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Evaluating State Economic Stimulus Proposals


Report

A Framework for Evaluating State-Level Green Stimulus Proposals

January 5, 2021 - This report is intended to provide guidance for the Legislature on how to evaluate the merits of state-funded green stimulus proposals. When reviewing such proposals, the Legislature faces two basic questions to evaluate whether they are worth pursuing: (1) what effects is the proposal likely to have on certain short-term economic conditions, such as employment and economic output; and (2) what short- and long-term environmental benefits could the proposal achieve?

Report

Review of the California Competes Tax Credit

October 31, 2017 - California Competes awards income tax credits to attract or retain businesses considering a significant new investment in California. In this report, we reviewed California Competes’ experience to date in meeting the Legislature’s goals for the program.

Handout

[PDF] The Governor's Tax Proposal

March 1, 1995 - The 1995-96 Governor's Budget proposes a 15 percent across-the-board income tax cut for both corporations and individuals, along with maintaining the high-income tax rates scheduled to sunset in 1996. The plan's stated purpose is to reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses in California so as to stimulate business location and expansion in the state, thereby improving the economy.

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Cap-and-Trade Revenues: Strategies to Promote Legislative Priorities

January 21, 2016 - In this report, we describe and assess the relationship—from both a legal and policy perspective—between the cap–and–trade regulation and the auction revenues that are generated as a result of the program.

Letter

AB32: Analysis of the Net Impact On California Jobs

March 4, 2010 - This responds to Senator Cogdill's request for an analysis of the net impact on jobs in California that would occur as a result of the implementation of AB 32 (Núñez), the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006. In our response, we briefly summarize the basic provisions of AB 32 and its planned implementation through the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) Scoping Plan (SP), discuss the avenues by which the SP would potentially affect California jobs, and present the jobs-related effects of the SP as estimated by CARB. We then comment on CARB’s analysis and offer our own view about how the SP might affect jobs.

Report

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.

Handout

[PDF] AB32: Letter to Assembly Member Dan Logue Regarding Evaluation of the ARB's Updated Economic Analysis

June 16, 2010 - This responds to Assembly Member Logue's request that we provide an evaluation of the updated economic analysis prepared by the California Air Resources Board of its Scoping Plan for implementing AB 32 (Núñez).

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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.

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Assessing California’s Climate Policies—Transportation

December 21, 2018 - Chapter 135 of 2017 (AB 398, E. Garcia) requires our office to annually report on the economic impacts and benefits of California’s statutory greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals—statewide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. This report provides our assessment of the effects, of major policies in the transportation sector intended to help meet these goals, as well as identifies some key issues for the Legislature to consider as it makes future policy and budget decisions. In a companion report, Assessing California’s Climate Policies—An Overview, we describe the general types of economic effects of state climate policies, key challenges in measuring these effects, and broad issues for the Legislature to consider when designing and evaluating its climate policies.

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Overview of the 2009-10 May Revision

May 21, 2009 - The Governor's estimate of a new $21 billion budget problem is reasonable. The May Revision proposals include major spending reductions and serious efforts for long–term state efficiencies and savings. By acting quickly and reducing reliance on some of the Governor’s riskiest proposals--such as financing $5.5 billion of the deficit by issuing revenue anticipation warrants--the Legislature can return the budget to balance, prevent another state cash crunch, and preserve core funding for what it deems to be California’s long–term priorities. To accomplish these goals, the Legislature now needs to cut lower–priority programs substantially or eliminate them. To address significant budget deficits forecast in future years, the Legislature also needs to begin work this year on measures that further improve the efficiency of state services for 2010–11 and beyond. (Note: the Appendix in the HTML version was corrected as of 2:30 p.m. on May 21, 2009.)

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Overview of the 2008 Special Session Proposals

November 10, 2008 - We concur with the administration’s assessment that the state’s struggling economy signals a major reduction in expected revenues. Combined with rising state expenses, we project that the state will need $27.8 billion in budget solutions over the next 20 months. The state’s revenue collapse is so dramatic and the underlying economic factors are so weak that we forecast huge budget shortfalls through 2013‑14 absent corrective action. From 2010‑11 through 2013‑14, we project annual shortfalls that are consistently in the range of $22 billion.

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The 2017-18 Budget: Cap-and-Trade

February 13, 2017 - In this report, we provide comments and recommendations related to the Governor’s proposal. We recommend the Legislature authorize cap-and-trade (or a carbon tax) beyond 2020. If the Legislature approves cap-and-trade, we recommend the Legislature strengthen the allowance price ceiling and provide clearer direction to ARB regarding the criteria that the board should use to determine whether a complementary policy should be adopted. We also recommend the Legislature approve cap-and-trade (or carbon tax) with a two-thirds vote because it would provide greater legal certainty and ensure ARB has the ability to design an effective program. With a two-thirds vote, we recommend the Legislature broaden the allowable uses of auction revenue because it would give the Legislature flexibility to use the funds on its highest priorities. When finalizing its 2017-18 cap-and-trade spending plan, we recommend the Legislature (1) reject the administration’s proposed language making spending contingent on future legislation, (2) consider alternative strategies for dealing with revenue uncertainty, and (3) allocate funds to specific programs rather than providing DOF that authority.