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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
May 12, 2022 - In response to increasing prices across the economy—particularly fuel prices—the Legislature is contemplating a number of policies for providing fiscal relief to Californians. In this post, we identify key questions for the Legislature to consider when analyzing the merits of the options proposed by the Governor and in designing its own relief package.
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.
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.
December 10, 2008 - As part of his 2008–09 special session package, the Governor proposed to speed up construction of $822 million in planned state transportation projects. We believe that the concept of accelerating transportation projects has merit. We offer an alternative approach that we believe would provide greater benefits with a similar amount of funding. Specifically, we recommend the use of revenue bonds backed by future gas tax revenues to accelerate 122 highway rehabilitation projects. These projects would be ready for construction in 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11, but are not scheduled for construction until later years, due to limited funding. Our bond proposal would require voter approval. Accordingly, we recommend the Legislature place a measure on the next ballot to seek voter approval to issue $800 million in gas tax revenue bonds to fund these projects.
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).
January 10, 2021 - This report provides a brief summary and initial assessment of the proposed 2021-22 Governor’s Budget.
Correction 1/11/21: Totals for immediate and early action proposals have been corrected.