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December 1, 1987 - In this report, we describe the perceived problems that led to the enactment of Chapter 1728, and attempt to assess the underlying causes of those problems. Second, we examine whether it would be feasible to exempt new products from taxation, and whether such an exemption would improve the current administration of the sales and use tax. Finally, we analyze the feasibility and costeffectiveness of collecting information concerning specific taxpayer transactions, and the best means of protecting the confidentiality of such information.
February 1, 1987 - (280 Pages, 13MB) The Governor's Budget for 1987-88 reflects an anticipated temporary slowdown in the California economy. Projected revenues will not be sufficient to both fund the current level of services and restore the reserve to a $1 billion level. Faced with this choice, the budget gives its highest priority to the restoration of the reserve. Even though state revenues are projected to decline in "real" terms, the state's constitutional limit on appropriations could further restrain the state's ability to maintain the level of services provided to its citizens. Here, we provide a brief overview of the state's fiscal condition in 1986 and 1987, discuss the state's budget prospects beyond the upcoming year, and examine revenues and expenditures in detail.
February 1, 1987 - Conformity to the Federal Tax Reform Act
February 1, 1986 - (235 pages, 10.5 MB) Reflecting both the continuing expansion of the California economy as well as the need to provide for less-certain times, the Governor's Budget for 1986-87 provides for expansions in state services and employees to provide those services, and restores the state's "rainy day" fund. While the level of General Fund revenues is 4.1 percent higher than the level estimated for the current year, the level of General Fund expenditures proposed in the budget is only 1.1 percent higher than the level estimated for the current year. This is because (1) a substantial portion of the projected revenue growth must be used simply to fund current expenditures, and (2) the budget proposes to increase the balance in the state's reserve fund. Even without these checks on expenditure growth, however, the state's ability to expend funds at a rate comparable to the growth in revenues would be limited in 1986-87 by the state's constitutional limitation on appropriations. Here, we discuss the state's fiscal condition in 1985 and 1986, explain the state's budgetary prospects beyond the upcoming year, and provide a more detailed examination of revenues and expenditures.
December 1, 1985 - Assembly Bill 2893 required the Legislative Analyst's office to submit to the Legislature a report on alternative energy equipment investments in California. This report must evaluate the measure's effects on both state revenues and taxpayers, determine the conditions under which the investment incentive of rapid amortization is maximized, and provide data on the number and kind of alternative energy equipment facilities that have been established in California.
May 1, 1985 - Chapter 906, Statutes of 1980 (SB 1687), established a special state tax credit to encourage the installation of solar-powered irrigation pumping systems. This report has been prepared in response to the requirement set forth in Chapter 906. The report (1) describes solar-powered irrigation pumps; (2) summarizes existing state and federal tax provisions aimed at encouraging their installation; (3) analyzes the basic economics and cost-effectiveness of these systems, and (4) discusses both the costs to the state and the statewide benefits resulting from the tax credit.
February 1, 1985 - (189 Pages, 9 MB) Due to the continued expansion of the California economy, the Governor has been able to present the Legislature with a budget for 1985-86 that provides for both significant expansions in state-funded services and a healthy reserve for contingencies. In terms of purchasing power, the level of General Fund revenues projected for 1985-86 is 1.3 percent higher than the level of revenues estimated for the current year. Because a substantial portion of these revenues will not have to be used to replenish the reserve, as was necessary in the current year, expenditures can grow by even more—almost 3.9 percent. Thus, the short-term outlook for the state's General Fund is reasonably bright. Here, we provide a brief overview of the state's fiscal condition in 1984 and 1985, discuss the state's budgetary prospects beyond the upcoming fiscal year, and provide a more detailed discussion of revenues and expenditures.
