Economy and Taxes Publications

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California’s First Film Tax Credit Program

September 29, 2016 -

In this report, as required by law, we evaluate the economic effects and the administration of the first film tax credit program passed in 2009. We find that about one–third of the film and television projects receiving incentives under this program would probably have been made in California anyway. We suspect that this level of “windfall benefits” to some credit recipients may be low compared to other tax credits, which would suggest that the first film tax credit program targeted the types of production vulnerable to being filmed outside the state relatively well.

Also see these four short videos that highlight findings from this report.


Common Claims About Proposition 13

September 19, 2016 -

Proposition 13 was a landmark decision by California’s voters in June 1978 to limit property taxes. Today, there are many questions about the impacts of these changes. This report examines some of these questions and which of them can be answered by the data available.

Also see the companion videos for this report.


Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Tax Credit

June 30, 2016 - This report is in response to Chapter 608 of 2013 (AB 32, J. Pérez), which requires our office to evaluate the effectiveness of the tax credits allowed for qualified investments in community development financial institutions (CDFIs), with a focus on employment in low-to-moderate income and rural areas, and on the benefits of these tax credits to low-to-moderate income and rural persons.


Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

June 29, 2016 - Presented to Assembly Budget Committee, Assembly Education Committee, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee


Cigarette Tax Initiative

June 14, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Health Committee Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee Senate Health Committee


Options for Modifying the State Child Care Tax Credit

April 7, 2016 - The Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit (“child care tax credit” or “credit”) is a provision of the state income tax code that allows filers with income below $100,000 to reduce their tax liability by a percentage of their eligible child care expenses. The 2015–16 Budget Act required our office to prepare a report providing options to extend the credit to low– and middle–income families not currently receiving child care subsidies. This report provides an analysis of the costs, benefits, and trade–offs associated with these options.


Background on the California EITC

March 29, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration


Perspectives on Legislative Oversight: Economic Development Activities

March 1, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy


Overview of State Homelessness Programs

February 25, 2016 - Presented to Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review


Proposition 39 (2012)

January 20, 2016 - Presented to: Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications.


Effects of Cigarette Taxes on Smoking Behavior

December 17, 2015 - Presented to: Conference Committee on SBX2 2 and ABX2 1, Second Extraordinary Session


Understanding California’s Sales Tax

May 6, 2015 - California’s state and local governments levy a tax on retail sales of tangible goods. This report begins with an overview of California’s sales and use tax. It then provides more detail about which transactions are subject to this tax, the variation in tax rates across the state, the distribution of revenue among state and local governments, and revenue growth over the last few decades.
(5/12/15: Correction made to expiry date of manufacturing equipment exemption.)
(5/12/15: Correction made to difference in sales tax for gasoline.)


The 2015-16 Budget: Cigarette Tax and Licensing Programs

April 22, 2015 - California imposes excise taxes on cigarettes and on other tobacco products such as cigars and chewing tobacco. The state also licenses tobacco sellers and distributors. Recently, there has been considerable legislative interest in the cost of these programs, which are administered by the State Board of Equalization (BOE). The Legislature faces two key decisions: (1) how to pay for BOE’s cigarette and tobacco programs, and (2) how much to spend on them. This report recommends that the state use excise tax revenue to pay for excise tax administration but not for the tobacco licensing program. To address the imbalance between the licensing program’s costs and revenue, we further recommend the Legislature (1) temporarily increase fees on tobacco retailers, wholesalers, and distributors, and (2) direct BOE and the California Department of Justice to explore options to reduce the program’s costs by promoting electronic filing of schedules and tax returns.


The 2015-16 Budget: Possible May Revision Scenarios

April 7, 2015 - This report provides a preview of possible budgetary outcomes that the state’s elected leaders may face while finalizing the 2015–16 budget package in May and June. We do not produce a new revenue or budget outlook in this report. Rather, we consider the key factors that will affect May estimates. In general, this report’s scenarios discuss revenues and spending relative to the administration’s January 2015 budget estimates.


Overview of Sharing Economy and Short-Term Rentals

March 18, 2015 - Prepared for: Committee on Local Government and Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee

Economy and Taxes Staff

Chas Alamo
(916) 319-8357
Personal Income Tax, Employment, and Labor Law
Ross Brown
(916) 319-8345
Property Taxes, Bonds, and the Economy
Ann Hollingshead
(916) 319-8305
State Budget and Federal Funding
Lourdes Morales
(916) 319-8320
Local Government, Housing, and Homelessness
Nick Schroeder
(916) 319-8314
Public Employment, CalPERS, Elections, Veterans Affairs
Bidusha Mudbhari
(916) 319-8363
Corporation Tax and Economic Development
Brian Uhler
(916) 319-8328
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Economy, Taxes, and Labor
Seth Kerstein
(916) 319-8365
Sales and Excise Taxes and Demographics