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Series:New England Public Policy Center Discussion Paper  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 

Discussion Paper
New Hampshire’s quest for a constitutionally adequate education
A September 8, 2006, ruling by the New Hampshire Supreme Court that the Granite State?s current education financing system is unconstitutional was the latest in a long string of court decisions, legislative responses, and subsequent court opinions that have made school funding one of the state?s most contentious issues. In its opinion, the Supreme Court gave New Hampshire lawmakers until July 2007 to define a constitutionally adequate education, implying that legislative failure could lead to a court-mandated system. This report summarizes how the issue of defining and funding an adequate public education reached this point in New Hampshire. It describes key legal findings and other background behind the string of court decisions defining a constitutional educational system. It examines major education funding bills proposed since the 1997 landmark Claremont ruling, assessing whether they would likely meet the state?s constitutional requirements.
AUTHORS: Olabisi, Oyebola
DATE: 2006

Discussion Paper
New England migration trends
Recent studies and reports have called attention to the issue of population migration patterns in New England. To provide more targeted and regional data on this issue, NEPPC has developed a series of findings and maps that, for the first time, present a comprehensive, county-by-county portrait of New England population movements. The maps were constructed using data from the Internal Revenue Service, which annually tracks changes in the number of tax exemptions at the county level.
AUTHORS: Agrawal, David
DATE: 2006

Discussion Paper
School finance in Vermont: balancing equal education and fair tax burdens
An education finance system that is constitutional under the Brigham ruling mandates sacrifices on the part of taxpayers for a public good?educated citizens. It remains to be seen if current proposals can make that sacrifice more palatable or ensure that those bearing the burden have the most stake in the outcomes of the system.
AUTHORS: Saas, Darcy Rollins
DATE: 2007

Discussion Paper
The potential economic impact of increasing the minimum wage in New Hampshire
This paper estimates the potential economic impact of New Hampshire?s new state minimum wage law on the state?s aggregate employment and wages. According to the analysis, the minimum wage increase would raise the wages of 26,000 workers in the state and would have a negative impact on employment ranging from 300 to 1,500 jobs, which is between 1 percent and 6 percent of workers directly affected by the law. On net, the combined impact of both stages of the increase would raise aggregate wages by approximately $17.4 million. The analysis here focuses on workers with hourly wages between $5.15 and $7.25 and does not examine the impact of the bill on tipped employees, whose new hourly wage rate will be set at 45 percent of the state minimum wage.
AUTHORS: Owens, Antoniya
DATE: 2007

Discussion Paper
Is New England experiencing a \\"brain drain\\"?: facts about demographic change and young professionals
Recent news articles and studies have generated concern among New England policy makers and others that the region?s supply of young, highly educated professionals is disappearing. The fear is that comparatively high housing and other costs may be driving away many within this highly mobile group. This paper explores trends in the stocks and flows of young professionals, defined as people 25 to 39 with at least a bachelor?s degree. The goal is to help policy makers better understand this important demographic story, giving them the facts about how various factors, including migration, are affecting the region?s supply of young, educated labor.
AUTHORS: Brome, Heather
DATE: 2007

Discussion Paper
Smart places, getting smarter: facts about the young professional population in New England states
Each of the New England states is wrestling with how to retain a skilled workforce and sustain economic competitiveness while facing an aging population. In particular, each state fears that it is losing young, educated workers to other states and regions. This paper builds on earlier research about trends in the region?s young professionals: it looks at the supply of young professionals in each state to better understand trends in that population. The analysis reveals that, while there are some differences between the New England states, all are facing slow growth or no growth in its population of young professionals.
AUTHORS: Brome, Heather
DATE: 2009

Discussion Paper
The housing bust and housing affordability in New England
This discussion paper updates the Center's 2006 housing affordability working paper, drawing on housing market data through 2008 to provide an in-depth analysis of housing affordability after the recent housing market bust. The paper looks at affordability in the New England states, their largest metropolitan areas, competitor metropolitan areas, and for the nation. The results show that as New England's housing prices have declined, affordability has been returning to the pre-housing crisis levels of the early 2000s. However, declining prices nationwide continue to make owner-occupied housing in most New England states less affordable than in the nation. At the same time more of the region's households are becoming cost-burdened, particularly low- and middle-income homeowners. In contrast, New England has maintained its advantage in rental affordability relative to the nation and renters in the region are far less likely than their national counterparts to face cost burdens.
AUTHORS: Clifford, Robert
DATE: 2010

Discussion Paper
The struggle for tax reform in Maine, 2003-2009
Tax reform has been among the most prominent topics of public policy discussion in Maine in recent history. The current tax system has been described as antiquated, imbalanced, burdensome, unfair, uncompetitive, archaic, and volatile. Over the 2003-2009 period, many reform proposals were advanced; and some reforms were enacted, including a significant restructuring of the income tax system in 2009. This paper lays out the issues motivating tax reform efforts in Maine, provides a historical review of the tax reform struggle as it has unfolded, and offers a descriptive summary of the major initiatives advanced or enacted. Considerable attention is paid to the 2009 tax reform package, in the context of understanding tax reform issues more broadly.
AUTHORS: Woodbury, Richard
DATE: 2009

Discussion Paper
State business tax incentives: examining evidence of their effectiveness
State governments commonly use business tax credits to promote economic development. Whether these incentives are successful at generating new economic activity - and whether they do so in a cost-effective manner - are important concerns, particularly in times of fiscal and economic stress. This paper explores the use and effectiveness of a selected group of incentives, namely tax credits geared toward capital investment, research and development, job creation, and film production. The paper examines the various credits offered by New England states and their structural features, and reviews and analyzes the available evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these types of incentives. The analysis reveals the challenges entailed in measuring the impact of business tax credits and the need for both analysts and policymakers to consider those challenges carefully when using existing studies to inform the tax credit debate.
AUTHORS: Weiner, Jennifer
DATE: 2009

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