surplus revenue for times of unexpected revenue shortfall or budget deficit. This fact sheet describes how BSF rules vary across states and reviews evidence on how they affect savings and volatility.

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall
Brief

Debt limits are provisions that limit a state’s ability to take on new debt or debt service. This fact sheet describes the different rules that states use to limit debt and reviews evidence on how debt limits affect fiscal outcomes.

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall
Brief

States use different methods to estimate how much revenue they will have available to spend in future years. This fact sheet describes different approaches to revenue forecasting and presents recommendations on how to improve forecasting accuracy and transparency.

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall
Brief

Fluctuations in state revenue, especially unexpected ones, can compromise state services and contribute to overall fiscal instability. This fact sheet discusses the causes of state revenue volatility and how state tax and budget policy can either contribute to, or mitigate, it.

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall
Brief

Supermajority budget rules require a state to obtain more than a majority vote of the legislature, typically two-thirds or three-fifths of the votes, to pass a budget bill. This fact sheet reviews evidence on how supermajority budget rules affect fiscal outcomes, such as late budgets and...

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall
Brief

Tax and expenditure limits (TELs) are self-imposed restrictions that state governments create to restrict the amount they can tax or spend. This fact sheet describes how TELs vary across states and discusses evidence on whether TELs achieve their objective of restraining government growth.

November 28, 2017
Kim S. Rueben, Megan Randall

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