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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(15) "OP_1207EBOP.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "357665" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(112051) "Occasional Papers State-Local Fiscal Conflicts in California: From Proposition 13 to Proposition 1A Elisa Barbour December 2007 The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California's future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. Copyright © 2007 by Public Po licy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the so urce and the above copyright notice is included. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballo t measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, s upport, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Contents Summary iii Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 STATE-LOCAL BALANCE OF POWER AFTER PROPOSITION 13 3 State Bail-Out Legislation Establishes a Fiduciary Relationship 3 ERAF Ends the State Government’s Fiduciary Relationship 5 School Finance and the State-Local Relationship 6 LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SINCE PROPOSITION 13 9 County Finance Since Proposition 13 13 Cities After Proposition 13 15 CONFLICTS REACH THE BREAKING POINT: THE PATH TO PROPOSITION 1A 19 Growth Concerns Come to the Forefront 19 A Window Opens for Reform of the State-Local Relationship 20 Local Governments Enter a New Age: Proposition 1A 22 Conclusion 27 References 31 - i - Summary Over the past several decades, intergovernmental relations in California have been characterized by conflict, primarily over fiscal issues. The disput es trace back to Proposition 13 and subsequent state ballot initiatives that have fiscally constrained the state and local governments. 1 By giving the state government more control over local revenue and also limiting state and local taxing and spending power, the voter measures have engendered a “zero-sum” political atmosphere in whic h fiscal considerations have dominated intergovernmental policymaking. However, many of the problematic aspects of the post- Proposition 13 local fiscal system have been the product not of ballot initiatives but of government action. Within voter-imposed fisc al constraints, California’s state and local governments have had substantial room to shape fiscal and governance outcomes. This paper traces the evolution of the state-local relationship in California since Proposition 13 was approved by state voters in 1978. It considers the externally-imposed constraints and pressures that have most influe nced the state-local relationship, few of which are actually unique to California. Although vote r-imposed fiscal constraint looms large in this picture, other factors also have been important, including court-imposed and voter-imposed mandates for equitable education spending, environmental mandates, and conflicting pro- growth and anti-growth development pressures. The paper considers how California’s governments have adapted to, but also worked to circumvent, the constraints. As state-local finance became more intertwined, it also became more convoluted and contested. In the wake of Proposition 13, the state government adopted ad hoc measures to reorganize local finance that helped smooth over a difficult transition period. However, over time, the measures became ossified, and the result was a fiscal system opaque to voters, many local officials, and fisc al experts alike. The new system disconnected local revenue capacity from service needs and set dysfunctional incentives for local development choices, in particular by disfavoring housing. During the early 1990s, the state government compounded these structural problems with political problems, when it diverted proper ty tax revenue away from local governments to schools to help resolve a state budget crisis. Lo cal governments grew so resentful by the end of the decade that intergovernmental negotiations on topics from housing and land use policy to health and welfare programs were stymied by the fiscal impasse. Conflict also increased among local governme nts after Proposition 13, as competition and entrepreneurship intensified to maximize revenue sources over which local governments maintain control. Fiscal constraint deepened differences between city and county revenue structures and intensified conflicts between cities and counties. Fiscal constraint also eroded community-wide general purpose taxing capacity for both of these types of local government. 1 This paper considers the relationship between the state government and general-purpose local governments, namely cities and co unties. General-purpose governments provide a range of services in response to voter preferences. Other local governme nt entities such as school districts and special districts provide specific services; many special districts are dependent agencies of cities or counties. - iii - By the 1990s, state leaders had to contend with consequences of local land use and development choices induced by the post-Proposition 13 fiscal regime. They worried in particular whether fiscal constraint had led local governments to limit housing production, especially in older communities. As a growing st ate population strained infrastructure facilities and natural resources, state leaders also looked to land use policy as one lever in more coordinated development strategies. But any effo rts to redirect local land use policy met with stiff resistance from local governments, still ang ry because of the state government’s earlier diversion of property tax revenue toward school s. Thus, inasmuch as the post-Proposition 13 fiscal regime created dysfunctional incentiv es for land use and development, it also undermined the chances of altering the incentives. By the late 1990s, the governor and legislative commissions were calling for an overhaul of the local government finance system for the sake of governmental accountability, public engagement, and economic development. Most major reform proposals would have operated within the parameters of voter-imposed fiscal constraints, underscoring the conclusion that there was considerable room to improve the state-local relationship even within those constraints. Reformers sought to address problems caused not by the voter measures themselves, but instead by the fiscal measur es the state government took in response. The reform effort of the late 1990s fizzled out, however, producing no major changes. Policymakers could not resolve certain fundamen tal dilemmas—in particular, how to reconcile policy-driven reform with local governments’ in sistence on revenue neutrality (no net revenue loss for any jurisdiction). Within a zero-sum fi scal framework, reforms that would create new winners and losers proved hard to adopt. A major reform of the state-local relationship did occur in 2004, although not in response to the reform deliberations. Instead, when local revenue was threatened once again during a state budget crisis, local governments took matters into their own hands. They mounted a state ballot campaign that resulted in the passage of Proposition 1A, a constitutional amendment that protects rates and/or allocation methods for major local revenue sources —property taxes, sales taxes, and vehicle license fees. Proposition 1A represents a new stage in the state-local fiscal power struggle in which local governments acted collectively to regain a portion of the autonomy they had lost after passage of Proposit ion 13. By preventing further “raids” by the state government on local revenue, Proposition 1A also settled the sorest point in the state-local conflict. This outcome ended the policy impasse on related topics such as land use and housing reform. However, Proposition 1A, no matter its pe rceived necessity among local government advocates, also extended the dynamics of the stat e-local fiscal power struggle. Faced with an imminent threat, local governments found it easier to unite to protect the existing finance system, in spite of its flaws, than it would have b een to devise a new one. Proposition 1A failed to resolve a number of problematic aspects of the fiscal system that had been the focus of reform proposals. Local governments gained no new loca l revenue-raising authority to enable them to better connect service needs to revenue capacity . On the contrary, the measure placed the state’s rigid, arcane local finance system into th e constitution, which will make future efforts to reorganize the system even more difficult. Furthermore, by keeping in place dysfunctional fiscal incentives for local land use, Proposit ion 1A will hamper efforts to improve development - iv - planning at a time when the state faces substantial challenges on this front. Thus, Proposition 1A reinforces the troubling conclusion that some of the more dysfunctional constraints on the local fiscal system have been imposed by government itself. For this reason, a central focus of this pa per is not just how individual governments have reacted to external factors (even considerin g reactions in the aggregate), but also how the state and local governments – the latter acting collectively through lobbying organizations – have renegotiated basic terms of the relationship in response to external constraints. Focusing on central debates in the state-local power struggle – the intergovernmental story within the wider context of changing conditions – helps elucidate how and why government itself shapes outcomes. The protracted state-local fiscal drama of recent decades shows that the inter- governmental power struggle can trump many other considerations. State-local fiscal conflict in California has gained little media or public attention. The issues debated, such as how to allocate proper ty and sales tax dollars among local governments, can seem esoteric. Reform goals such as enhanc ing fiscal “transparency” or local government “responsiveness” can seem highly abstract. But consequences are evident in such areas of local government responsibility as housing regulati on, community health and welfare programs, and governance of K-12 schools. In these policy areas, the disconnect