February 1, 1985 - As a result of questions raised by state agencies and legislative staff regarding the administration of the insurance tax, the Legislature enacted Ch 994/80. That measure requires the Legislative Analyst to review the present administrative arrangement and recommend revisions to existing law and procedures. This report was prepared in response to the requirement contained in Chapter 994. Chapter I of the report provides the reader with a description of the insurance tax and how it is applied. Chapter II describes the mechanisms for administering the tax that are now in place. Chapter III seeks to answer the question of whether the audit program, as currently structured, maximizes insurance tax revenue collections. Chapter IV presents our recommendations for legislative action that would address the system's shortcomings.
December 5, 1984 - The Legislative Analyst's Office was asked to present testimony to the Senate and Assembly Committees on Governmental Organization regarding the states parimutuel horse racing tax. This report covers 4 topics.
September 25, 1984 - Testimony Before the Senate Governmental Organization Committee and the Joint Committee on the State's Economy.
September 1, 1984 - The construction and maintenance of California's highway system is financed primarily with tax revenues from two sources: (I) federal and state taxes assessed on the sale of gasoline and diesel fuel, and (2)weight fees imposed on commercial vehicles weighing more than 2,000 pounds.
February 1, 1984 - (245 pages, 12 MB) For the first time in three years, the Legislature's budget choices are not limited to raising taxes or cutting into the base level of expenditures. Sufficient funds will be available in 1984-85 to maintain, and even expand, the existing level of services provided to the people of California. In terms of real purchasing power, the level of General Fund revenues projected for 1984-85 is 4.0 percent higher than the level of revenues estimated for the current year. Here we provide a brief overview of the state's fiscal condition during the current and budget years, estimate what it would cost to maintain the existing level of services provided by the state in 1984-85, take a brief look at the long-term fiscal outlook for the state, and provide a more detailed discussion of revenues and expenditures.
October 21, 1983 - Transcript of the introduction and observations of a panel discussion led by Legislative Analyst Bill Hamm on federal retrenchment and state management. Bill includes four observations as follows. (1) The states' management of the retrenchment process—particularly in terms of the transition from categoricals to block grants—has been a solid success. (2) The relationship between federal and state tax policies is not what many of us were led to believe. (3) Faced with the inevitability of federal retrenchment, state governments have done a poor job of articulating what's really important to them and what isn't. (4) More and more, state management of federal, as well as state, money is being limited by the courts.
February 1, 1983 - (219 Pages, 75 MB) For the third year in a row, the Legislature faces a budget that does not contain sufficient funds to maintain the existing level of services provided to the people of California. If the budget estimates turn out to be accurate, 1983-84 will be the first year since 1977-78 in which state revenues exceed state expenditures. Whether, in fact, these estimates do prove to be accurate will depend largely on three factors: (1) the performance of the state's economy; (2) policy decisions made by the Legislature, and (3) decisions handed down by the courts. Estimated expenditures in 1982-83 are $1.5 billion greater than estimated resources available in the current year. Thus, unless actions are taken by the Legislature prior to June 30, 1983, or the economy (and hence revenues) performs better than anticipated, the state will end 1983 with a deficit of approximately $1.6 billion.
February 1, 1982 - (136 pages, 8 MB) For the second year in a row, the Legislature faces a budget that does not contain sufficient funds to maintain the existing levels of service. In terms of real purchasing power, the Governor's Budget for 1982-83 is 3.5 percent lower than the budget for the current year. The General Fund portion of the Governor's Budget will be in balance only if several critical assumptions underlying the budget are borne out. These assumptions include: the state's economy will improve by rnid-1982; the Legislature will approve total revenue package of nearly $1 billion; at the June 1982 primary election, the voters will approve the bond measure for state prison construction, .and disapprove initiatives relating to income tax indexing and inheritance and gift taxes. If these and other assumptions are not borne out, the General Fund will end the year with a deficit, even if there is no carry-over deficit remaining. Here, we provide a perspective on the state's current fiscal situation, including options for addressing the deficit in the General Fund Budget for 1982-83, provide a perspective on the budget issues that the Legislature faces in 1983-84, and discuss major issues that have been identified in our review of the state's current fiscal condition and the Governor's Budget for 1983-84.