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The 2019-20 Budget: Increasing Compliance With Unclaimed Property Law


[PDF] Unclaimed Property: Rethinking the State’s Lost & Found Program

February 10, 2015 - California law has long required banks, insurance companies, and many other types of entities to transfer to the State Controller’s Office (SCO) personal property considered abandoned by owners. The SCO has made important strides in reuniting this "unclaimed property" with owners recently, but faces budgetary and statutory constraints in reuniting even more such property. Since the 1950s, the state has accumulated over $7 billion in unclaimed property belonging to individuals, businesses, and local governments. Because property not reunited with owners becomes state General Fund revenue, the unclaimed property law creates an incentive for the state to reunite less property with owners. We recommend performance measures, or targets, for the unclaimed property program that place a greater emphasis on reuniting more property with owners and offer 19 options for meeting that goal.


The 2017-18 Budget: The State Controller’s Office Unclaimed Property Program

February 24, 2017 - In this analysis, we discuss our finding and recommendations regarding the Governor's proposal for the State Controller's Office Unclaimed Property program.


Abusive Tax Shelters: Impact of Recent California Legislation

January 27, 2006 - In recent years, the prevalence of illegal or “abusive” tax shelters (ATS) has increased dramatically. These ATS transactions have resulted in very substantial revenue losses in California. Despite the success of an amnesty program (known as the voluntary compliance initiative program), the problems posed by ATSs have not been fully resolved. In fact, it is likely that ATSs will continue to pose tax-related policy issues for the state. Given this, it will be important that the Legislature stay on top of the ATS situation. As one approach to accomplishing this, it may want to periodically review FTB’s ATS-related activities, including how well it is allocating its budgeted resources to get the best return on ATS activities and informing the Legislature about programmatic changes that will help address the ATS problem. (Prepared in accordance with Chapter 654, Statutes of 2003 (AB 1601, Frommer), and Chapter 656, Statutes of 2003 (SB 614, Cedillo).)


Addressing California's Key Liabilities

May 7, 2014 - This report categorizes and provides information about $340 billion in California's key retirement, infrastructure, and budgetary liabilities. In addition, this report provides a framework for the Legislature to consider in prioritizing repayment of these liabilities and makes recommendations on which liabilities to pay down first and how the state could address such costs in the future. In general, we suggest that the Legislature prioritize actions to pay down those liabilities (1) with relatively high interest rates or (2) that result in benefits for groups or entities other than the state government. Due to its massive unfunded liability and relatively high growth rate, we recommend that the Legislature make a full funding plan for the California State Teachers' Retirement System a top priority in addressing the state's key liabilities.


[PDF] California's Tax Gap

March 1, 2005 - Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.


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.


Perspectives on State Revenues 2006-07

February 22, 2006 - The state budget continues to benefit from healthy revenue growth. After climbing by over 8 percent in 2004‑05, the 2006‑07 Governor’s Budget assumes that revenues from the state’s major taxes will increase further by 6.2 percent in 2005‑06 and 5.7 percent in 2006‑07. The administration’s current forecast is up substantially from the estimates included in the 2005‑06 Budget Act. It is also up significantly from our office’s prior forecast presented in November 2005. In addition, for the current year and budget year combined, our revised General Fund estimates are higher than the administration’s by roughly $2.3 billion.


The 2019-20 Budget: Tax Conformity

March 6, 2019 - The 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant changes to federal tax laws. Generally, the federal tax changes reduced tax rates and broadened the tax base (what is subject to tax). Because the state’s income tax laws closely refer to large portions of federal law, many of those changes created new differences between federal and state taxes. State law currently does not adopt—or conform to—any of the federal changes made in 2017. This report assesses the arguments for and against conforming to ten of those major changes. (Five of these conformity provisions are included in the Governor's proposal.)