that has been introduced between local revenue-raising authority and pr ogram responsibility aggravates accountability problems and skews incentives in a fashion coun terproductive to certain state policy goals. When the fiscal system does not promote policy goals, government cannot perform as effectively as it should. What is more, the protracted state-local power struggle stalled progress in various policy arenas for more than a decade. The very aspects of the state-local relationship that gave rise to calls for change by the late 1990s—in pa rticular, competition for resources and lack of clear guidelines to clarify intergovernmental re sponsibilities and authority—also made it more difficult to achieve. Wi th fiscal control the main focus of de bate in the state-local relationship, policymakers paid less attention to intergovernmen tal issues that could actually help clarify fiscal responsibilities, such as promoting more efficient development patterns and infrastructure investment. Intergovernmental relations characterized by fiscal conflict and confusion rather than policy focus and coordination erode public trust in government, even if only indirectly through lack of effective, concerted action. The effect iveness and welfare of state and local governments is a collective, not just individual, concern. To help restore trust, California governments will need to move beyond a fight over fiscal resour ces and focus instead on addressing policy goals and objectives to enhance California’s future. - v - Acknowledgments I would like to thank Max Neiman, PPIC Senior Fellow and Associate Director of Research, for his ongoing support for this proj ect. I am also indebted to reviewers and discussants for valuable input and insight, includ ing Paul Lewis, formerly at PPIC and now at Arizona State University; Tracy Gordon, also formerly at PPIC and now at the University of Maryland; Peter Detwiler with the California Senate Local Government Committee; Peter Schrag, columnist for the Sacramento Bee ; Greg Andranovich, from the California State University at Los Angeles; Steve Sanders, with the Institute for Local Government; Ron Loveridge, from the City of Riverside and the League of California Cities; Steve Szalay, with the California State Sheriffs’ Association (formerly with the California State Association of Counties); and Christopher Hoene, with the National League of Cities. Gary Bjork of PPIC provided editorial assistance. I owe a special debt of thanks to Fred Silva, formerly of PPIC; what I gained from his vast store of knowledge and understanding during past collaborations infuses this paper and made the project possible. However, all errors and omissions are my own. - vii - Introduction Tension between the state and local governments in California is nothing new (Silva and Barbour, 1999). It is probably inevitable, because by law, local governments are “creatures of the state,” but they have long sought to carve out a degree of independent political and fiscal authority. The ability of local governments to act on th eir own behalf, or “home rule power,” ends where the state expresses an interest in th e uniform application of a statewide policy interest. And therein lies the dilemma—wher e should the line be drawn? (Silva and Barbour, 1999, p. 1) Until Proposition 13 was passed by state voters in 1978, the framework of the state-local relationship had been stable since the early 1900 s, when local government reformers established two key legal principles: home rule power and the separation of revenue sources (Silva and Barbour, 1999). Home rule power—exerted by cities within their borders and by county governments in unincorporated areas—includes co nsiderable discretion over land use decisions and the authority to build and operate public work s. Local fiscal authority—the ability to levy taxes locally and set rates that reflect local pref erences for services—has long been viewed as a critical underpinning of home rule. According to this principle, political accountability is enhanced when government responsibilities are a ligned with the fiscal power needed to carry them out, and voters can adjust policy outcomes in response to changing needs and preferences. Local fiscal authority had been secured in 1910 through passage of a state ballot measure known as the Separation of Sources Act. The measure granted local government exclusive control over property taxes, the main public revenue source at that time. The property tax remained the mainstay of local public finance until Proposition 13. More than just providing a stable source of lo cal income, the property tax has appealed to theorists because it gives a highly visible tax pr ice for public services and links the cost of services to tangible economic development benefits in a community (Berman, 2003). The visibility of the property tax also made it a target for voter frustration about government spending. Even as Americans generally rate conf idence in local government higher than in the federal or state governments, they also consistent ly rate the property tax as their least favored after the federal income tax (Cole and Kinkaid, 2006). Although it is widely understood that Pr oposition 13 limited property tax receipts,2 few Californians understand that the measure also pr ofoundly undermined local government fiscal autonomy. Proposition 13 set a uniform statewid e property tax rate and transferred control of allocation to the state government. It thereby essentially transformed the property tax from a locally-controlled revenue source to a state-contro lled resource, and in the process, substantially undid the separation of sources doctrine. Understanding this develo pment is critical to understanding why California’s state and local governments have spent the last thirty years 2 Proposition 13 limited the general property tax rate to 1 percent of property value and reassessment to no more than 2 percent annually, except for new owne rship or construction. It mandated a two-thirds vote in both state legislative houses to approve state tax increases and a two-thirds local popular vote for local special taxes (which were not defined). - 1 - locked in a conflict about local fiscal autonomy. Local governments have sought to re-establish the autonomy from state control they enjoyed before 1978. Although Proposition 13 profoundly reshaped the state-local government relationship, many of its most important effects emerged only over time and indirectly through governments’ responses to the measure. The first chapter of this paper considers how the state government reshaped the terms of the state-local relationship in the first two decades after Proposition 13. The state government’s acti ons were conditioned by various pressures, including, in particular, legal mandates for equitable education spending. The second chapter picks up the story at th e local level, evaluating how individual governments adapted to the new constraints and the aggregate effects on intergovernmental relations. The third chapter returns to a state-le vel perspective, from which, by the 1990s, state leaders had to contend with negative consequenc es of those local government responses. The chapter discusses a state-level reform effort that emerged by the late 1990s to systematically redesign the local finance system, and why it failed to achieve more than marginal changes. Finally, the chapter traces the events that led to the passage of Proposition 1A in 2004. Although that measure substantially altered the terms of the state-local power balance, it did not accomplish all that reformers had hoped for. For example, although many had called for a restoration of the underlying principles of the separation of sources doctrine, Proposition 1A represents something more like the opposite. The paper concludes by discussing consequences and implications of the failure of the state and local governments, thirty years after passage of Proposition 13, to address certain shortcomings in the local government fiscal system—in particular, a disconnection between fiscal responsibility and po licy authority that undermines some state policy goals. - 2 - State-Local Balance of Power After Proposition 13 The passage of Proposition 13 launched a thirty-year struggle between the state and local governments in California about how to re organize local finance. By setting a uniform statewide property tax rate and transferring co ntrol of allocation to the state government, Proposition 13 substantially undid the separation of sources doctrine. However, the protracted struggle that followed would not have occurred if Proposition 13 had instituted a new local fiscal system to replace the old. Instead, by providing the state government with the power to establish the system for allocating property taxes, Proposition 13 ensured that the state government’s choices would reshape the state- local relationship as much as gaining the authority per se. This chapter traces how state government ch ose to exercise its new authority, and the consequences for the state-local re lationship. It also traces another set of developments that had a major influence on the outcome, namely, court-imposed and voter-imposed mandates on the state government related to K-12 school spending. State Bail-Out Legislation Estab lishes a Fiduciary Relationship The immediate effect of Proposition 13 on loca l tax receipts was dramatic: Property tax revenue statewide dropped by more than half (Silva and Barbour, 1999). Because of Proposition 13, local own-source revenue (revenue raised locally, a measure of fiscal independence) dropped as a share of total government revenue in California, while state own-source revenue rose (Figure 1). 