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.
Technical Assistance -- Fiscal Impact Study, November 3, 2020, Staff
The Center for State and Local Finance completed a fiscal impact study for potential annexations into the City of Smyrna. This study provides a detailed analysis of the expected revenues and expenditures for the annexations 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 city with its proposed annexations to meet its expenditures with available revenue sources.
The Future of Industry and Employment: COVID-19 Effects Exacerbate the March of Artificial Intelligence
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 60, April 28, 2020, Peter Bluestone, Emmanuel Chike and Sally Wallace
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries and occupations were experiencing transformational pressure as the economy shifts toward a largely digital landscape. Now, this public health crisis may be increasing the speed of the transition toward automation. This policy brief compares the impact of COVID-19 and automation on U.S. employment sectors. The authors note that governments, non-profits and the private sector can help displaced workers with innovative training and upskilling, an opportunity that higher education systems can also support.
FRC Report, Publication No. 309, April 14, 2020, Peter Bluestone and Robert Buschman
With the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak to Georgia, certain key industries have been substantially and directly impacted because of the nature of their services that make social distancing impractical or impossible. This report estimates the impact on Georgia’s economy and sales tax revenues from the cutbacks and closures during this unprecedented pandemic. Though the ultimate depth and duration of the impact cannot be known at this time, we develop alternate cases of low, moderate and severe reductions in business volumes and then estimate economic impacts using the IMPLAN economic model for Georgia.
FRC Memo, Publication No. 308, Feb. 4, 2020, Robert Buschman
This brief provides a snapshot of the current economic atmosphere in Georgia and a summary of key trends to watch in 2020. Recent job growth, increases in personal income and improvements in state GDP are just a few signs of the economic progress Georgia has made in the last few years. At the end of 2019, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent nationwide and 3.2 percent in Georgia—a record low for the state. The brief is intended as background for the 2020 Georgia legislative session.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 59, April 8, 2020, Emmanuel Chike and Sally Wallace
The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in some sectors of the economy has created tension and may bring about vast changes in the labor force. Looking forward, this may call for a reshaping of skills, career opportunities and the distribution of workers among industries and occupations in the United States.This report looks at three questions in relation to Georgia: What percentage of jobs in Georgia will be affected by AI and automation? Which job skills are most likely to be affected? What policy responses can mitigate the impacts of the automation?
CSLF Report, Publication No. 58, April 8, 2020, Peter Bluestone
The rapid pace of technology and innovation has far-reaching and sometimes unpredictable effects. One area of possible disruption caused by advanced technologies is labor markets and employment, but estimates of the impact of these technological advances vary considerably. This report examines the effects that advanced computer technologies might have on the labor force in the 12 Department of Community Affairs (DCA) regions of Georgia.
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.