The results do not shed any particular light on why non-tax revenues are not used to close gaps during downturns in business cycles although they are used at other times when districts are faced with constraints. Possibly, exploring the interactions between school districts and their overlapping governments might indicate whether the use of non-tax revenues in school finance is lower when the use of such revenues to finance other local services is higher. But it may well be that there are limits to what traditional empirical analysis can tell us about what may be seen as underutilization of these revenue sources.
The discussion at the outset of this paper suggests that concerns regarding access and philosophical objections may be among the reasons why non-tax revenues are little used. And the evidence from all of the New England states, particularly Massachusetts and Vermont, is consistent with policymakers steering away from non-tax revenues for these reasons. But philosophical objections are especially difficult to quantify. Surveys of school district leaders may enable us to learn how pervasive these attitudes are and how strongly they correlate with the use of revenues from fees and other non-tax sources. That kind of qualitative analysis might be a useful next step in shedding light on why alternative funding sources have been so little used in New England and in the rest of the country.