Revenue Estimation/Scoring by States: An Overview of Experience and Current Practices with Particular Attention to the Role of Dynamic Methods




Revenue estimates or scores identify the expected impact of a change in a tax law or a change in how existing tax laws are administered. The processes used by states to produce these estimates have been given considerably less attention than have those used to create the revenue baseline or forecast, although both are important to creation of fiscally sustainable budgets. A review of state processes shows that estimating responsibility most often is in a legislative agency, that states usually employ microdynamic estimating methods, generally make their work available on the Internet although infrequently showing the methodology used for an estimate, and rarely have formal quality control procedures for the estimates. Macrodynamic estimates are very rare and some states once requiring this approach no longer do so.