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July 1, 2021 - Chapter 837 of 2019 (SB 34, Wiener) established new tax exemptions for donations of medicinal cannabis. The law directs our office to submit an annual report containing data on three outcomes related to the exemptions: the number of medicinal cannabis patients served, the amount of medicinal cannabis products donated, and the amount of tax revenue lost. This report fulfills that statutory requirement for 2020.
May 18, 2021 - This handout lists the Governor's workforce proposals, provides a high-level assessment of those proposals, and offers guidance were the Legislature to want to increase spending in this area.
April 13, 2021 - The federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) that passed on March 11 expanded a number of federal income tax credits. This piece will briefly describe the changes to three credits that apply to many lower-income and middle-income filers: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit (“child care credit”). We also discuss changes to the dependent care exclusion which is linked to the child care credit.
February 1, 2021 - In this report, we offer the Legislature guidance on how to evaluate fiscal stimulus proposals. We pose six key questions to ask when assessing specific proposals and provide specific elements that can be incorporated into proposals to increase their potential effectiveness.
January 28, 2021 - The Governor’s budget proposes several changes to taxation to support businesses. Two key factors for evaluating these proposals are: (1) which level of government would forgo revenue; and (2) which businesses would receive assistance. Based on these criteria and others, we recommend that the Legislature prioritize expansion of the Main Street credit, explore alternative structures for an elective S Corporation tax, and reject the proposed one-time expansions of the CAEATFA exclusion and California Competes.
January 22, 2021 - This handout provides an overview of the Governor's budget proposal to provide a one-time $600 refund to certain low-income workers, evaluates the Governor's proposal, and provides a more targeted alternative for the Legislature to consider.
January 22, 2021 - This handout assesses the Governor's proposal to expand a recently created small business grants program by $575 million.
October 5, 2020 - The 2020‑21 budget package included several tax policy changes. Overall, the budget package assumes these changes will result in a net revenue increase of about $4 billion in 2020‑21. Starting in 2023‑24, the net effect of these changes are expected to reduce revenues below what they otherwise would have been.
August 31, 2020 - Provides an update on California’s cash management situation, including recent developments in spring 2020 and the outlook for 2020-21.
June 4, 2020 - Assembly Committee on Local Government and Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation
May 20, 2020 - The May Revision includes a number of revenue-related proposals. This post describes these proposals and offers our initial comments and recommendations. We also offer alternative revenue options that the Legislature could consider.
March 30, 2020 - California Competes is an economic development tax incentive program that allows the administration to negotiate tax credit agreements with individual companies that agree to meet multiyear hiring and investment targets. In this report we provide background information about the California Competes program and the changes that the Legislature made in 2018. Next, we describe the effects of these changes on the program in 2018‑19, the first year of their implementation. We then assess how the changes have affected the administration of the California Competes program and consider whether it is more or less effective than before. Lastly, looking forward, we suggest working to find ways to expand the pool of qualified applicants and advise the Legislature to continue its oversight of the program.
March 23, 2020 - In this budget analysis brief, we provide background information on the current tax expenditure and assess the merits of the administration’s proposal to expand it. We conclude that the Legislature should reject the Governor’s proposal. We further suggest the Legislature reconsider the current exemption.
March 20, 2020 - The Governor’s 2020-21 budget includes proposals related to CDTFA’s administration of cannabis taxes, tobacco taxes, and fuel taxes. In this post, we discuss some budget reductions included in the cannabis and tobacco proposals, and we assess the adequacy of the fuel tax proposal.
February 24, 2020 - In this report, we discuss issues for the Legislature to consider as it decides whether to change the state’s approach to taxing e‑cigarettes. We find that a tax based on nicotine content has some advantages. We also suggest that the Legislature consider a wide range of possible tax rates. Once the Legislature has chosen a rate, we recommend indexing the rate to inflation and revisiting it frequently to assess whether further adjustments are warranted. If the Legislature chooses to enact a new tax on e‑cigarettes, we recommend that it take an approach to revenue allocation that prioritizes flexibility.