Back to the Report

More publications like . . .

The 2019-20 Budget: Tax Conformity


The 2020-21 May Revision: Revenue Proposals in the 2020-21 May Revision

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.


The 2019-20 Budget: California Spending Plan—Conformity

October 17, 2019 - This post describes the 2019-20 budget actions changing state individual and business tax provisions (partial tax conformity).


The 2021-22 Budget: Business Tax Incentives

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.


The 2018-19 Budget: Overview of the Governor's Budget

January 12, 2018 - This publication is our office’s initial response to the Governor’s 2018-19 budget. In the proposed plan, the Governor places a high priority on building reserves, proposing a total reserve balance of nearly $16 billion. We believe the Governor’s continued focus on building more reserves is prudent in light of economic and federal budget uncertainty. In addition to building reserves, the Governor’s proposed budget allocates sizeable funding increases available within the constitutionally required guarantee for schools and community colleges and supports a variety of new infrastructure projects. This report also discusses how new federal tax changes may affect state revenues and reasons why we believe there could be more resources available in May.


The 2020-21 Budget: Initial Comments on the Governor’s May Revision

May 17, 2020 - On May 14, 2020, Governor Newsom presented a revised state budget proposal to the Legislature. In this post, we provide an overview of the overall budget condition under the May Revision estimates and proposals; the major actions the Governor took to close an estimated $54 billion budget gap; and give our initial comments on this budget package.


[PDF] California Tax Policy and Biotechnology

February 6, 2004 - Presented to the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology


[PDF] Tax Expenditures and Revenue Options

April 7, 2008 - Presented to: Assembly Revenue and Taxation committee


The 2020-21 Budget: Expanding the Minimum Franchise Tax Exemption

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.


[PDF] Tax Expenditures

February 22, 2012 - Presented to the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review and Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committees


Assessing Recent Changes to California Competes

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.


Tax Expenditure Reviews

November 16, 2007 - Tax expenditure programs (TEPs) are features of the tax code—including credits, deductions, exclusions, and exemptions—that enable a targeted set of taxpayers to reduce their taxes relative to what they would pay under a “basic” tax-law structure. The state’s TEPs number in the hundreds and are valued in the tens of billions of dollars annually, and are used mostly to encourage certain types of behavior or provide financial assistance to taxpayers. This report provides information on newly enacted TEPs and reviews selected existing TEPs as to their effectiveness and efficiency. One of these is the mortgage interest deduction, valued at about $5 billion yearly. This program is found to be an inefficient means of promoting home ownership, and options are offered for improving it, including capping the deduction amount or replacing it with a targeted tax credit.


The 2019-20 Budget: Analysis of Proposed Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion

March 6, 2019 - The state adopted an EITC in 2015 and expanded it in 2017 and 2018. The Governor proposes another expansion starting in 2019 that would (1) extend the income eligibility range to $30,000, (2) increase the credit amount for workers with dependents under age six, and (3) increase the credit amount for workers with earnings at the higher end of the current eligibility range. This report evaluates the Governor’s proposal, discusses potential alternative approaches, and examines implementation issues and options for providing credits on a monthly basis.


The Governor's Corporate Tax Reduction Proposal

February 19, 1997 - The Governor's Corporate Tax Reduction Proposal


[PDF] Perspectives on State Revenues 1994-95

February 23, 1994 - General Fund revenues are expected to support 73 percent of the proposed $55.6 billion total 1994-95 spending plan. This is a decline from the 78 percent share these revenues represented in fiscal year 1992-93, in part due to the continuing slow growth of General Fund revenues relative to special fund revenues, but primarily because of past and proposed shifts of revenues from the General Fund to special fund accounts.


[PDF] Letter to Honorable Mark Leno on Corporation Tax Trends

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.