Ann Hollingshead
(916) 319-8305
State Budget and Federal Funding
Nick Schroeder
(916) 319-8314
Public Employment, CalPERS, Elections, Veterans Affairs
Angela Short
(916) 319-8309
Child Welfare, Child Support, Community Services and Development, Community Care Licensing, CalSTRS
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics


Local Government

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Realignment Revisited: An Evaluation of the 1991 Experiment In State-County Relations

February 6, 2001 - Realignment, enacted in 1991, transferred various mental health, health, and social services programs from the state to county control. It also altered program cost-sharing ratios, and provided counties with dedicated tax revenues to pay for these changes. Although realignment has been largely successful, we recommend implementation of several changes including a simplified allocation structure for new revenues that relies on a single formula.


An Evaluation of the School Facility Fee Affordable Housing Assistance Programs

January 18, 2001 - Proposition 1A of 1998 authorized $9.2 billion to finance school facilities. Its companion legislation appropriated $160 million to reimburse school facility fees paid for new homes. In this report we recommend that the Legislature eliminate the $60 million in scheduled appropriations for these reimbursements in 2001-02 and 2002-03.


Property Tax Administration Funding Not Ideal Approach

February 17, 2000 - We recommend that the Legislature not extend the sunset of the Property Tax Administration Loan Program and instead consider alternatives that would provide a long-term structural improvement to the property tax system.


Fiscal Challenge From Three Major Lawsuits

February 17, 2000 - California faces a very positive budgetary environment, but three legal challenges--Special Education. Property Tax Shift, and Smog Impact Fees--pose some fiscal concern.


Reconsidering AB 8: Exploring Alternative Ways to Allocate Property Taxes

February 3, 2000 - In 1999 the Legislature stated its intent to revamp the property tax allocation system. We examine five alternatives for improving local finance.


Local Investment Reporting Mandate

January 18, 2000 - We recommend that the Legislature eliminate the current state mandate that requires financial officers to submit investment reports to their governing bodies.


Commission on State Mandates Test Claim, "School Site Councils and Brown Act Reform"

January 7, 2000 - We review and comment on this precedent-setting test claim which will be heard in February by the Commission on State Mandates.


Special Education Mandates Follow-Up Letter

October 27, 1999 - We outline our concerns with the staff supplemental analysis prepared for the Commission on State Mandates (COSM) October 28, 1999 meeting. This letter is a follow-up to our 10/13/99 analysis in which we reviewed legislative intent related to the special education funding system.


Special Education Mandate History, Funding and Legislative Intent: Questions and Answers

October 13, 1999 - We review the special education funding system and the legislative intent during the years before and after enactment of the state's Master Plan for Special Education: Chapter 797, Statutes of 1980 (SB 1970, Rodda).


Cracks in the Local Fiscal Foundation

March 24, 1999 - This slide presentation describes the three "cracks" in the local fiscal foundation: lack of local fiscal control, no promotion of broad economic growth, and different tax burdens for similar taxpayers.


Shifting Gears: Rethinking Property Tax Shift Relief

February 2, 1999 - Shifting Gears: Rethinking Property Tax Shift Relief


A Primer on the Vehicle License Fee

June 17, 1998 - The VLF is a fee on the ownership of a registered vehicle that provides nearly $4 billion in annual revenues. This report is intended to answer a number of questions related to the VLF.


California Counties A Look at Program Performance

May 21, 1998 - We compile the best information available on county program outcomes--and give Californians a snapshot view of county performance.


Why County Revenues Vary: State Laws and Local Conditions Affecting County Finance

May 7, 1998 - Much of the variation in county revenues stems from taxation decisions of a generation ago and the extent of development today. The fundamental dilemma of counties remains: (1) counties have little control over their expenditures or revenues, and (2) county supervisors are elected locally, but have few tools to respond to local preferences. Ultimately, we believe the Legislature will need to broadly reexamine county government responsibilities and finance.


A Perspective on the Vehicle License Fee

February 18, 1998 - A Perspective on the Vehicle License Fee