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. 45, September 6, 2018, Nicholas Warner and Emily Franklin
While educational attainment usually leads to higher pay, each additional year of schooling also represents additional public dollars spent to educate that student and increased tax revenues realized over time. This brief and accompanying visualization examine 12 typical paths through Georgia’s public education into the workforce. The report provides the cost to educate each student, the year at which each student’s taxes paid become equivalent to the amount to educate them, and the amount of taxes paid by age 65 above and beyond the cost of their public education. These estimates represent long-run fiscal impacts for the 2 specific and representative paths.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 44, August 28, 2018, Alex Hathaway
This report examines government retiree health care benefits in the South, namely the funding of other post-employment benefits (OPEB). States typically provide these benefits, primarily health care related, to government employees as part of the compensation package. The report specifically reviews the liabilities in 16 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Examples of states employing best practices, as well as states that have room for improvement, are provided throughout the report. The report is the third part of CSLF's Balancing the Budget in the Southern States series.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 43, August 14, 2018, Emily Franklin and Alex Hathaway
This report assesses transparency in state-level revenue forecasting for Southern states in fiscal years (FY) 2015 to FY 2018. States include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Examples of states employing best practices, as well as states that have room for improvement, are provided throughout the report. The report is part of CSLF's Balancing the Budget in the Southern States series and draws on earlier research gathered for the Volcker Alliance’s Truth and Integrity in Government Finance project.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 41, June 29, 2018, Laura Wheeler and Per Johnson
This report highlights several common local government tax expenditures, looking at both scope and use through case studies of four large metropolitan U.S. counties: Ramsey County, Minn.; Cook County, Ill.; Maricopa County, Ariz.; and Fulton County, Ga. The research highlights how these tax expenditures impact the tax revenue of other local governments, and it also emphasizes the benefits of local tax expenditure reporting as a tool for fiscal policy decisions. This study is supported by a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
CSLF Brief, Publication No. 40, June 19, 2018, H. Spencer Banzhaf and Per Johnson
This brief explains how government officials and citizens can use the Excel-based calculator to roughly estimate revenue effects of new or expanded age-based homestead exemptions for each county and school district in Georgia. This brief and calculator expand on a 2016 CSLF publication, Age-Based Property Tax Exemptions in Georgia.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 38, Feb. 13, 2018, Fred Brooks, Anna Chaney and Sara Mack
This report presents major findings from 87 face-to-face interviews conducted between February and July 2016 with people who left the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in Georgia. The study examined the lives of ex-recipients who left TANF between 2009 and 2015. The personal interviews include questions about: their experience with the TANF program, employment, income, housing, child well-being, participant health, food security, transportation and debt.
CSLF Report, Publication No. 37, Jan. 3, 2018, Audrey Clubb, Dean Dabney and Joshua Hinkle
This report details the development of an analytic tool intended to help police and other government agencies in DeKalb County, Georgia, predict areas most likely to have crime problems in the future. The analytic tool is based on risk-terrain modeling, which uses a number of local area characteristics (such as demographics, foreclosures, and school performance) and previous crime trends to forecast areas at the highest risk of future crime.
FRC Report, Publication No. 293, April 25, 2017, David Sjoquist
This is an update to a 2008 Fiscal Research Center report about the development of Georgia’s property tax system, which dates back to 1852. This report begins by describing the tax system that existed prior to 1852 and discussing why that system was replaced. It then describes how that tax system evolved to what is now in place in Georgia, pointing out significant changes made over the past 165 years.
FRC Report, Publication No. 295, Sept. 26, 2017, Laura Wheeler
In 2013, Georgia implemented the title ad valorem tax, or TAVT, leveling significant implications for vehicle taxation. Notably, the new system replaced the previous sales tax ad valorem system with a one-time tax on new purchases, leases, and out-of-state vehicle registration. This report analyzes the impact of the transition to TAVT and provides a five-year outlook for TAVT revenues for each of Georgia’s 159 counties.
January 5, 2017, Lindsay Kuhn,Sarah Larson, Laura Wheeler and Carolyn Bourdeaux
Georgia’s community improvement districts (CID) are based on the larger business improvement district (BID) model. BIDs are special jurisdictions established to fund supplemental projects and services in a specific area. These jurisdictions go by many names, and their purposes and laws vary significantly by state. One key difference, and the focus of this research, is the tax treatment of residential property that lies within the boundaries of the BID.