Fiscal amenities, school finance reform and the supply side of the Tiebout market
This study asks if local governments which provide a high level of public services per tax dollar attract housing capital. The first portion of the paper examines large shifts in property tax burdens induced by an unusual school finance reform in the state of New Hampshire. The estimates suggest that, in most of the state, communities with a reduced tax burden experience a large increase in residential construction. In the area of the state near the region's primary urban center (Boston), however, the shock clears through a price adjustment--i.e. by capitalizing into property values. The ...
Capital outlays and security offerings
Effects of welfare reform on Western States
Do state and local taxes affect relative state growth?
The South has seen a remarkable economic rise during the past three decades. Was this growth a result of automatic forces or was it fueled by state and local tax policies? Traditional economic theory suggests that forces of convergence, not tax policies, have moved the southern states toward catching up with the rest of the nation. But more recent economic models recognize that convergence and low tax rates may not be mutually exclusive explanations for the South's stronger growth. ; This article presents an overview of relative state growth and relative state and local taxation from 1960 to ...
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 ...
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.
Do public pension obligations affect state funding costs?
States? unfunded pension obligations to their current and retired employees have exploded in recent years to levels that are estimated to be between $750 billion and $4.4 trillion. In theory, this massive debt should have implications for states? ability to meet their financial obligations and a measurable impact on funding costs. Yet, we find no evidence that municipal bond markets are pricing the risks to states? fiscal health arising from these large obligations.
A bureaucratic theory of flypaper effects
An analysis of two competing theories, the median voter model and the bureaucratic model, as they relate to how noncategorical grants to communities are spent.
Reading the fine print: how details matter in tax and expenditure limitations
At least 30 states, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, operate under ?tax and expenditure limitations? (TELs): formula-based budgeting requirements that apply specific limits to expenditures, appropriations, or revenue collections by state or local government. More than a dozen states considered TELs in 2006. Legislation proposing a new TEL to further limit General Fund appropriations in Rhode Island was introduced; Maine citizens will vote on a more restrictive TEL this November. ; Several factors, including a desire for lower taxes and a belief that additional ...
The quest for cost-efficient local government in New England: what role for regional consolidation?
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many local governments have experienced significant financial strain. Local governments? financial challenges are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, as federal deficit-reducing measures trigger cuts in state and local aid and as all levels of government struggle to fund their medical and retirement obligations. In an effort to maintain service provision without significant tax increases, many cities and towns will be forced to consider a variety of cost-cutting measures, including joint service provision with other localities. ; This ...