CSLF Blog

Recovery Continues for School District Local and State Revenues

During the Great Recession, school districts in Georgia saw their revenue decline at both the state and local level. Austerity cuts were implemented at the state level, and property tax digests decreased, affecting local revenues. This blog briefly summarizes the geographic pattern and timing of declining and recovering revenues across Georgia’s school districts during… more »

Snapshot: Georgia’s Medicaid Enrollment and Spending

Medicaid is a highly utilized joint state and federal program that provides health care to millions of Georgians. Currently, eligibility for Medicaid is determined by need, and federal funds are tied to reimbursement rates for health care costs associated with eligible individuals. Currently, there are several policy proposals to cap federal Medicaid spending either through… more »

School Funding: New ESPLOST Policy Considerations

Brand-new schools, technology upgrades, and classroom additions are among the many sought-after items that school leaders consistently look to fund. But, finding effective solutions to meet pressing needs is not easy.

Traditionally, districts have used debt financed with property taxes to fund school construction and upgrades. But, ESPLOST, or special purpose local option sales tax… more »

What You Need to Know About Georgia’s Community Improvement Districts

If you live in metro Atlanta, chances are you have encountered services of community improvement districts, or CIDs. But what exactly is a CID?

It can be difficult to distinguish Georgia CIDs’ services and county or city services. For example, did you know that the ambassadors seen throughout downtown Atlanta are managed by the Atlanta… more »

Rarely Used Economic Development Tool Offers Benefits to Cities

Georgia has two types of business improvement district models: Georgia community improvement districts (CIDs) and Georgia city business improvement districts, or “Georgia BIDs.”

Like CIDs, Georgia BIDs are a group of property owners within a set boundary who decide to levy additional taxes or fees on themselves to provide supplemental services. However, Georgia BIDs are… more »

Fundamental Tax Reform in Georgia Fizzles Out, Flourishes in Contrasting Models

During the 2015 Georgia legislative session, several bills were introduced including the “More Take Home Pay Act of 2015,” which would have lowered state income tax rates, raised the sales tax rate and broadened the sales tax base. For many years, policymakers in Georgia have shown considerable interest in tax reform that would reduce… more »

Hanging in the Balance: The Growing Risks of Unfunded Pensions

The global financial crisis brought investment risk to the forefront of the minds of state and local government officials as well as pensioners whose retirement income hung in the balance. Already struggling with the monumental issue of an aging population, many state’s and city’s pension fund shortfalls were further stressed by the impact of the… more »