The research of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute has two basic goals:
- Decision-oriented analysis of state taxing and spending. Through the use of information and statistics from both governmental and private sources, IFPI develops timely analyses relating to the subjects of:
Budget Policy—What is the financial condition of the state? How are public dollars allocated among competing functions and purposes, and what are the long-term trends? Will revenues be adequate to cover proposed expenditures? Are programs effective in achieving their intended results? Are there reasonable alternatives? Have policymakers and program managers selected the lowest-cost means of providing given services.
Taxation—What are the strengths and weaknesses of the state tax structure? How do taxes in Indiana compare with those in other states? What are the effects of specific tax provisions on governmental revenues and on economic activity? What trends in taxation should be watched?
- Timely reporting of research results. All too often, major decisions regarding commitments of public dollars are made in absence of basic understanding of the problem addressed, of the likely effect of the program, or of the long-term costs to the taxpayers. The Institute takes it as a given that governmental decisions concerning taxing and spending will be better if they are made in the light of unbiased research. The Institute staff works to anticipate the issues that will be important and to provide research to decision makers, the media, and citizens in general.