As it turns out, new data shows that a year after the pandemic wrought economic devastation around the country, forcing states to revise their revenue forecasts and prepare for the worst, for many the worst didn’t come. One big reason: $600-a-week federal supplements that allowed people to keep spending — and states to keep collecting sales tax revenue — even when they were jobless, along with the usual state unemployment benefits.
By some measures, the states ended up collecting nearly as much revenue in 2020 as they did in 2019.
Seems like we’re still struggling to get heads around, and political leaders are struggling to figure out a way through, the complicated reality that Covid, school closures, and the economic disruption hit in very different ways between and within communities. And the reality that government transfers played a big role in mitigating some of the effects.
Some unflattering school board stories lately, but if you’re going to talk to your school board then talk to Laura McKenna first.