3 Before Proposition 13, California’s fiscal system reflected its strong “home rule” tradition; afterwards, the state’s basic fiscal composition resembled the rest of the nation’s. In 1977, property taxes formed 28 percent of state and local general revenue in California, and they were controlled and levied locally. Since Proposition 13, property taxes have formed 13 to 15 percent, and the revenue is state-controlled and highly contested. The profound changes wrought by Proposition 13 were not immediately apparent, however, to voters or even to the state and local governments. That is because in the immediate aftermath, the state government used its budget surplus to fund a relief package that smoothed over the transition to the new fiscal regime. State legislators passed emergency “bailout” legislation, Senate Bill 154 (SB 154), a few w eeks after Proposition 13 was approved. SB 154 attempted to restore the status quo ante for loca l governments. Property tax revenue would be allocated based on proportional shares in place before Proposition 13 for property tax revenue generated in a given area, divided among the county, city, special districts, and schools serving the area. Multiplied across all jurisdictional configurations across the state, this method produced an arcane system of local finance. SB 154 also provided fiscal relief, replacing most of the lost revenue to cities, counties, and special districts. The state government’s cost of K–12 education increased by the amount of the shift. Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8), enacted in 1979, made 3 Calculations in the paragraph and in Figure 1 are from data from the U.S. Census of Governments (COG), Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances , multiple years. Pivot data tables produced by the Public Policy Institute of California based on COG data are available at http://www.ppic.org/main/datadepot.a sp. General revenue excludes insurance trust revenue, utility charges, and liquor charges. - 3 - principal features of SB 154 permanent, and assured that revenues from increases in assessed valuation would accrue to the communities in which the growth occurred. 4 Figure 1 Revenue by Level of Government as Share of State and Local General Revenue 5 0% 20% 40% 60% 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 California: Stat e own-s ourc e Rest of US: Stat e own-s ourc e California: Loc al own-s ourc e Rest of US: Loc al own-s ourc e California: Federal aid Rest of US: Federal aid The bailout legislation glossed over the profound alteration of the state-local relationship that had occurred with Proposition 13. In adopting the AB 8 system, the state government reassured local governments by si gnaling that it would act something like a fiduciary agent: The state would restore a large portion of the lost funds and allocate them on the traditional basis, namely local voter preference s. However, over time it became clear that the AB 8 system had not restored the status quo ante; instead, it had restored only a false facsimile of the traditional system. As communiti es grew and developed, their AB 8 allocation shares remained basically frozen in time, so that today Californians have become locked into community revenue structures reflecting 30-year -old voter decisions. The rationale for the separation of sources depends on benefits de rived from adjusting local revenue levels in response to local service needs and preferences. The AB 8 system, however, disconnected local revenue from such needs and preferences. What was in 1978 a small, low-tax suburb dependent on the county government or special di stricts for services such as fire protection, may today have grown into a crowded city with diverse service needs, now more fiscally capable of providing them locally. However, the rigidity of the AB 8 system has made it much harder for such a city to reorganize services. Could the state government have created an a llocation system that better preserved the separation of sources doctrine? Such a system is challenging in concept, because the state government is ill equipped to allocate revenue in response to myriad local preferences and conditions. In the immediate aftermath of Proposition 13, the dire need for an expedient solution to stabilize local revenue made such an endeavor politically infeasible. However, by 4 Legislators made some further modifications to the AB 8 system. For example, in 1987, some property taxes were shifted from counti es to selected cities that had either no shares or very small shares of the tax. 5 Applying the COG convention, property taxes are considered local own-source revenue because they are levied locally. However, the constraints impo sed by Proposition 13—and subsequent manipulation of property tax revenue by the state government—mea ns that this calculation tends to over-represent locally-controlled revenue in California. - 4 - the 1990s, as the shortcomings in the state’s approach became more apparent, many reformers advocated a restoration of fundamental principles of the separation of sources doctrine. Reformers even believed this could occur within the parameters of Proposition 13. ERAF Ends the State Governme nt’s Fiduciary Relationship Local government complacency about the post-Proposition 13 system of finance came to an end when the state’s economy slid into severe recession during the early 1990s. Facing court-imposed and voter-imposed constitutional mandates related to education spending (discussed in the next section), the state government balanced its own budget at the expense of local governments, especially co unties. This action signaled the start of a second, highly contentious stage in the post-Proposition 13 st ate-local relationship, during which the full measure of Proposition 13’s effects came home for local governments. In fiscal years 1992–93 and 1993–94, the state government ordered county auditors to transfer about 25 percent of property taxes (over $3.5 billion) to schools that before had been allocated to cities and counties, thereby redu cing the state general fund commitment to K–14 education. Transferred revenue was placed into a so-called Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) in each county; the action came to be known as the “ERAF shift.” In essence, the shift undid post-Proposition 13 relief to cities and counties, reducing the non- education share of property taxes from 65 to 48 percent (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2004b). The amount of funds transferred from each jurisdiction reflected its AB 8 share. The state replaced about half of the lost revenue with funds earmarked for public safety. 6 However, the formulas for allocating new revenue did not match the AB 8 system, and as a result, differences in net tax shift losses ha d only a distant relationship with earlier post- Proposition 13 relief. 7 The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that 13 of 58 counties and about 20 percent of cities actually came out be tter off than before ERAF (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999). With ERAF, the state government shifted its responsibility as fiduciary agent away from local governments toward schools, understandab le given constitutional mandates for school spending imposed by the courts and voters (discu ssed later in more detail). Local governments, alarmed that the governor and legislature had re solved state budget problems at their expense, grew resentful when lost funds were not replaced after the fiscal outlook improved. However, from the state government’s perspective, accusations about “stealing” funds were unfounded. State and local finance had become closely intertwined, and local needs now competed with 6 Proposition 172, passed in 1993, increased state sales taxes one-half cent for public safety. The revenue, about $2 billion annually, went mainly to counties. Growth in Proposition 172 funds is restricted to public safety purposes; thus, the state traded loca l discretionary revenue with earmarked funds. The Citizens Option for Public Safety (COPS) program also was established, providing about $100 million annually for law enforcement—another earmarked revenu e stream. In 1997 and 1998, the state replaced more lost revenues when it assumed all trial court costs for the 20 least-populous counties and capped contributions for the other 38. 7 Proposition 172 sales taxes are distributed based on the county in which the sale occurs. Trial court relief reflects county population and historic court funding formulas. COPS funding is allocated by population. - 5 - many interests for state general fund revenue. Why should local governments not share in budget cuts affecting needed programs and services? By 2006-07, the cumulative total cost of the ERAF shift, less Prop 172 public safety funds, came to $35.9 billion, according to a fiscal expert for the League of California Cities (Coleman, 2006b). The ERAF shift brought home to local governments the undoing of the separation of sources. Although AB 8 had not reconstitute d local fiscal autonomy, it took ERAF to demonstrate local governments’ vulnerability. Over time, the AB 8 system had become ossi fied into an arcane, rigid fiscal system unresponsive to local variation and change. The accretion of related, ad hoc state actions was also making reform more difficult. Local gove rnment anger about the ERAF shift and distrust of state interference stymied discussions on a ho st of policy topics, from local housing mandates to county health and welfare programs, during the 1990s and early 2000s (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999; Senate Local Government Committee, 1999; Fulton, 2003). Yet even as local governments demanded that “stolen” revenue be restored, the establishment of new state programs made the proposition problematic. Mu ch lost revenue had been restored, but to varying degrees among different communities, and often with new program requirements attached. School Finance and the State-Local Relationship The ERAF shift demonstrated to city and county governments that some local interests—specifically, schools—had more successf ully secured a stable share of the state’s general fund dollar. K-14 school finance in Ca lifornia has undergone even more radical change since the 1970s than local government finance, with important outcomes for local governments. Proposition 13 altered school finance dramatically because property taxes had been the traditional main revenue source for school districts. But other factors also had major effects. In particular, in 1971, as a result of a class-action lawsuit ( Serrano v. Priest), the California Supreme Court called on the legislature