Tax

Local Government Finance and the Economics of Property Tax Exemption

Local Government Finance and the Economics of Property Tax Exemption
State Tax Notes, June 23, pp. 1053-1069.

Netzer, D.
06/01/2003

Looks at the role of the property tax exemption for charities in local government finance. If services produced by nonprofits are largely exported from a jurisdiction, then requiring full property taxes or payments in lieu of taxes is a way of exporting local tax burdens.

Dividing the Pie: Placing the Transportation Donor-Donee Debate in Perspective

Dividing the Pie: Placing the Transportation Donor-Donee Debate in Perspective
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, May

Seaman, M. & de Cerreño, A.L.C
05/01/2003

This study looks at the distribution of dollars of federal transportation funding to the states from a number of perspectives. The analysis reveals relative winners and losers at the regional and state level based on various criteria. It also shows that in many respects, New York receives a very low or at best, average apportionment of federal transportation dollars. It also shows that while New York receives more in federal highway funding than it pays in highway taxes, this 'surplus' is dwarfed by the state's overall deficit with Washington, D.C.

Erosion and Reform from the Center in Kenya

Erosion and Reform from the Center in Kenya
in James Wunsch and Dele Olowu, eds., Local Governance in Africa: The Challenges of Democratic Decentralization. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers,

Smoke, P.
01/01/2003

Kenya has a rich history of local governance, both from ethnic-group traditions and the system set up during the British colonial era, when local governments were fairly independence (1963), when Kenya's economy and population growth accelerated, demands were so heavy that some local governments could not deliver key services adequately. This situation, combined with the central government's desire for political consolidation to minimize ethnic power conflicts that increased in the postcolonial era, prompted the government to weaken local authorities. Key services (health, education, major roads) were recentralized, and the local graduated personal tax (GPT) was taken over by the center. Grants were established to compensate local governments for their revenue losses, but they were gradually phased out. Control over local governments expanded, with few spending, revenue, or employment decisions permitted without scrutiny by the Ministry of Local Government (MLG).

Strengthening the Highway Trust Fund: Short-Term Options

Strengthening the Highway Trust Fund: Short-Term Options
New York Transportation Journal, Spring/Summer 2003, Vol. 6, No. 3.

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
01/01/2003

In existence since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of all Federal highway funding and roughly four-fifths of all Federal transit funding. With budgetary firewalls in place since 1998 as a result of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the Highway Trust Fund is integral to the long-term transportation planning of all 50 States. However, Congressional Budget Office forecasts show that at current baselines (i.e. spending at currently enacted levels with adjustments for inflation within the context of current tax policies), the HTF will be unable to keep up with national transportation needs.
How to meet these needs - which are projected to require an estimated average annual investment over the next 20 years of between $90.7 billion and $110.9 billion just to maintain the system and between $127.5 billion and $169.5 billion to improve it - is a source of considerable debate. Short-term options that should be seriously considered by both State and Federal governments are raising and indexing motor fuel taxes.

Taxing the Poor: Income Averaging Reconsidered

Taxing the Poor: Income Averaging Reconsidered
40 Harvard Journal on Legislation 395.

Batchelder, L.
01/01/2003

This Article presents an original empirical analysis demonstrating the disproportionate burden taxation of annual income places upon low-income families. The author proposes two simple income averaging devices to redress this effect: averaging the Earned Income Tax Credit over a two-year period and carrying back the standard deduction and personal and dependent exemptions.

The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation

The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation
Edward Elgar Publishing,

Netzer, D., ed.
01/01/2003

This comprehensive volume of essays by respected scholars in economics and public finance explores the connections among the property tax, land use and regulation. The authors examine the idea that the property tax is used as a partial substitute for land use regulation and other policies designed to affect how land is utilized. Like many economists, the contributors see some type of property taxation as a more efficient means of helping to shape land use. Some of the essays analyze a conventional property tax, while others consider radically different systems of property taxation.

