Region: California
Report
While the most current complete tax data from the Franchise Tax Board is for 2013, the recently published zip code data enables some preliminary analysis for the 2014 receipts. By region, 40.3% of PIT revenues came from the Bay Area. More importantly, 51.2% of the increased PIT revenues in 2014 came from this region, once again illustrating how much California is reliant on a single region not only for continued jobs and employment growth, but the continued health of the state’s fiscal situation. Los Angeles, with 30% of the population, was the next largest region, paying 27.5% of total PIT and a 25.5% share of the increased PIT receipts. In the absence of state policies that promote more balanced and geographically dispersed jobs growth, California’s finances will likely continue to be reliant on the economic health of one region.
Report
In total, the study covers 564 state and local systems in the United States that reported $1.91 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities under GASB 67 in FY 2014. The analysis reveals that, despite well-performing markets from 2009 to 2014, state and local government pension systems are underwater by $3.4 trillion and that the true cost of keeping pension liabilities from rising is 17.5 percent of state and local budgets. Even contributions of those magnitudes would not begin to pay down the trillions of dollars of unfunded legacy liabilities; they would simply stop the unfunded liability from rising.
Report
The proposed spending is more than double the $3.09 billion in cap-and-trade auction spending included in Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget, and comes at a time when the spending of auction revenue is under scrutiny. The auctions are generating billions of dollars a year for programs that are unrelated to those who are required to pay, but the process was not approved by a two-thirds majority of lawmakers, as the California Constitution requires for tax increases.
Report
California State Controller Betty T. Yee today issued the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, showing that a resurgent economy led to a $29.6 billion increase in revenues in the 2014-15 fiscal year. While spending and transfers also went up, the increases were not enough to offset the additional revenue, resulting in a $13.1 billion improvement in governmental activities’ net position. . . This CAFR incorporates major changes to reflect the state’s net pension liability. Based on guidance from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the new figure more accurately reflects a government's unfunded pension obligation, helping policymakers decide on future funding strategies. Using these standards, the CAFR reports a net pension liability of $63.7 billion as of June 30, 2015.
Report
California's current housing market suffers from a shortage of supply and the lingering effects of the housing crash and the Great Recession. California currently ranks near the bottom in terms of its supply of housing relative to population growth. Add that to the increasing demand to live near the coast, to be close to tech hubs, and to be near downtowns, and it's not too surprising that home prices throughout the state continue to rise. Additionally, the cost of development and stringent regulations imposed on developers has contributed to the lack of homebuilding in California.
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