Eminent Domain: The Debate Distracts from Pressing Problems (Research Report)
Richmond, CA, has taken steps to become the first city in the nation to vote to use its powers of eminent domain to seize underwater loans and, the city argues, prevent foreclosures and neighborhood blight. We look at several cities that have considered this controversial strategy, evaluating what they have in common, and whether the plan, as proposed, will address the problems they face.
State Economic Monitor: October 2013 (Series/State Economic Monitor)
|Posted to Web: October 24, 2013||Publication Date: October 24, 2013|
The latest edition of the Tax Policy Center's State and Local Finance Initiative's State Economic Monitor finds that revenue growth is accelerating in most states but many jurisdictions faced strong economic headwinds going into the recent partial government shutdown and potential default. In several states, a decline in public sector jobs was boosting unemployment even before the partial shutdown. The Monitor reviews the health of various aspects of state economies, including employment, housing, state finances, and economic growth.
Who Benefits from Tax-Exempt Bonds?: An Application of the Theory of Tax Incidence (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: October 15, 2013||Publication Date: October 15, 2013|
This paper applies tax incidence theory to estimate the distributional effects of the exemption from federal income tax of interest on state and local bonds and the President's proposal to limit the benefit of the exemption to the 28 percent rate. When one accounts for the effects of changes in rates of return, the exemption still primarily benefits higher-income individuals, though less so than under the traditional approach that assigns all the benefit to holders of tax-exempt bonds. How states and localities respond to lower borrowing costs can either shift benefits to low-income households or increase the net benefit to high income households.
New Estimates of Tax Reform's Effect on Housing Prices (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: September 27, 2013||Publication Date: September 27, 2013|
The impact of tax reform on housing prices has traditionally been studied by examining the user cost of capital— the after-tax cost to the homeowner per unit of housing. This brief summarizes findings from a new “discrete period” approach which considers the time element of housing investment and accounts for one-time transaction costs, such as transfer taxes, settlement fees, and realtor commissions. Under this framework, tax reform yields much smaller estimated house price declines and some reforms are estimated to actually boost housing prices.
The Benefits of the Mortgage Interest and Property Tax Deductions (Article/Tax Facts)
|Posted to Web: September 13, 2013||Publication Date: September 13, 2013|
The benefits of itemized deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes vary by income and demographic characteristics. The two deductions increase after-tax income most for high-income families, particularly those with children, while low-income households hardly benefit at all. On average, homeowners in the highest quintile see a 1.4 percent rise in after-tax income, compared with just a 0.3 percent increase for those in the middle quintile and virtually no gain for those in the bottom two quintiles. Within each income quintile, families with children experience the largest income boost, while elderly households benefit the least.
The Justice Reinvestment Initiative: Experiences from the States (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: August 27, 2013||Publication Date: August 26, 2013|
This brief summarizes the efforts of states involved in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), a program designed to identify and implement cost-efficient, evidence-based criminal justice reforms. To do so, jurisdictions use data analysis to identify criminal justice population and cost drivers and then develop policy options to reduce those drivers. The 17 states that have adopted the JRI model are projected to save $3.3 billion over 10 years. States plan to reinvest a share of these savings into high-performing public safety strategies.
State Economic Monitor: Quarterly Appraisal of State Economic Conditions (Series/State Economic Monitor)
|Posted to Web: August 01, 2013||Publication Date: August 01, 2013|
The inaugural edition of the state economic monitor reviews the health of various aspects of state economies, including employment, housing, state finances, and economic growth. This monitor documents key economic conditions through June 2013 in all 50 states, and also serves as a valuable collection of various state-level economic data. One key finding in this monitor is the remarkable breath of the economic recovery, with all but six states showing gains over the past three months and past year in indices of economic activity.
State and Local Tax Deductions (Article/Tax Facts)
|Posted to Web: July 09, 2013||Publication Date: July 09, 2013|
Federal taxpayers choose between itemizing deductions and claiming the standard deduction. Itemizers can claim deductions for state and local income and property taxes paid. (Through 2013, taxpayers may deduct state and local sales taxes paid in lieu of income taxes.) In 2011, 46.6 million taxpayers claimed the deduction for state and local taxes paid, deducting almost $470 billion from their tax returns.
Medicaid Expansion Under the ACA: How States Analyze the Fiscal and Economic Trade-Offs (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: July 01, 2013||Publication Date: July 01, 2013|
In 2014, many states will expand Medicaid to cover their poor and near-poor residents, but others will not. As the final undecided states make up their minds, a new report shows that in 10 diverse states, very different approaches were taken to analyzing impacts. Those states that conducted comprehensive analyses found that Medicaid expansion will: (a) provide state savings and revenues that exceed increased costs, yielding net state budget gains and (b) result in increased employment because of the influx of federal dollars.
Social Impact Bonds: Testimony before the Committee of the Whole Council of the District of Columbia (Testimony)
|Posted to Web: June 13, 2013||Publication Date: June 13, 2013|
Social impact bonds (SIBs) inject private-sector capital into public-sector activities for improved outcomes and innovation. Private investors fund interventions that are uncomfortably risky or expensive for the public sector. If established performance targets are met, investors are rewarded with the profits. Otherwise, the government does not pay for the services delivered. In the SIB model everybody may win: investors leverage resources for potential profit and provide a socially beneficial investment, while the government gets private-sector investment for a new intervention. We believe that Bill B20-125 is insufficient to support SIBs in the District of Columbia.
|Posted to Web: June 06, 2013||Publication Date: June 06, 2013|