to equalize school funding per pupil irrespective of differences in the property wealth of school districts. Co urts in about half of U.S. states have forced legislatures to address inadequacies in school quality or spen ding from reliance on property taxes (Berman, 2003). As a result, many states now finance education from other state taxes. The Serrano ruling provided a policy framework that guided the state’s response to school finance after Proposition 13—a framework la rgely absent in the case of the state-local government relationship. Legislative refor ms of school finance helped produce a more equitable distribution of funds across school districts. However, in conjunction with Proposition 13, the system also resulted in lower per pupil spending compared to other states, and legislative reforms did not address needs of disadvantaged children in a significant way (Sonstelie, Brunner, and Ardon, 2000). Observers raise concerns about the system of school finance similar to those about local government finance. Some argue that the complex post-Serrano system is hard for voters to understand, and that state-controlled finance combined with locally-controlled governance disconnects responsibility from authority. Such a system produces neither the merits of state - 6 - control (such as rational performance-based or equity-based criteria and oversight) nor of local control (such as accountability and local responsiveness) (ibid.). A third reform with major consequences for California school finance was Proposition 98. Passed in 1988, Proposition 98 establishe d a constitutional mandate for minimum state spending for K-14 education. A school advocacy coalition had mounted the initiative, concerned about funding in the wake of voter fiscal initiatives. The political lesson was not lost on city and county governments, who would emulate the political approach (namely, going to voters for approval of an initiative to earmark revenue) fifteen years later. In the short run, Proposition 98 hurt local government finance, as ERAF was implemented largely in response. In 2002, schools won another victory with passage of Proposition 39, which lowered the voter threshold for passing local school bonds from 66 to 55 percent. Approval of local school bonds shot up dramatically afterward (Hanak and Baldassare, 2005). Just as with Proposition 98, local governments viewed Proposition 39 as a model; in recent years, local government lobby groups made lowering super-majority re quirements for passing local infrastructure spending a legislative priority. - 7 - Local Governments Since Proposition 13 How have local governments fared since Proposition 13, and how has their relationship with the state government changed? The general patte rn in California is not unique to the state. A tax and expenditure limitation movement caught hold across the nation after Proposition 13; 46 states have measures in place which limit local government revenues and/or spending (Mullins, 2004). As local governments’ ability to raise revenue, particularly property taxes, was constrained and as many state governments took more control of education, the power of state government increased relative to local government s. At the same time, the slowdown of federal aid to localities, and federal devolution to st ates in policy areas such as welfare, also empowered state governments, relatively speaking (Berman, 2003). The trend has not been solely toward greate r centralization at the state level, however (ibid.). Local governments have responded to fi scal limits by maximizing revenue sources over which they retain control in order to replace lo sses in property taxes and federal aid. Some states have provided new local revenue-raising authority; an important California example is counties’ ability, provided since 1987, to raise sales taxes by one-half cent for transportation purposes, subject to voter approval. These fund s form about one-third of local transportation revenue in California. State aid to localities also has increased, especially in states such as California that vest considerable authority over welfare programs at the county level; in these states, federal devolution over programs such as welfare translated into further devolution (ibid.). Because of these trends, tax and expenditure limitations in California as elsewhere have generally had less effect on total local governme nt spending than on the composition of local revenue—in particular through increased reliance on state aid and locally collected fees and taxes (Mullins, 2004). In spite of Proposition 13, California per capita local government revenue has increased over time and remains higher th an the average in other states (Table 1). However, these general trends mask stark contrasts in the way that revenue composition has changed for different types of government in California as compared to the rest of the nation—in particular, for cities and counties. In California, unlike the rest of the nation, structural differences between city and coun ty finance have deepened profoundly since the 1970s. From 1972 to 2002, city own-source revenue in California took on a larger role over time as a share of all state and local revenue, but county own-source revenue diminished. In the rest of the U.S., the reverse occurred (Table 2). 8 8 By contrast, revenue patterns for school districts and special districts were similar in California and the rest of the nation, with own-source revenue from school districts declining over time as a share of state and local revenue and own-source revenue from special districts increasing in share. - 9 - Table 1 Per Capita Local Government General Revenu e, California and Rest of U.S. (2002 $) 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 California Counties 1,268 1,232 998 1,181 1,404 1,296 1,569 Cities 895 1,058 989 1,151 1,202 1,228 1,395 Special Districts 193 267 322 419 438 491 558 School Districts 1,214 1,305 1,011 1,127 1,230 1,245 1,617 Rest of U.S. (excluding California) Counties 482 580 561 677 763 828 935 Cities and Townships 946 1,080 980 1,133 1,215 1,276 1,372 Special Districts 102 146 181 222 236 263 301 School Districts 790 827 764 883 994 1,075 1,199 SOURCE: Data for Tables 1 through 4 and Figures 2 and 3 are from the U.S. Census of Governments (COG). NOTE: In per capita tabulations, the population deno minator varies by level of government. For city revenue, it is the population living in municipalities and townships; for county revenue, it is the population living in counties included in COG financial data; and for special and school districts, it is the total population. Population values are from COG go vernment organization files for the years shown. Table 2 Revenue by Level of Government as Share of Total State and Local General Revenue California Rest of U.S. 1972 1982 1992 2002 1972 1982 1992 2002 Federal Subventions to States 17% 16% 17% 18% 16% 14% 16% 19% Federal Subventions to Localities 2 4 2 3 3 5 2 2 State Own-Source Revenue 36 46 45 43 43 45 45 43 Local Own-Source Revenue 44 34 37 36 38 36 37 35 Counties 14 9 10 8 7 8 9 10 Cities and Townships 11 13 14 14 17 15 14 13 Special Districts 4 5 6 6 2 3 3 3 School Districts 16 7 7 8 12 10 10 9 Total State and Local Revenue 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% - 10 - California cities became more fiscally independent, raising more own-source revenue than in the rest of the nation, but receiv ing less in state subventions (Figure 2). Figure 2 City Per Capita Revenue, Own-Source and from State Subventions 0 400 800 1200 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 Rev enue (2002 $) California: Cit y own-s ourc e Rest of US: Cit y own-s ourc e Rest of US: State subventions to cities California: State subventions to cities Meanwhile, California counties became more dependent on the state. Their own-source revenue plummeted from a high level to below the national average (Figure 3). State subventions more than made up the difference, reaching a level more than three times higher than in the rest of the nation by 2002 (Table 3). By then, California cities raised four-fifths of their revenue independently, but counties only abou t one-third (Table 3). In contrast, in the rest of the nation, city and county finance was much less dissimilar, and both types of local government raised most revenue independently. Figure 3 County Per Capita Revenue, Own-Source and from State Subventions 0 250 500 750 1000 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 Rev enue (2002 $) California: County own-sourc e Rest of US: County own-sourc e California: State subventions to counties Rest of US: State subventions to counties - 11 - Table 3 Per Capita City and County General Revenue by Source (2002 $) Pct. in Pct. in 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 1972 2002 California: Cities Own-source Revenue 648 724 746 926 990 982 1,121 72% 80% Property Taxes 232 251 149 181 235 184 232 26% 17% Sales Taxes 118 139 140 150 134 144 168 13% 12% Other Taxes 93 116 125 177 176 192 212 10% 15% Charges and Fees 119 136 161 213 245 287 311 13% 22% Other 87 83 171 206 200 176 198 10% 14% Federal Subventions 71 125 104 43 45 54 69 8% 5% State Subventions* 176 208 139 182 167 191 205 20% 15% Total General Revenue 895 1,058 989 1,151 1,202 1,228 1,395 100% 100% Rest of U.S.: Cities and Townships Own-source Revenue 641 655 635 794 861 909 955 68% 70% Property Taxes 335 316 248 283 333 327 346 35% 25% Sales Taxes 39 49 53 67 67 76 83 4% 6% Other Taxes 107 116 111 149 151 167 176 11% 13% Charges and Fees 96 112 124 154 192 222 228 10% 17% Other 64 62 98 141 118 118 122 7% 9% Federal Subventions 62 153 113 73 53 63 67 7% 5% State Subventions* 243 272 232 266 301 305 350 26% 26% Total General Revenue 946 1,080 980 1,133 1,215 1,276 1,372 100% 100% California: Counties Own-source Revenue 647 604 407 513 582 465 571 51% 36% Property Taxes 487 447 215 264 307 169 205 38% 13% Sales Taxes 15 19 22 20 19 19 24 1% 2% Other Taxes 13 17 12 19 20 21 25 1% 2% Charges and Fees 93 83 88 121 138 163 218 7% 14% Other 39 38 70 90 96 93 98 3% 6% Federal Subventions 8 77 40 31 22 29 57 1% 4% State Subventions* 612 551 550 637 800 803 941 48% 60% Total General Revenue 1,268 1,232 