State and local Finance
(1) Each May school districts across the state vote on their budget for the upcoming school year. Go to your home town’s school district web site and let me know what’s happened in their budget. Tax increase above the cap, spending cuts, or a balance of both. Your answer should give me your district, total spending proposed, change over previous year, and specific programs that may be targeted for cuts. If your home town is out of the country, please pick a local school district.
(2) As we discussed in our class on transportation, user fee financing is inherent in transportation funding by government at all levels. Besides gasoline taxes, most states also generate revenue from vehicle registration fees and drivers’ license charges. As user charges (fees), what types of transportation service should be financed by the revenue generated by these fees? What types of transportation service should be financed by the gas tax?
Recently, some states have considered levying special-use fees on each driving infraction conviction. For instance, in addition to the existing fines, there could be an additional $5 charge for each case of speeding. As a user fee, what type of government service could it be used to finance?
(3) In our class on Health & Human services, we will look at the state of poverty in the states, and 5 of the major safety net programs that are intended to provide assistance to those in need. The data is still being collected re. the most recent recession, but what do the authors in the text observe and conclude re. the safety net? What are your thoughts re. their conclusions? i.e. do you agree, disagree – please offer your supporting rationale.
(4) In thinking about the effects of state/local fiscal policy on economic development, attention is usually focused on what government can do to attract economic activity. Some communities, however, actually discourage or prohibit new industrial or commercial investment. What are the gains to the community from new business investment? What are the costs or problems to a community from a new shopping center, for example? What about a new manufacturing plant? When would a community discourage these types of activities?
For the questions, use New York State.