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March 13, 2014 - This letter responds to a request concerning California corporate tax trends, as discussed in the January 23, 2014 meeting of the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. In nominal terms, the state's corporation tax has tended to grow over time, but it is a volatile tax. Moreover, since the mid-1980s, various legislative actions have reduced revenues this tax produces for the state General Fund.
August 5, 2013 - The sales and use tax is the state’s second largest revenue source as well as a major funding source for cities, counties, and some special districts. Historically, consumers have spent about the same share of their income each year on taxable items, meaning that sales taxes generally kept pace with growth in the state's economy. Starting in 1980, however, California consumers began to spend a growing share of their income each year on nontaxable items, especially services, and a declining share of their income on taxable goods. Although total consumer spending kept pace with the state’s economy, this shift in spending caused growth in taxable sales to lag behind growth in the state’s economy. Correspondingly, total sales tax revenues for the state and local governments have grown somewhat slower than the state's economy since 1980, despite periodic increases in the tax rate.
June 4, 2013 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee
May 9, 2013 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government
April 5, 2013 - Presented to Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee
March 18, 2013 - Presented to Assembly Revenue and Taxation, and Housing and Community Development Committees
January 28, 2013 - Presented to the California Senate
November 29, 2012 - Property taxes and charges are a major source of revenue for thousands of local governments in California, generating more than $55 billion in revenue in 2010-11. At the same time, many elements of California's property tax system are complex and not well understood. The purpose of this report is to serve as an introductory reference to this key funding source. In the report, we answer some common questions about the state's property taxes, such as: what taxes and charges are on the property tax bill, what properties make up California's tax base, which local local governments receive property tax revenue, and how does the property tax affect the state budget. We also identify some policy concerns related to how property tax revenue is distributed among local governments and evaluate the property tax system relative to common tax policy criteria.
August 8, 2012 - Presented to Senate Governance and Finance Committee, Hon. Lois Wolk, Chair
June 21, 2012 - Letter to Hon. Lois Wolk, Chair of Senate Governance and Finance Committee, providing an evaluation of the February 2012 report, "Economic and Production Impacts of the 2009 California Film and Television Tax Credit."
April 11, 2012 - Presented to San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
March 12, 2012 - Presented to Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, Hon. Henry T. Perea, Chair
November 16, 2011 - We forecast that General Fund revenues and transfers in 2011-12 will be $3.7 billion below the level assumed in the June budget package. Such a shortfall could result in $2 billion of “trigger cuts” to various programs—including all of the “Tier 1” trigger cuts and three-fourths of the “Tier 2” cuts. (The Director of Finance will determine the actual amount of such cuts next month.) In 2011-12, we project that the state will have a $3 billion deficit, including the effects of these trigger cuts. In 2012-13, the state will face higher costs due to expiration of a number of temporary budget measures, an increase in Proposition 98 school costs under current law, the repayment of its Proposition 1A property tax loan, and other factors. We project a $10 billion operating shortfall (the difference between annual revenues and expenditures) in 2012-13. The $3 billion “carry-in” deficit from 2011-12 and the projected $10 billion operating shortfall mean that the Legislature and the Governor will need to address a $13 billion budget problem between now and the time that the state adopts a 2012-13 budget plan.
April 14, 2011 - This letter is a statutorily-required analysis of the community development financial institution (CDFI) tax credit programs.