998 1,181 1,404 1,296 1,569 100% 100% Rest of U.S.: Counties Own-source Revenue 290 326 347 460 523 568 636 60% 68% Property Taxes 173 172 156 191 224 227 252 36% 27% Sales Taxes 18 26 28 46 51 63 68 4% 7% Other Taxes 17 22 22 31 36 42 51 4% 5% Charges and Fees 61 79 91 108 138 166 182 13% 19% Other 20 27 51 84 73 70 83 4% 9% Federal Subventions 10 56 39 26 18 22 26 2% 3% State Subventions* 183 198 174 191 222 238 274 38% 29% Total General Revenue 482 580 561 677 763 828 935 100% 100% * Also includes local intergovernmental revenue - 12 - County Finance Since Proposition 13 What accounts for these differences in city and county finance in California, and why do they matter? Cities and counties became very different types of government after Proposition 13, leading to considerable conflict between them . The main effects on counties of the post- Proposition 13 fiscal regime have been greate r dependence on the state government and a decline in their general-purpose role. Counties hav e three main roles: acting first as “agents of the state” administering mandated federal and st ate programs such as welfare and health care; second, providing countywide services such as airports and jails; and third, providing municipal-type services in unincorporated areas. Counties rely on general purpose revenue to fund their general purpose role and for the loca l “match” often required to obtain state or federal funds. Counties cannot fulfill or ex pand almost any responsibility without general purpose revenue (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1998). Counties have a binary fiscal structure reflecting their multipurpose role, heavily reliant on two revenue sources—property taxes and state subventions (Table 3). With Proposition 13, counties effectively lost control over how their revenue is raised, because of their reliance on these two state-dominated sources. California counties depend more on property taxes for general purpose revenue than counties in the rest of the nation. Other than that tax, California counties have limited countywide taxing power, with their power to raise general-purpose revenue from sales taxes, utility users taxes, and transient occupancy taxes restricted to unincorporated areas. Counties elsewhere rais e more revenue from sales and “other” taxes, both as a share of total revenue and in per capita terms (Table 3). Because of their heavy dependence on property taxes, California counties were harder hit than cities by Proposition 13. Per capita county own-source revenue dropped by about one-third from 1977 to 1982, while city own-source revenue actually increased. Counti es were harder hit again by ERAF; own-source revenue dropped by 20 percent between 1992 and 1997 (Table 3). Since Proposition 13, the state government has adopted various strategies in relation to county “agency” responsibilities. Some of the measures were adopted to help address state budget problems, but many also were undertaken to help rationalize the state-county relationship. The strategies provide useful le ssons about realigning state and local roles and responsibilities. As part of post-Proposition 13 relief, the state “bought out” or reduced the mandated county share of vari ous health and welfare programs. 9 Then, in response to state budget problems in the early 1990s, the state reversed course, adopting a “realignment” strategy to help rationalize the state-county rela tionship. Various program responsibilities were shifted to counties, and new revenue was provided through earmarked increases in the state sales tax and vehicle license fees. 10 9 Transferred programs included Medi-Cal, indigent health, the SSI portion of SSI/SSP, and AFDC. 10 Some cost-sharing changes were substantial. Fo r example, AFDC-Foster Care went from 95 percent state-funded to 40 percent, In-Hom e Supportive Services from 97 to 65 percent, and the state welfare-to- work program (GAIN) from 100 to 70 percent (Chapman , 1998). However, the state retained authority to set eligibility criteria. The total increase in county expenditures was about $2.2 billion. During the late 1990s, the state adopted more program changes that aided counties. In 1997, as part of the state’s welfare reform, counties were given increased flexibility as prov iders of last resort for indigents, and also fiscal incentives to move aid recipients off welfare and/or reduce fraud. In 1997 and 1998, the state bought out - 13 - Some observers criticized realignment for shifting responsibilities to counties without providing adequate revenue to fund them (Roush and Romero, 2000). Others contend that realignment has provided steadier revenue and should be considered positive overall in clarifying state-county relationships (Chapman, 1998; Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2001). Principles of the realignment e ffort—successfully implemented in some instances, such as for mental health programs—are held up as a mo del for future changes in the relationship (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2001). These prin ciples include dedicated state revenue streams outside the annual budget appropriat ion process, ability to alter historical allocations (such as by equalizing funding based on changing caseloads or poverty incidence), greater county flexibility (in regulation and in shifting revenue across programs), fiscal incentives for efficiency (in particular, by altering revenue growth formul as to reward cost-cutting), and state oversight through performance measurement (ibid.). Although the state “bought out” or realigned county agency responsibilities after Proposition 13, there was no similar effort to ai d counties’ general-purpose functions. County services funded through general purpose revenue and not targeted by state aid—such as library services—suffered (California State Association of Counties, 2004). Some counties were forced to sell assets, increase debt, or cut services , employment, or compensation (Swenson, 1999; Saxton, Hoene, and Erie, 2002). California counties’ agency functi ons, reflecting their most restricted role, comprise over half of county expenditure (Table 4). In the rest of the nation, the same functions account for only about one-third, but the absolute level is much lower. When public safety expenditure (also subject to state restriction) is added in, only about one-third of California county expenditure reflects other general purpose functi ons. In 2002, per capita spending for those other functions in California counties was lower t han the average for counties in the rest of the nation, in spite of the fact that a higher share of California’s population lived in unincorporated areas. In addition to constraining countywide general services, cuts to general-purpose revenue affected municipal-type services provid ed for residents of unincorporated areas, and especially in counties in which new cities inco rporated after Proposition 13. Under the AB 8 system, counties lost property tax revenue wh en new cities incorporated, and they had no effective means to increase tax rates to compensate . This situation led to much conflict between cities and counties as city incorporations rose after Proposition 13. Although 19 new cities were incorporated during the 1970s, during the 198 0s and early 1990s (to 1992) another 46 were incorporated. Counties complained that incorporations allowed the new cities to capture sales tax revenue from retail activity in the formerly un incorporated areas. In 1992, to address these concerns, counties gained passage of a “revenue neutrality” law, which requires that a newly incorporating city demonstrate it would leave the county government fiscally unharmed (Fulton, 2002b). Since then, incorporations slow ed down, with only 10 new cities having been established, because in practice, incorporations now depend on new cities turning over some tax money to counties (ibid.). responsibility for trial court funding, providing counti es with over $700 million in annual relief (Roush and Romero, 2000). - 14 - Table 4 Per Capita County Direct General Expenditure by Category (2002 $) California Rest of U.S. 1972 1982 1992 2002 1972 1982 1992 2002 Agency Role (California) Social Services 539 322 450 385 78 54 79 89 Health 161 165 266 326 84 108 136 160 Judicial 0 42 114 120 0 18 33 42 Other Services Public Safety 110 123 193 243 31 53 95 128 Education 59 75 75 136 104 95 131 164 Transportation 65 46 49 63 70 63 73 80 Environment and Housing 68 56 83 76 30 39 58 78 General Government (except judicial) 124 73 54 59 52 42 54 63 Interest on General Debt 12 12 42 37 13 24 51 46 Other 53 43 58 80 36 49 64 88 Total Expenditure 1,191 958 1,384 1,524 499 544 775 936 “Agency Role,” % of Total 59% 55% 60% 55% 33% 33% 32% 31% “Agency” and Public Safety, % of Total 68% 68% 74% 70% 39% 43% 44% 45% Cities After Proposition 13 Fiscal constraint has also co nstricted cities’ general-purpose role, but in a different manner than for counties. California cities have become more independent, relying more than in the past, and the rest of the nation, on own- source revenue. However, many of the faster- growing city revenue sources are more closel y linked to specific services rendered—for example, revenue from charges and fees. Community-wide taxes and services have declined as a share of city finance. Thus, even as structur al differences between cities and counties have deepened since Proposition 13, in both cases their general-purpose government roles were constrained. While the main effect on counties of Propos ition 13 was to increase dependence on the state, cities instead became more entrepreneur ial about identifying new revenue sources—with major consequences for land use and development—and more aggressive about imposing user charges and fees. Unlike counties, cities faced a decline in subvention funding until recently, and they turned to other revenue sources to make up for the losses (Table 3). Before Proposition 13, cities had become mo re fiscally self-reliant than counties, diversifying their own-source revenue base so t hat by 1972, property taxes constituted only one- quarter of city revenue, compared to 38 percent for counties (Table 3). However, most community-wide