Policy Briefs & Reports
Policy reports and shorter policy briefs are integral aspects of our publications and often stem from our academic publications. These practitioner-centered works provide valuable insights into the policy landscape and promote actionable, evidence-based recommendations.
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 57, December 17, 2019, Chris Thayer
Funding education is a critical government function, not only the support of operating expenses like teacher salaries but also capital expenses like buildings and buses. One avenue to fund capital expenses is through a special purpose local option sales tax for education (ESPLOST). Referenda to implement ESPLOST often claim the tax will reduce capital maintenance spending. This brief shines light on this claim and analyzes ESPLOST's effect on capital and maintenance spending in Georgia K-12 schools.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 56, November 21, 2019, Peter Bluestone and Nicholas Warner
This study analyses the revenue effects of a senior homestead exemption on the City Schools of Decatur (CSD). Some of the policy goals the CSD had for the 2016 exemption were to check the city's rapidly growing school enrollment by keeping more seniors in their homes. The study did not find evidence that either goal was met and suggests several adjustments to the homestead exemption. The study was commissioned by the CSD.
State Tax Notes, July 29, 2019, Robert Buschman
In this study, the author discusses the U.S. Treasury's proposed rule to block workarounds to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s state and local tax deduction cap. Several states created state income tax credit programs similar to Georgia's scholarship and rural hospital credits to bypass the cap. This article was originally published in State Tax Notes by Tax Analysts, a national and international provider of tax news and analysis.
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 55, August 8, 2019, Aaron Childree and Asmaa Malik
Governments increasingly create tax exemptions and other incentives that target seniors because seniors hold pivotal socio-economic and political roles in communities. However, policymakers must craft balanced policies that cater to all age demographics, ensuring that incentives geared toward seniors leave sufficient revenues for other budget areas, such as education. This policy brief examines the determinants of how and where seniors decide to live, the influence of senior tax exemptions on their decisions, and the role of governments in creating equitable policies for seniors and other demographic groups.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 54, March 13, 2019, Peter Bluestone
This report is an update to earlier studies on Georgia's jobs in urban and rural regions and counties. This new report examines the immediate outcome of the recession, which began in 2007, and the subsequent economic recovery through 2017. Job growth, job quality and job type are compared by region. Finally, the government services sector, which plays an important role in fostering economic recovery in Georgia, is studied.
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 53, March 1, 2019, Chris Thayer and Nicholas Warner
Essential Economy jobs, representing more than 25 percent of all jobs in Georgia, can only be done in certain locations. These jobs include retail workers, line cooks, personal care aids, and construction workers, among many others. Because of the spatial constraints, Essential Economy workers frequently work in communities in which they cannot reasonably afford to live. This brief investigates the home affordability gap between the housing where Essential Economy workers live and where they work across Georgia.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 51, December 2018, Laura Wheeler, Per Johnson, Katherine Townsend
The purpose of the report is to provide Fulton County officials with an inventory of tax expenditures and their values. In this way, these items can be tracked over time in a fashion comparable to a budget of direct governmental expenditures. The three main taxes levied by the county include property tax, local option sales tax, and TAVT (Title Ad Valorem Tax). Together these represent approximately 90 percent of Fulton County revenues for fiscal year (FY) 2018. This report is supported by a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
Technical Assistance -- City Feasibility Study, December 7, 2018, Staff
The Center for State and Local Finance completed a fiscal feasibility study for a newly incorporated city of East Cobb. This study provides a detailed analysis of the expected revenues and expenditures for the proposed city using generally accepted methodologies that the center has used for similar studies. The main purpose of the analysis is to estimate the ability of the proposed city of East Cobb to meet its expenditures with available revenue sources.
State Tax Notes, Oct. 29, 2018, Robert Buschman
In this viewpoint, the author examines the charitable contribution deductions for donations to Georgia’s scholarship and rural hospital tax credit programs before and after the enactment of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for both individual and corporate taxpayers. This article was originally published in State Tax Notes by Tax Analysts, a national and international provider of tax news and analysis.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 49, November 7, 2018, Alex Hathaway
As stewards of public money, governments must make sound fiscal decisions. This report outlines how Georgia gets the job done by employing certain best practices in financial management. However, the report also points out that Georgia, like all states, still has room for improvement. Topics discussed include budget forecasting, one-time budget, maneuvers, legacy costs, reserve funds, and fiscal transparency. The report is the sixth part of CSLF's Balancing the Budget in the Southern States series.