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Public Finance: Overview. Some key questions: Responsibilities/functions Funding types/sources Revenues (income increasing net worth) Borrowing Key principles Allocation of responsibilities/functions/funding sources among governments Expenditures. Revenue Sources. Income tax Sales tax

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public finance overview
Public Finance: Overview
  • Some key questions:
    • Responsibilities/functions
    • Funding types/sources
      • Revenues (income increasing net worth)
      • Borrowing
    • Key principles
    • Allocation of responsibilities/functions/funding sources among governments
    • Expenditures
revenue sources
Revenue Sources
  • Income tax
  • Sales tax
  • Property tax
  • Wealth transfer (land, estates, gifts)
  • Business/privilege (franchise)
  • Special assessments (local; earmarked?)
  • Fees
  • User charges
  • Other (lottery?)
borrowing
Borrowing
  • General obligation bonds (full faith and credit to be paid from taxes)
  • Revenue bonds (revenue stream dedicated)
  • More esoteric (tax increment financing/Amendment 1)
key principles
Key principles
  • Ability to pay?
  • Benefit tied to payment?
  • Allocation of resources with responsibilities?
  • Efficiency in collection and disbursement?
  • Accountability?
  • Equalization for fundamental needs?
allocation among governments
Allocation Among Governments
  • Federal
    • income tax, gas tax, estate/gift tax; capital gains; luxury…
  • State:
    • income tax; corporate tax; intangibles (stocks/bonds) (shared); excise tax on beer/wine (shared); street aid (shared); franchise tax (public utilities) (shared); excise tax on conveyances (shared); sales (part); federal funds (Medicaid) (part: 70% fed, 20% state/equalized, 10% county); health (part); schools (part)
  • Local:
    • See above; property; portion of sales/use; privilege license; franchise; animal tax; 911 charges; occupancy taxes; land transfers; special assessments; user charges; ABC revenues; regulatory fees
constitutional constraints federal
Constitutional Constraints: Federal
  • Due Process (Pittsburgh v. Alco Parking)
    • Due process generally: ends, means, arbitrary?
    • Any special cases?
      • Effect on substantive constitutional rights?
      • Exercise of forbidden power/taking?
      • Tax as mask for regulation? Single/small class? Poor fit?
  • Equal protection (Nordlinger) (Proposition XIII)
    • Acquisition value taxation
    • Equal protection basics: classification? Relationship to legitimate ends? Presumption of constitutionality?