discretionary revenue came from two sources—property and sales taxes. These sources declined from 39 percent of city re venue in 1972 to 29 percent in 2002 (Table 3). In their place, cities turned to revenue source s that more closely link payments to services received, such as charges, fees, and benefit asses sments. Although California city officials rate the sales tax and property tax most desirable over all, most still would elect to raise or impose - 15 - new user fees instead (Baldassare and Hoene, 2004a). Revenue from charges and fees increased by 162 percent in California cities from 1972 to 2002, faster than for California counties and cities in the rest of the nation. Per capita revenue from benefit assessments in California nearly doubled from 1987 to 2002, reaching a level more than twice as high as in the rest of the nation. As a result, the cost of city services has become increasingly “internalized,” based on a “user pays” principle. Such financing may be efficient economically if services can be treated independently (Sexton and Sheffrin, 1997). Howeve r, when interdependencies such as shared infrastructure exist, residents should take them into account. As community-wide taxing power declines, voters may be less apt to engage in or understand decisionmaking for their community’s future. In that case, the general-pu rpose character of local government is eroded. Also, “particularized” services may become ineffi cient if revenue structures are rigid, as with the AB 8 system in regard to services provided by special districts. Fiscal constraint also affected local government choices about land use and development, an important element of home rule power. Land use choices became increasingly “fiscalized,” scrutinized with an eye to budget impacts. One consequence is that city governments strongly favor retail developm ent over housing and industry—land uses generally less able to “pay their way” in terms of the cost of services (Lewis and Barbour, 1999; Coleman, 2006a). Cities compete to attract retail development and associated sales tax revenue, which in California is allocated on a “situs” basis (to the jurisdiction in which the sale occurred). California cities earn about twice as much in per capita sales tax revenue as cities in the rest of the nation, and about seven times more than California counties (Table 3). 11 Still, sales tax as a share of city revenue has declined since 1972 (Table 3). With the hierarchy among cities for sales tax dollars rather stable over that time , it appears that cities have been competing over a relatively fixed pot of money. Inducements offered to retailers may serve mainly, in the aggregate, to divert public resources to the retail sector (Lewis and Barbour, 1999; Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2007). In spite of complaints about ill effects of competition for retail development, city governments themselves have not been strong advocates for reforming the system. To the contrary, many of them have been more apt to re sist such reforms (California Budget Project, 2004). For example, a bill introduced in 2002 would have introduced a modicum of sales tax sharing among jurisdictions in the Sacramento regi on. It was defeated by stiff opposition from suburban cities which feared they would lose out to the City of Sacramento (CP&DR Staff, 2002; Fulton, 2002a). Such controversies demonstrate th e difficulty—especially if competition over a resource is intense—of changing the system in a way that creates new winners and losers (ibid.). As voter-imposed fiscal constraints have limited the ability to raise community-wide funds, another result has been to transfer the costs of infrastructure for new development onto the development itself. For example, local offi cials impose fees and exactions on developers and create community facilities districts. 12 These techniques facilitate development in 11 However, many states do not impose local sales taxes. 12 In 1982, the state authorized “Mello-Roos” financing. Within designated areas, two-thirds of the voters, or landowners representing two-thir ds of the land area, can issue debt for capital improvements, and levy - 16 - “greenfields” areas more than “infill” development in built-up areas.13 However, one state development tool that does aid inner-city areas—redevelopment financing—has gained importance. Authorized since 1951, this techni que facilitates improvements in designated “blighted” areas by allowing local governments to borrow funds to be paid back from increased property taxes generated by the improvements. 14 Most of the state’s 422 redevelopment areas are managed by cities, which capture most of th e growth in property tax receipts (the “tax increment” revenue) that otherwise would have been parceled out among all local government entities serving that area. From 1980 to 2006, the number of redevelopment agencies in the state more than doubled to 422, and the number of project ar eas more than tripled to 759 (California State Controller’s Office, 2007). According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, redevelopment agencies captured 10 percent of state property tax revenues in 2003-04, up from 2 percent in 1977-78 (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2005). Conc ern about abuse led to 1993 reforms that tightened the statutory definition of “blight” and allocated a portion of tax increment to all local agencies servicing a redevelopment area. Ho wever, no state agency regularly reviews redevelopment proposals. Even as cities looked for new revenue sources, frustrated anti-tax advocacy groups sought to rein them in. In 1996, voters passed Proposition 218, the “Right to Vote on Taxes Act.” The constitutional amendment culminated a decade-long effort by anti-tax groups to establish vote requirements for local taxes and sought to prevent local governments from turning to other revenues sources without gain ing voter approval. Proposition 218 established that majority voter approval is required to impose or increase any local tax for general purposes, and two-thirds voter approval is required for taxes designated for special purposes. Vote requirements for property assessments and property-related fees and charges also were specified. 15 In spite of Proposition 218, per capita city re venue from “other taxes,” charges, fees, and assessments increased from 1997 to 2002 (although fo r the latter categories, at a slower rate than from 1992 to 1997). And although more local tax measures were placed on the ballot after 1996, passage rates did not change much (Rueben and Cerd án, 2003). Thus, overall, California cities have been able to increase revenue in spite of vo ter constraints. However, these general trends mask differences among cities. Less than one- third are “full-service,” meaning they are taxes to pay for it. In practice, governments often work with developers to establish such community facilities districts for new neighborhoods. 13 Developer fees do not require voter approval. 14 Redevelopment agencies’ tax allocation bonds do not require voter approval. 15 New benefit assessments must meet extensive requirements for determining proportionate benefits and weighted voting according to benefit. A detailed report by a registered engineer is required to demonstrate the special benefit for each land parcel. To levy assessments, local governments must first hold a mail-in election with ballots weighted by th e proposed assessment, and with a weighted majority required for passage. Thus, the vote of a corporation (located anywhere) can outweigh votes of resident property owners (Tranter, 2006). To set a property-related fee or charge, a majority vote of affected property owners or two-thirds of voters within an af fected area is required. Fees for sewer, water, and refuse collection are exempt. Fees for a general serv ice are specifically disallowed (e.g., police, fire, ambulance, and libraries). - 17 - responsible for a full set of municipal services including police, fire, parks and recreation, libraries, streets, and land use planning (Coleman, 1999). 16 Partial-service cities rely on special districts and/or county governments for some se rvices and generally receive smaller shares of property taxes. Thus, they are more dependent on sales taxes. City revenue levels vary not only because of differing service responsibilitie s, but also depending on voter willingness to pass new taxes. Research in California and nationally suggests that voter constraints have widened historical revenue differences among cities, limiting poorer and more fiscally constrained cities the most. 17 Thus, although some cities have maintain ed or increased revenues in the more competitive post-Proposition 13 context, others have fallen behind. Propositions 13 and 218 were blunt instruments, imposing a one-size-fits -all constraint on local taxing and spending. Although voters apparently find such seemingl y straightforward mandates appealing ways to curb government excess, they most probably do not understand how such measures affect localities individually and differentially. Most voters indicate a low level of understanding about fiscal issues in the st ate (Baldassare et al., 2007). Local officials feel constrained by both voters and the state government. In contrast to state voters, seven in ten California city official s say that Proposition 13 has mainly been a bad thing for the state (Baldassare and Hoene, 2005). 18 They are more apt than city officials in other states to consider tax and expenditure limits to be sometimes or always a bad idea (Baldassare and Hoene, 2004b). Only one in three California city officials consider it possible to spend less and still maintain the city’s service levels; in other states, a slim majority consider it possible. In looking ahead, California city officials are more likely than officials elsewhere to see the largest challenges coming from cuts in federal or state support for cities and federal or state preemption of local authority, and to be more co ncerned about effects of voter pressure to limit taxation and public perceptions of waste in government (ibid.). 16 However, full-service cities serve a majority of the state’s population. 