Budget Toolkit: Introduction
Countless times a day, you are affected by state budget decisions. When you turn on the water, send your child to school, turn on a light, or drive on a road, you are impacted by state spending actions. You help pay for these and other benefits every time you buy something, get paid, or even just by owning property.
The state budget is a collection of trade-offs. The budget must be balanced; the state can only spend as much money as it collects through taxes, fees and other sources. That means priorities must be weighed against each other. Ideally, the state budget is a reflection of our public priorities. Do we, as a state, value our tradition of emphasis on public education and infrastructure, and are we willing to fund those services? Or do we value lower revenue from individuals and corporations even if it means minimal community assistance for our children, seniors and working families?