Tax Policy Center

Experts

Expert

Kim S. Rueben

Sol Price 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

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. RuebenMegan 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. RuebenMegan 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. RuebenMegan Randall
Research report

States adopt a variety of budget practices to help define spending priorities and influence fiscal outcomes. However, not all budget practices achieve the desired fiscal objectives, and some practices may compromise states’ long-term fiscal sustainability. This report discusses evidence from the...

November 28, 2017
Megan RandallKim 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. RuebenMegan 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. RuebenMegan Randall
Journal Article

Current discussions about federal tax reform include a number of proposals that could impact the states. These items may broaden the tax base and increase state revenue, or put pressure on states to cut taxes and reduce revenue, or even create administrative challenges for states. In this...

October 30, 2017
Kim S. RuebenFrank SammartinoRichard C. Auxier
Journal Article

California’s new EITC provides an opportunity to consider whether
or not the design characteristics of the federal EITC, which most
states have simply replicated, should be reconsidered—either by
states acting on their own or perhaps by the federal government itself
...

September 14, 2017
Kim S. RuebenFrank SammartinoKirk J. Stark
Brief

The relationship between tax cuts and economic growth has been the subject of much discussion and debate at the state and federal level. A number of states have reduced taxes to spur economic growth. In this article the Brookings Institution’s William G. Gale and Aaron Krupkin, and the Urban...

July 12, 2017
William G. GaleAaron KrupkinKim S. Rueben

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