17 See Rueben and Cerdán (2003) and Mullins (2004). Fr om 1980 to 2000, about half of California cities proposed at least one ballot measure to increase taxe s; one-third of cities were successful in gaining passage (Rueben and Cerdán, 2003). Various factors relate to cities’ likelihood of placing a measure on the ballot, and the chances of success. For example, ci ties that did not propose ballot measures had more diversified tax bases to start with and became increasi ngly reliant on fees and assessments. Cities more apt to attempt and to pass new tax measures historic ally relied more on property taxes. Those with higher income, fewer special districts, and lower nonw hite household shares also were more likely to gain passage. The group of cities that tried and failed to pass new taxes had lower property tax and overall revenues before Pr oposition 13, and those differences widene d over time. These cities had lower Democratic voter registration shares and lower hous ehold income than those that passed a tax measure. 18 A majority (57%) of California residents polled in 2003 said that passing Proposition 13 has turned out to be mostly a good thing, and that its property tax limitations have had either a good effect (27%) or no effect (29%) on local government services (Baldassare, 2003). However, a year later a majority (60%) also indicated that local government did not have adequa te funding for infrastructure projects needed to prepare for future growth, and a majority (56%) would have been willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for local government services (Balda ssare, 2004 a and c). California residents also consider local governments inefficient; in 2004, 58 percent believed that their local government could spend less and still provide the same level of services , and 71 percent that the state government could do so (Baldassare, 2004b). - 18 - Conflicts Reach the Breaking Point: The Path to Proposition 1A By the late 1990s, state-local fiscal conflict in California had grown heated. State policymakers were concerned abou t growth-related problems—in particular, lack of affordable housing and strains on public infrastructure syst ems. These concerns forced state leaders to face consequences for land use and developmen t of the post-Proposition 13 fiscal regime. However, efforts to enact growth policy reform were stymied by local government anger over the ERAF shift of the early 1990s. The impasse in state-local relations led state policymakers to consider a systematic overhaul of the state-local relationship. Growth Concerns Come to the Forefront By the late 1990s, state policymakers had gr own alarmed about a housing affordability “crisis” in the state and its potential effect on economic health. At the same time, they worried about the need for new investment in infrastruc ture to support projected population growth. With real costs increasing for building and maintaining public infrastructure facilities, and various facilities reaching capacity limits, numerous policy re ports called for more strategic state planning and investment. 19 Meanwhile, environmental mandates posed another growth- related constraint. For example, most of the state’s metropolitan regions remain out of compliance with federal air quality standards, and mobile sources such as cars and trucks form the largest source of polluting emissions (Calif ornia Air Resources Board, 2007). California is also a “hot spot” for biological diversity, leading to protracted legal battles over new development projects on the fringe of urban ar eas, as proposed developments collided with legal mandates for preserving natural habitat for threatened and endangered species. In a context of growth-related pressure and fiscal and environmental constraint, state leaders scrutinized local land use and housing po licy more closely. The issue strained state- local relations because land use decisions had long been considered a home rule prerogative. While a principal concern was whether local go vernments were doing enough to facilitate housing production, policymakers also viewed l and use as a potential lever for promoting more efficient infrastructure investment and meetin g environmental mandates. For example, more compact “transit-oriented” development might help address environmental, housing, and infrastructure imperatives simultaneously. In considering these issues, California was not unique. Concerns about problems associated with uncoordinated sprawl development, such as higher transportation costs and air pollution, have induced a number of state gove rnments to adopt stronger growth management policies—thereby provoking resentment from local governments (Berman, 2003). However, California, traditionally a planning innovator, has been behind that curve during recent decades. Although many bold reform efforts have been advanced—for example by Governor Wilson during the early 1990s—they frequently fa iled because of local government resistance. For example, local governments walked away from the negotiations with Wilson because of anger about the ERAF shift (Ful ton, 1993; Innes et al., 1994). 19 See Hanak and Baldassare (2005) for a discussion. - 19 - Thus, inasmuch as the post-Prop 13 fiscal regime imposes dysfunctional incentives for land use and development, it also directly undermines the potential for negotiating reforms to improve the system. Discussions on reforming fiscal relations, growth management, housing mandates, tax base sharing, and a host of county health and welfare programs, stalled after ERAF because of local officials’ resistance to any new system that would create “winners” and “losers,” and because of entrenched distrust of state interference (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999; Senate Local Government Committee, 1999; Fulton, 2003). Regarding policy areas such as land use, wh ich have traditionally been considered the prerogative of local governments, the image of centralized state control in post-Proposition 13 California is inaccurate. Voters generally suppo rt local control over development decisions, giving local governments something of a veto over state policies they do not like. 20 However, local officials’ relationship with their voters is tricky, because even as voters voice support for local control, they also support tax and expenditure limitations that rein in local governments. Voters believe that local control means themselves, not their elected officials. 21 Voters’ desire to retain control seems somewhat ironic, given that Proposition 13 constrained local choice over property tax levels and helped create a more opaque finance system difficult for most fiscal experts—let alone voters—to understand. A Window Opens for Reform of the State-Local Relationship By the late 1990s, a window opened for reform of the state-local relationship, considered by many to be fundamentally out of whack. Calling the property tax allocation system “seriously flawed,” the legislature and Governor Davis indicated their intent to reform the system in order to increase taxpayer knowle dge, provide better incentives for land use and development, and provide greater local control (Chapter 94, Statutes of 1999). The governor directed the legislature to consider fundamen tal reform (Carpenter, 2001). The Assembly Speaker created a Commission on State and Local Government Finance, and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee held statewide forums (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999). Numerous reform proposals circulated. Th eir common themes included addressing the lack of accountability in a system so arcane th at few could understand the relationship between taxes and the services they paid for, and ameliorating the constraints and realigning incentive structures that rendered local governments unab le to respond effectively to the needs of an expanding economy. Reform proposals a ddressed accountability, intergovernmental 20 In 2001, three-quarters (74%) of California resident s indicated that city and county governments should decide local growth and development, rather than ha ve the state government take a more active role (Baldassare, 2001). In 2004, a majority of adults (51%) and of likely voters (59%) reaffirmed that local governments, rather than the state, should decide how much and what kinds of new housing to build in their communities (Baldassare, 2004d). On the other hand, in 2004 and 2006, a majority of residents indicated that the state government should provide gu idelines for local land use and development, rather than not be involved (Baldassare, 2004c and 2006). 21 When asked who should make the important decisions at the local level, nearly three-quarters (73%) of state residents surveyed replied that local voters shou ld do so at the ballot box, while about one-quarter (23%) replied that local elected officials should make the most important decisions (Baldassare, 2004c). - 20 - coordination, revenue stability, skewed development incentives, and local inability to finance services from locally levied taxes. 22 Revenue stability was a major concern. Many advocated a constitutional amendment to prevent the state government from shifting prop erty taxes to address its own budget needs. There was tension between reforms to ensure aggregate local revenue stability, by precluding state “raids” of local revenue, versus revenue stability for individual local governments, by guaranteeing no net loss to any government. “Revenue neutral” reform was considered politically paramount, but applied at the indivi dual government level, it made systematic change difficult. Regarding fiscal structure, many argued that the state government should shift more property tax revenue to cities, even as it reduced sales taxes revenue to cities, in order to create better land use incentives. Some proposals would have addressed the problem of situs-based competition for sales taxes by distributing th e revenue on a different basis, such as by population or to counties. Others would have swapped substantial portions of existing sales and property tax revenue, and still others woul d have swapped only new revenue growth from these sources. However, the assumption that a revenue swap of this sort would improve land use incentives was not systematically tested. 