Red ink in the rearview mirror: local fiscal conditions and the issuance of traffic tickets
Municipalities have revenue motives for enforcing traffic laws in addition to public safety motives because many traffic offenses are punished via fines and the issuing municipality often retains the revenue. Anecdotal evidence supports this revenue motive. We empirically test this revenue motive using panel data on North Carolina counties. We find that significantly more tickets are issued in the year following a decline in revenue, but the issuance of traffic tickets does not decline in years following revenue increases. Our results suggest that tickets are used as a revenue generation tool ...
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 ...
After the fiscal gold rush
Persistent budget shortfalls have created subtle spending shifts and a kitchen-sink mentality to close budget gaps without cutting services
Government budgets and property values
Lori L. Taylor debunks several popular beliefs as she examines how property values relate to taxes, government services, and government debt. She finds that, contrary to popular belief, property values do not necessarily decrease when local governments increase taxes to pay for services. Her analysis reveals that taxpayers value all types of government services, including transfer payments such as welfare and health services. Taylor's work also suggests that people do not automatically prefer deficit spending to tax increases.
Revenue implications of New York City's tax system
A study of New York City's tax system finds that over the past three decades, the system has become less reliant on property and general sales taxes and more dependent on corporate and personal income taxes. This shift has made the city's tax revenues less stable than the revenues of the 1970s and more sensitive to cyclical swings.