Research and publications
Listed here are research sources and selected publications related to state government taxing and spending and the state's economy. (The Project does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of all publications.)
Legislative Joint Fiscal Office (JFO):
The handiest and most authoritative resource for tax and spending information for the State is the exemplary handbook published annually by the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, Fiscal Facts.
This 100 page document contains thorough information on appropriations, revenues, and borrowing. Especially helpful are the history of tax law changes, property tax relief, and other legislative actions dating back to 1882.
It is in pdf format (Adobe Reader required) and may be downloaded in its entirety or by selected pages at
The JFO home site also contains current budget overviews, revenue forecasts, appropriations histories, and analyses of current issues such as health care, transportation, energy, and education finance. It can be accessed at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo/default.aspx
Ethan Allen Institute has produced a major report entitled Off the Rails: Changing Demographics, Changing Economics, Accumulating Obligations. Using U.S. census data, it projects the future composition of the state's work force and trends in state spending for education and human services, out to the year 2030. It evaluates five ways of coping with state obligations outstripping expected tax revenues. (pdf, 16 pp, 2008) . The site also contains over a hundred commentaries and policy briefs on Vermont issues. www.ethanallen.org
The purpose of www.data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. It offers an extensive search function and numerous advanced options.
The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published by the Census Bureau since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.. The current (2009) edition can be found here:
Public Assets Institute produces reports on health care, education finance, tax and budget issues, employment, and other polices that affect Vermonters, especially those with low and moderate incomes. PAI's reports can be found here:
Pew Partnership for the States www.pew-partnership.org
National Council of State Legislatures produces studies and articles on a wide range of issues facing state legislatures. www.ncsl.org
National Governors Association produces policy studies on issues affecting governors. www.nga.org
Stateline is a public policy news service for state issues.
Government Innovation Network is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. It annually makes awards to innovative state and local government projects around the country. www.innovations.harvard.edu
Census Bureau is the U.S. government agency that publishes economic data (incomes, taxes, debt, population, prices, etc.), and the Statistical Abstract of the United States. www.census.gov
Library of Congress hosts THOMAS, a service that allows citizens to track legislation in Congress and find the roll call votes of Representatives and Senators.. thomas.loc.gov
Center for Rural Studies at UVM (crs.uvm.edu) This center collects statistics about Vermont population, incomes, school districts, etc.
Governing magazine reviews the workings of state and local governments and their relations with each other and the federal government, focusing on success stories. www.governing.com
GovTrack - www.GovTrack.us is a quick reference source for bills introduced in Congress. It will often have a concise neutral summary of the bill prepared by the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress.
Vermont State Archives -
The Archives contain full text searchable presentation of gubernatorial inaugurals and farewell addresses and allows users to see what programs, taxes, etc governors have proposed. See: http://www.vermont-archives.org/govhistory/gov/govinaug/index.htm.
The new "spotlight on records" section (http://www.vermont-archives.org/research/spotlight/records.htm) contains reports on taxation and studies of government programs.
The Council of State Governments (www.csg.org) is a nonpartisan research and policy center supported by and serving state governments. It publishes numerous research papers and policy briefs, in addition to holding events for state leaders.
The New England Public Policy Center (www.bos.frb.org) was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 2005. Its scholars produce analyses of economic issues relevant to the six New England states. A recent addition is Indicators Interactive (www.bos.frb.org/economic/neei/neei.htm), that allows users to generate tables and charts for various data series (incomes, spending, housing, labor etc.)
The Reason Foundation (www.reason.org) analyzes public policy issues from a market-oriented, limited government perspective. It is particularly strong in local government, transportation and privatization studies, and publishes the libertarian-oriented Reason general interest magazine.
Sunshine Review (http://sunshinereview.org) is a comprehensive web site offering access to transparency programs in the fifty states, plus published articles promoting transparency.
Public Accountability Initiative (http://littlesis.org) seeks out and publishes connections between powerful people and organizations and the beneficiaries of their political contributions.