Research / Fiscal Affairs

Policy Analysis | February 2021

State Tax Collections in the SLC Region Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cody Allen

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the nation caused shockwaves in the first quarter of 2020,* as the pandemic – and subsequent public health and safety measures – lead to an unprecedented economic downturn. States struggled as their traditional sources of revenue saw immediate drops, and economic uncertainty precluded the accuracy of revenue projections for the months ahead. The distribution of vaccine shipments to states in December led to renewed optimism that the fiscal situation for state, federal and local governments would soon improve. However, economists have cautioned that a full economic recovery may not be seen until the end of 2022, dependent, in large measure, on the levels of continuing federal financial support.1

The National Association of State Budget Officers notes the bulk of state general fund revenue is derived from personal income and sales taxes – 44.9 and 30.1 percent, respectively.2 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for the third quarter of 2020, 11 states in the South received their largest share of revenue from the collection of individual income taxes, with just four – Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas – reporting general sales and gross receipts as their largest tax revenue source.3

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Policy Analysis | December 2020

Trade in the SLC Region Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Roger Moore

The COVID-19 pandemic upended global economic activity in the first quarter of 2020. Although the long-term impact of the pandemic remains unknown, the profound economic shocks experienced beginning in March, with widespread business closures and restrictions on movement, are expected to reverberate into 2021 and, possibly, beyond. In October, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported that global merchandise trade declined 14.3 percent between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020, the largest quarter-on-quarter drop ever. Global trade for all of 2020, the WTO estimated, declined 9.2 percent, while global GDP decreased 4.8 percent.1

By highlighting export and import data, as reported monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau, this SLC Policy Analysis depicts how the pandemic has impacted the U.S. economy and, particularly, trade in the SLC region. The data includes export and import data for the following periods:

  1. Quarterly changes from the first quarter of 2019 through the fourth quarter of 2019;
  2. Quarterly changes from the first quarter of 2020 through the third quarter of 2020; and
  3. Year-over-year quarterly changes between 2019 and 2020.

Importantly, the monthly data provided by the Census Bureau only includes commodities. Exports and imports of services – such as travel and transportation, telecommunications, financial services and cultural activities, to name a few – are not included in the monthly data sets. Services account for a significant share of overall U.S. economic activity and have similarly been affected by the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.2

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Hospital Property Tax Exemptions in SLC States
Policy Analysis | December 2020

Hospital Property Tax Exemptions in SLC States

Cody Allen

The United States has an estimated 6,146 hospitals operating across the country, of which 85 percent are community, or public, hospitals. More than half of all community hospitals are nongovernmental non-profits, with the remaining balance split between investor-owned for-profit and state and local government-owned hospitals.1

Across the SLC region, states have enacted myriad policies governing the levying of property taxes on hospitals – whether blanket exemptions for all nonprofits or more targeted exemptions for specific hospitals and systems. Of note, Alabama is the only state in the SLC region to offer a statutory property tax exemption to for-profit providers with specific criteria and requirements.

Florida enacted legislation during the 2020 session to limit the property tax exemption of nonprofit hospitals up to the level of community benefit they provide, along with stricter reporting requirements.


According to Alabama Code, real or personal property used exclusively for nonprofit hospital purposes is exempt from property taxation.2 Under the same code, for-profit hospitals may qualify for a partial ad valorem tax exemption, up to $75,000 of assessed value, provided the hospital certifies its treatment of charity patients constitutes at least 15 percent of its services.3

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Representative John Read, Mississippi

John Read


Vice Chair
Senator Kerry Roberts

Kerry Roberts


Past Chair

Penny Houston


Cody Allen

Cody Allen
Policy Analyst

Since its creation, members of the SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee have focused on myriad fiscal issues impacting state budgets and finances. Committee appointees include many of the finance and appropriations chairs from across the South, alongside others with fiscal expertise. The committee routinely examines the impact of the federal budget on state finances; state revenues and expenditures; national and regional economic outlooks; historical and developing fiscal trends; performance-based budgeting; e-commerce and taxation; and public pension plans. For more than 40 years, select fiscal research departments in the SLC member state legislatures have continued to provide annual Comparative Data Reports (CDRs), tracking revenue sources, appropriations levels, performance measures, and a multitude of other metrics in Southern states. A useful tool for legislators and legislative staff alike, CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, education, Medicaid and transportation.

More SLC Research into Fiscal Affairs

Webinar | August 2020

New and Expanded Revenue Streams

Policy Analysis | January 2020

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

SLC Regional Resource | March 2019

Sports Betting in the South

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

Policy Analysis | September 2018

Poverty Statistics for Southern States

Policy Analysis | September 2017

SLC Member State Revenue Increases

Comparative Data Reports | July 2017

Adult Correctional Systems, Education and Medicaid

Webinar | December 2015

SLC State Pensions: Latest Developments

Policy Analysis | July 2015

Public Pension Trends and Developments

Presentation | September 2014

Transportation Funding in the States

Policy Analysis | November 2013

Southern States' Legislative Budget Formats

Policy Analysis | January 2013

Fiscal and Economic Trends in the South

Presentation | July 2012

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Fiscal Alert | July 2012

Public Pensions: Emerging Trends

Comparative Data Reports | July 2012

Medicaid, Revenue and Transportation

Presentation | January 2012

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Regional Resource | January 2012

Municipal Bonds: Trends in 2011

Presentation | November 2011

State of State Budgets

Policy Analysis | October 2011

State Revenue Trends

Policy Analysis | November 2010

Economic Impact of the Great Recession

Presentation | October 2010

State Fiscal Issues

Presentation | July 2010

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

Comparative Data Reports | November 2009

Adult Correctional Systems, Education and Revenue

Presentation | May 2009

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

Presentation | May 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | March 2009

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

Presentation | March 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | February 2009

Economic Status of the States

SLC Issue Alert | December 2008

Mid-Year Education Budget Reductions

SLC Issue Alert | June 2008

Actuarial Estimates in Public Pensions

SLC Special Series Report | June 2008

Innovative Programs in Funding State Homeland Security Needs

Comparative Data Reports | November 2007

Adult Correctional Systems, Education, Medicaid and Revenue

Presentation | November 2006

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Regional Resource | January 2006

State Rural Initiatives: Where the Money Comes From

SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

America's Public Retirement Systems: Stresses in the System

SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

Doing the Math: Southern State School Finance Systems

Presentation | December 2002

The Fiscal Crunch Confronting the South

Comparative Data Reports | November 2000

Adult Correctional Systems and Medicaid