Following an introduction by the book's editor Dick Netzer, the first paper sets the stage by modeling taxes on land and buildings in the context of a dynamic model of real estate markets. The remaining papers examine how various tax mechanisms and non-tax alternatives to regulating and determining land use, such as zoning and private neighborhood associations, complement or substitute for one another. Urban planners and economists interested in local public finance will welcome this wide-ranging review and analysis.

Dick Netzer, a leading public finance economist specializing in state and local issues and urban government, is professor emeritus of economics and public administration at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. He organized a conference sponsored by the Lincoln Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, in January 2002 and edited the papers presented at that conference for this volume.

 

Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers

Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers
3rd Edition with interactive CD, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, May 2002, 400 pages. New York: Aspen Publishers.

Finkler, S.A.
05/01/2002

For all entrepreneurs and nonfinancial professionals with budget and/or P&L responsibilities, Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers provides the basics necessary to make a solid contribution to the financial goals and success of their companies. This indispensable and easy-to-read primer gives all entrepreneurs and managers in nonfinancial areas--sales, marketing, production, and more--a complete understanding of financial terms, statements, and ratios and how they affect the operations of a business or corporation. With this information, financial managers will be able to understand: owners' equity, ratio analysis; balance sheets; income statements; LIFO liquidations; asset valuation; cash flow statements; capital leasing; liabilities; present value; operating leverage; breakeven analysis; and more. New to the third edition are chapters covering: basic tax concepts; capital structure; business plans; working capital management and banking relationships; personal finances; and accountability and controls.

Learning from Experience: A Primer on Tax Increment Financing

Learning from Experience: A Primer on Tax Increment Financing
Fiscal Brief, New York City Independent Budget Office, September

Devine, T.
01/01/2002

To fund the estimated $1.5 billion extension of the No. 7 subway and perhaps other redevelopment proposals on Manhattan’s Far West Side, there has been increasing discussion of using a borrowing method known as tax increment financing, or TIF. The basic idea underlying TIF is that a city or town finances an improvement in a specific district with the property tax revenue generated by that improvement. While TIF has been used extensively throughout the country in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., it has never been used here. This report provides a primer on TIF––what it is, key features of the laws that authorize it, the types of projects undertaken, some of the reasons for its popularity, and a review of how it has worked in some other localities. Among the lessons from our review: • While TIF has proven to be an effective and flexible financing method in a variety of settings, some municipalities have encountered problems with their projects, including insufficient revenue to pay debt service. • TIF has been used to finance a variety of public works projects, but most have been small-scale. Larger projects usually have been joint ventures, mostly with private partners. No TIF project has been as costly as the proposed No. 7 extension. The report concludes with a discussion of issues that will have to be considered before relying on TIF for financing the proposed subway extension. These considerations will be more closely examined in a subsequent IBO report that will look at the viability of tax increment financing for extending the No. 7.

Local Property Taxation in Theory and Practice: Some Reflections

Local Property Taxation in Theory and Practice: Some Reflections
in Wallace E. Oates, editor, Property Taxation and Local Government Finance, Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy,

Netzer, D.
01/01/2001

The property tax is considered a most unpopular tax, among both scholars and taxpayers. Yet, recent research and analysis has proposed at least a partial rehabilitation of this tax and its role in the arena of local public finance. Based on a conference sponsored by the Lincoln Institute in January 2000, this book presents a systematic and comprehensive review of the economics of local property taxation and examines its policy implications. The ten papers and paired commentaries are written in a nontechnical form to make the findings available to a broad audience of policy makers and other noneconomists.

Tax and the City

Tax and the City
in Re-thinking the Urban Agenda, John Mollenkopf and Ken Emerson, eds., Century Foundation, pp. 63-74.

Schwartz, A.E.
01/01/2001

The culmination of a year-long lecture series cosponsored by The Century Foundation and the City University of New York Graduate Center's Center for Urban Research, 'Rethinking the Urban Agenda' takes up the challenge provided by a changing of the guard in New York City government-the election of a new mayor and city council-to outline a new conceptual and political road map for New York City's future and, in many important respects, for the future of urban America.

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