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October 1, 1993 - Common Cents—Background Material on State and Local Government Finances
June 1, 1993 - In this brief, we review the existing authority of counties to raise the local sales tax, and the viability of this proposed method for offsetting the county revenue losses associated with the proposed property tax shift. As we concluded in our May Revision analysis, the proposals to offset county property tax revenue losses fall short. The revenue likely to be generated from additional local sales taxes—if these taxes are put on the ballot, passed by the voters, and survive likely legal challenges—would offset less than 20 percent of counties’ revenue loss, on average, in 1993-94.
May 1, 1993 - We propose realigning responsibility for various state and local programs. It is our belief that the proposal enhances the flexibility of counties and their control of program operations. We provide an alternative that accomplishes both objectives. Our proposal saves $1.4 billion in state costs by shifting various program costs to counties (consistent with our overall restructuring model), and funds these added local costs through the extension of the half cent sales tax on a transitional basis.
February 1, 1993 - Restructuring Government in California
February 1, 1993 - California's existing "system" of government does not work together to achieve the public's goals. We offer a model of a rational organization (or "realignment") of state, county, city, and special district responsibilities.
February 1, 1993 - Property taxes are the largest source of general purpose revenue available to local governments. Cities, counties, special districts, and redevelopment agencies depend upon these revenues to provide a wide variety of programs and services to California residents. In the following pages, we discuss (1) the impact of the proposed property tax shift on local government revenues and programs, (2) the ability of local governments to raise revenues to offset property tax losses, and (3) the impact of the transfer of property taxes on land development proposals.
February 1, 1992 - The state and local program realignment legislation enacted in 1991 represents a fundamental change in the state and county fiscal relationship. In this piece, we (1) provide background on the evolution of the legislation, (2) review its primary components, (3) assess its likely programmatic and fiscal effects, and (4) identify realignment-related implementation and policy issues we believe the Legislature will face in the current legislative session and in later years. Finally, we identify program areas where we believe the Legislature might effectively extend some of the legislation's features to enact further reforms.
February 1, 1992 - Enterprise Special Districts
February 1, 1992 - In this analysis, we (1) review the short-term implementation issues surrounding Chapter 90 and the related measures, and (2) identify a number of policy issues that the Legislature will need to address as it considers providing additional support for the trial courts for the budget year and beyond.
February 1, 1991 - Over the past several years, many of California's counties have experienced increasing financial stress. While Butte County is perhaps the most visible example of recent county financial troubles, our analysis indicates that the problem is inherent to the existing arrangement of state and county responsibilities and affects all counties to greater or lesser extent. The existing county-state partnership suffers from a variety of structural problems—such as program fragmentation, counter-productive fiscal incentives, and the inappropriate division of responsibilities—that both diminish the effectiveness of these programs and reduce the financial viability of county governments
May 1, 1990 - In 1989 the Legislature enacted legislation (58 726, L. Greene) to continue the state low-income housing tax credit program as long as a related federal program exists. That legislation also requires the Legislative Analyst's Office to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. This policy brief provides the evaluation, and makes recommendations for changes to improve the program's effectiveness.
March 1, 1990 - In January 1990, the Governor announced a $2 billion home loan initiative to increase home ownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers. In March, two legislative measures were introduced to establish part of the program. In the following analysis we describe the Governor’s proposal, identify the likely beneficiaries, discuss its fiscal effects, and identify the policy choices which this proposal presents to the Legislature.
February 21, 1990 - In this piece, we examine county fiscal capacity—the ability of counties to respond to these needs. First, we describe the county-state relationship and discuss our framework for identifying variations in county fiscal capacity. Second, we provide our findings regarding the fiscal capacity of counties, and discuss some of the counties which rate below average in this regard. Third, we identify the primary factors that contribute to low fiscal capacity. Finally, we offer several alternatives that the Legislature may wish to use to improve the fiscal capacity of California's counties.
January 1, 1990 - The purpose of this report is to provide the Legislature with an overview of housing in California, including information that will assist it in making decisions that will affect the future performance of the state's housing market and thus the economy generally.
December 1, 1989 - The purpose of this policy brief is to provide the Legislature with a context for considering proposals to address Butte County's fiscal problems. The analysis is based on a review of Butte County's past financial transactions and its 1989-90 final budget. Our intent is to explain the basic fiscal trends underlying Butte's current condition, not to evaluate management of the county or past policy decisions made by county officials.