Federal Housing Policy and the Rise of Nonprofit Providers
Journal for Housing Research, 11(2):297-317.
O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M.
During the past decade, federal housing policy has shifted to recognize a key role for nonprofit housing providers in providing affordable housing. Two federal programs, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and HOME, are now the primary federal housing production programs, and the legislation governing both programs provides explicit support for nonprofit providers of new housing. This article focuses on these two programs to document the change in emphasis, looking at the extent to which resources flow to nonprofit providers. We explicate the rationale for this shift and speculate on future federal policy toward nonprofits.
We find that both programs channeled sizable shares of their funding to nonprofits throughout the 1990s, in patterns consistent with program design. It is also possible that the scale and form of funding itself has affected the nonprofit sector. Changes in the funding of nonprofits have not been uniform spatially, and the nonprofit sector's share of such funding appears to have leveled off. As currently structured, these programs do little to simplify the complicated financial dealings and multiple sources of funding common among nonprofit housing providers. Shifts in policy priorities and emerging financial stresses may necessitate changes in federal policy toward the nonprofit sector.
Decentralization, Externalities, and Efficiency
Review of Economic Studies 62, April 1995, 223-247.
Morduch, J. Klibanoff, P.
In the competitive model, externalities lead to inefficiencies, and inefficiencies increase with the size of externalities. However, as argued by Coase, these problems may be mitigated in a decentralized system through voluntary coordination We show how coordination is limited by the combination of two factors: respect for individual autonomy and the existence of private information. Together they imply that efficient outcomes can only be achieved through coordination when external effects are relatively large Moreover, there are instances in which coordination cannot yield any improvement at all, despite common knowledge that social gains from agreement exist This occurs when external effects are relatively small, and this may help to explain why coordination is so seldom observed in practice. When improvements are possible, we describe how simple subsidies can be used to implement second-best solutions and explain why standard solutions, such as Pigovian taxes, cannot be used. Possible extensions to issues arising in the structure of research joint ventures, assumptions in the endogenous growth literature, and the location of environmental hazards are also described.
Choices at a Critical Junction: New York's Mobility and Highway Infrastructure Needs for 2005-2010
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, March
The report is an analysis of the $17.4 billion capital budget currently proposed for the New York State Department of Transportation for the next five years, and in particular the $5.9 billion proposed for the downstate area. In its review of bridge and roadway trends, the study finds that the improvements in roadways and bridges achieved during the 1990's have begun to erode over the last few years, and the capital budget, as it is currently proposed, would fail to reverse the erosion. The report was written by Bruce Schaller, a Visiting Scholar at NYU Wagner's Rudin Center, who has experience in highway, transit and taxi issues in New York and nationally. Schaller has authored reports on East River bridge tolls, suburban transit access to Lower Manhattan, commuting and the growth of non-work travel in New York City, MTA fare policy and bus rapid transit and numerous other topics.
The 40-Hour Week: A Proposal to Increase the Productivity of Non-Managerial Civilian Municipal Workers
Citizens Budget Commission, December,
This report presents and examines a deceptively simple idea: That a large group of municipal employees, about 67,000 "non-managerial civilians," increase their workweek from 35 to 40 hours. The purpose of this change is to yield a substantial savings for the City and its taxpayers by enabling fewer workers to provide the existing package of public services.
Strengthening the Highway Trust Fund: Short-Term Options
New York Transportation Journal, Spring/Summer 2003, Vol. 6, No. 3.
de Cerreño, A.L.C.
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.
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
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.
Funding Analysis for Long-Term Planning
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, July
de Cerreño, A.L.C.
In existence since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of nearly all federal highway funding and roughly four-fifths of all federal transit funding. The Highway Trust Fund is integral to the long-term transportation planning of all 50 states. However, recent Congressional Budget Office forecasts show that at the current baselines (i.e. spending at currently enacted levels with adjustments for inflation within the context of current tax policies), the Highway Account of the HTF would be depleted by 2006 and the Mass Transit Account would fall to $0 three years later. These projections have been made in the midst of discussions regarding the reauthorization for surface transportation and the looming national needs in transportation that require an estimated average annual investment from all levels of government 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.
Learning from Experience: A Primer on Tax Increment Financing
Fiscal Brief, New York City Independent Budget Office, September
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.
City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer
Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,
In a festschrift to Netzer a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.
Tax and the City
in Re-thinking the Urban Agenda, John Mollenkopf and Ken Emerson, eds., Century Foundation, pp. 63-74.
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.
The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation
Edward Elgar Publishing,
Netzer, D., ed.
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.
The Role of Cities in Providing Housing Assistance: A New York Perspective
In Amy Ellen Schwartz, ed., City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer. Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,
Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I.
In a festschrift to Netzer-a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations-eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.
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,
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).
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.
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.
Local Government Finance and the Economics of Property Tax Exemption
State Tax Notes, June 23, pp. 1053-1069.
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.