Small-issue IDBs--tax policy in search of a focus
An examination of the history of small-issue industrial development bonds, with an analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of this financing method.
Saving costs through regional consolidation: public safety answering points in Massachusetts
As local governments seek to address growing financial challenges, many will consider a variety of cost-cutting measures, including joint service provision with other localities. This policy brief examines the potential savings from large-scale service-sharing arrangements, using the specific example of emergency call handling and dispatch in Massachusetts. The analysis finds that consolidation can significantly reduce costs, and recommends that state policymakers consider options to encourage local consolidation. ; This policy brief builds on the Center?s 2013 research report, ?The Quest for ...
Can local governments give citizens what they want? Referendum outcomes in Massachusetts
Economists and political scientists have long debated the nature of the process that determines government taxation and service levels in a democracy. During the 1980s, the role of referenda in determining city and town property taxes, and hence local spending, increased dramatically in Massachusetts. This article uses recent Massachusetts experience to examine the degree to which citizens "get what they want" from the local public sector and what it is they seem to want. ; The passage of Proposition 21/2 in November 1980 signalled both a shift in statewide voter sentiment against local ...
Community development financial institutions: promoting economic growth and opportunity
a speech at the Opportunity Finance Network?s Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
State-local business taxation and the benefits principle
This article advances the proposition that general business taxation should be structured to recover the costs of public services rendered to the business community. Estimates of one possible form of such a tax structure are offered for states of the Seventh District and for other U.S. regions.
Public investment and budget rules for state vs. local governments
Across different layers of the U.S. government there are surprisingly large differences in institutional provisions that impose fiscal discipline, such as constitutionally mandated deficit or debt limits, or specific tax bases. In this paper we develop a framework that can be used to quantitatively assess their costs and benefits. The model features both endogenous and exogenous mobility across jurisdictions, so we can evaluate whether the different degree of mobility at the local vs. national level can justify different institutional restrictions. In preliminary results, we show that pure ...