This map shows how state finances held up better than expected during the pandemic – some much better

nyc subway
An R subway train arrives in a virtually empty Fifth Avenue station near Central Park on November 16, 2020 in New York City.

  • State finances didn’t take as big of a hit during the pandemic as expected.
  • In fact, half the states saw an increase in tax revenue, although some percent increases were small.
  • Idaho saw the largest tax collection increase between 2019 and 2020 at 12.5%.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As the coronavirus pandemic pummeled the economy starting in spring 2020, states and cities seemed increasingly vulnerable. Would they be forgotten in stimulus relief efforts? Was New York City truly dead?

But the recently enacted $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan might provide a strong start for state and local governments, which also weren’t pummeled as hard as some feared.

In fact, a new Bank of America note anticipates “the municipal market should see a new golden decade of strong growth and strengthening credit quality.” They see a new credit cycle coming for the new decade, where “revenue for state and local governments will outgrow debt.”

The first step for ushering in this new decade came in the form of $350 billion in direct aid to state and local governments – a measure some state treasurers had been pushing for.

In places like New York City, the stimulus relief will go a long way towards bridging budget deficits and shortfalls; the city alone is set to receive $5.6 billion, according to a previous BofA note.

Infrastructure is up next as Democrats’ next big agenda item. It’s also part of BofA’s predicted boon for cities and states, as the infrastructure package “will put the muni market at the center and overall muni credit should benefit from it and remain on a path of continuous improvement over this next decade.”

Tax collection grew in Idaho in 2020, while Alaska saw a large decline

BofA is optimistic about the impact that those now well-funded – and tax-collecting – governments will have as the economy begins to improve.

“The economic boom in 2021-2030 will likely be led by rising leverage of state and local governments,” BofA wrote in the note.

Even amid the pandemic last year, tax collection grew in some parts of the nation. Based on Census data, BofA finds there was only a 1.0% decline in US state tax collection in 2020. Percent changes further vary among states.

The resilience of state finances comes after prior worries over revenues falling during the pandemic, especially as states saw “steep” drops in the first half of 2020. In a February analysis, Pew Trusts dug into the “historic state tax revenue drop,” and noted that the “unpredictability” of the pandemic made the future of revenue trends unclear.

The following map highlights the percent change in total taxes collected from 2019 to 2020 by state using quarterly state and local tax revenue data from the Census Bureau:

As the Bank of America authors noted, half the states had increases, while the other half and DC saw declines. On the one end, Idaho saw the largest year-over-year tax collection growth at 12.5%. Idaho was the only state to see a percent increase in the double digits. Some states saw minimal growth from a year earlier, including Iowa and Connecticut.

Alaska had the largest percent decline from a year earlier, where total tax collection in 2020 was 33.6% below tax collection in 2019. North Dakota has the second-largest decline at where the state collected 22.9% less than the $4.87 billion collected in 2019. Arizona had the smallest year-over-year decline at -0.6%.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This map highlights the share of people who were born outside the US in every state

People hold signs during a rally in support of the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in San Diego, California, on June 18, 2020.
People hold signs during a rally in support of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in San Diego, California, on June 18, 2020.

  • The House is voting on two immigration bills this week.
  • The share of each state’s population who were born outside the US varies.
  • In New York, 22.4% of the population were born outside the US in 2019.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Immigration continues to be a hot topic in US politics, and as two immigration bills are being discussed in the House this week, there has also been an increase in the number of children arriving at the US-Mexico border.

As the conversation around immigration reform continues, Insider decided to look at the distribution of immigrant populations across the US. Using 2019 data on the number of residents who identified as foreign-born from the American Community Survey, the following map highlights the share of each state’s population who were born outside the US:

California has the highest share, where 26.7% of the 39.5 million people who lived there in 2019 were born outside the US. New Jersey and New York follow closely behind at 23.4% and 22.4% respectively. In contrast, 13 states have shares below 5.0%. West Virginia has the smallest share, where only 1.6% of its population was born outside of the US in 2019.

The foreign born data used includes both people who are not a US citizen and those who are naturalized citizens.

The House is voting on two immigration bills this week per the The Wall Street Journal. The bills are the Dream and Promise Act, which aims to help undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, intended to help undocumented farmworkers. Both previously passed the House in 2019.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, 4.4 million people may benefit from the Dream and Promise Act, including Dreamers and people under Temporary Protected Status. The bill includes “conditional permanent resident status for 10 years.”

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act includes reforming the H-2A visa program and creating a way for farmers to obtain legal status.

At the same time, there has been a rise in children arriving alone at the US-Mexico border. According to CBS News, almost 3,000 of these unaccompanied children have stayed longer than the legal 72 hours in Customs and Border Protection. They are usually transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement after this time period, per the article.

According to The Washington Post, many unaccompanied minors are being held for longer, an average of 120 hours. According to the Associated Press, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, will be used temporarily as a place for thousands of teens to help with the capacity issue.

Read the original article on Business Insider