23 As with Proposition 13 itself, a one-size-fits-all approach could produce unintended and non-un iform effects, and it would perpetuate the disconnection between local service choices and revenue streams. To address this concern, some proposals wo uld have increased local authority over the property tax, for example by lowering the rate to provide a certain amount of “room” for local choice within the 1 percent property tax rate cap, or by allowing local governments to allocate property taxes based on agreed-upon service pl ans. The latter reform could have promoted reorganizing responsibilities for the sake of effici ency and accountability. For example, if cities, counties, and special districts collectively deve loped compacts for reallocating property tax revenue, subject to voter approval, they might consolidate operations in the process. Along similar lines, some advocated allo cating all property taxes to cities and allowing them to establish contracts with other agencies. Some reforms would have required altering key provisions of Proposition 13—for example, by lowering vote requirements on spec ial taxes to 55 percent or by treating assessment of residential and commercial property taxes diffe rently (thereby creating a “split roll”). The split assessment roll would address concerns t hat because corporate buildings and commercial and industrial property are sold less often than is residential property, they are thus reassessed less frequently. Reforms could include regular reassessments regardless of whether a sale 22 See California Constitution Revision Commission (1996); Legislative Analyst's Office (1993 and 2000); California State Controller’s State Municipal Adviso ry Reform Team (1999); Speaker's Commission on State and Local Government Finance (2000); California State Association of Counties (2000); League of California Cities (2000). 23 A consultant to the League of California Cities argued that under the scenario proposed by the Commission on State and Local Government Finance—to reduce local sales taxes by half in exchange for equivalent property tax revenue—many cities would st ill find retail development more lucrative than housing in relation to service requirements (Coleman, 2000 and 2003). - 21 - occurred, or redefining change in ownership. However, most proposals would have operated within the provisions of Proposition 13. Some proposals focused on clarifying responsi bilities, for example, in relation to the county role. County “municipal” functions might be transferred to other entities, such as inter- city joint powers authorities. The realignment process might be strengthened by devolving to counties certain programs for which innovation , local responsiveness, and efficiency are paramount, for example inter-related public health, mental health, and child welfare programs (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2001 and 2003). The reform debates brought out underlying questions at the heart of the state-local relationship regarding the balance between stat e and local interests. There is an inherent tension between the state’s interest in achievin g consistency for statewide policy—for example, to enhance equity in the allocation of resource s or promote efficient development patterns—and increasing local accountability and control to promote responsiveness to local needs and preferences. In the debates, tension over increase d state control arose especially in regard to the proposals to alter the allocation of sales taxes so as to reorient development incentives. In spite of wide consensus about the negative conseque nces of the current allocation system, local governments have resisted efforts to reallocate sales taxes because this general-purpose revenue source is one of the few over whic h they retain some discretion. Also at stake in the debates was how the state government could frame a local fiscal and governance system responsive to local needs and preferences. With over 6,000 units of local government in California, the very complexity of local government today serves as a constraint on state policymaking. The traditional answer—to establish separate spheres of influence and fiscal authority—is difficult to reconstruct, not just within curren t fiscal constraints but also now that prerogatives once considered local—such as land use—are subject to state scrutiny. The reform debate indicated widespread agreement among policymakers that the state- local relationship needed repair. Most proposal s would have operated within the parameters of Proposition 13, indicating that reformers vi ewed major problems—and their solutions—as advancing within its constraints. However, although over 50 ERAF relief bills were introduced in the 1999 and 2000 legislative session, and a joint conference committee deliberated major reform proposals, the outcome was the pass age only of one-time ERAF relief, not thoroughgoing reform. Difficulties in achieving “revenue neutrality” while also accomplishing substantial reform, and in addressing variation in local government circumstances and needs, were cited as primary obstacles (Senate Local Government Committee, 1999; Carpenter, 2001). Local Governments Enter a New Age: Proposition 1A In 2004, the state-local relationship in Calif ornia underwent substantial change. But just as in the previous decade, this change was not th e result of a careful effort to systematically reform the relationship, so much as it was a response to a state budget crisis that brought conflicts to the fore. And also, as with the ERAF shift, the 2004 reform exacerbated some underlying problems. - 22 - Already angry about ERAF, local governments became more wary about state interference when, starting in 1999, the state government began phasing in reductions of the vehicle license fee (VLF) as tax relief for voters. The VLF, a substitute for property taxes on vehicles, has long been a substantial local revenue source. 24 The fee was reduced to one-third its earlier level by 2001. Local government loss es were backfilled from the state general fund, which, at full implementation, cost about $4.1 b illion annually (California Budget Project, 2004). The legislature created a trigger mechanism allowing the VLF to be restored during lean fiscal times. But the VLF move raised uneasy memories of AB 8 and ERAF, because the state could reverse its commitment. Feeling constrained by voters on the one hand, and the state government on the other, local governments organized to protect their ow n interests. Cooperation between city and county governments had been a while in the making because of past conflicts over redevelopment finance, new city incorporations, and annexations of areas with lucrative retail development. However, reforms of incorporat ion and redevelopment law allowed cities and counties to put aside differences and face what they perceived as a common threat. By the 2000s, local government lobby groups were among the most vocal at the state level. The League of California Cities (LCC)—t he association representing California cities— was considered among the most aggressive of such groups in the nation (Berman, 2003). From 2001 to 2006, non-education local government entities and their associations spent about $38 million annually to lobby the state government. Counting school districts and public offices of education as well, local government lobbying accounted for 20 percent of total lobbying expenditures in the state. Table 5 shows the expenditures for 2003-04, the years leading up to passage of Proposition 1A. After the high-tech bubble burst in the earl y 2000s, the state government faced severe budget problems because its revenue depended heav ily on personal income taxes that dropped dramatically as stock earnings plummeted (S heffrin, 2004). Governor Davis was trapped between constraints on spending cuts resulting from constitutional commitments and resistance from the Democratic legislative majority and interest groups such as public employee unions, on the one hand, and Republican veto power over tax increases (because of the two-thirds legislative vote requirements fo r passing budgets and state tax rates) on the other (Schrag, 2006). As a result, constitutionally unprotected areas of the budget were vulnerable to cuts; these included higher education and local governments. By 2004, local governments felt their heads were on the chopping block. In 2003, Governor Davis had pulled the VLF trigger, faced wi th few politically acceptable alternatives in addressing a $38 billion deficit. Payment of a po rtion of the VLF backfill to local governments, totaling $1.3 billion, was deferred (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2004a). In 2002, 2003, and 2004, the state deferred mandate reimbursements to lo cal governments; the total exceeded $1.5 billion by late 2004 (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2004c). 24 All VLF revenue is dedicated to local governments pursuant to the state constitution. Statutes provide 75 percent to cities and counties on a per capita basi s, and 25 percent to counties for health and welfare programs pursuant to the 1991-92 realignment (Roush and Romero, 2000). - 23 - Table 5 California Lobbying Expenditures by Employer, Government-Related Categories, 2003-04 25 $ % GOVERNMENT (EXCEPT EDUCATION) Associations of Governments 12,400,994 3.0% Transportation Agencies and Authorities 6,617,265 1.6% Utility and Natural Resource Districts 16,022,985 3.9% City and County Governments 36,906,246 8.9% Indian Tribes 2,956,756 0.7% Redevelopment Agencies 302,802 0.1% Sheriff/Fire Departments or Districts 1,026,841 0.2% Other 1,358,695 0.3% Total 77,592,586 18.8% PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (EXCEPT EDUCATION) Associations and Unions 11,426,929 2.8% EDUCATION (PRIVATE AND PUBLIC) School Districts and District Associations 6,691,504 1.6% County Superintendents, Offices of Education 1,868,620 0.5% Other (includes unions) 20,748,982 5.0% Total 29,309,107 7.1% OTHER EMPLOYERS 294,892,516 71.4% TOTAL LOBBYING EXPENDITURES 413,221,137 100.0% SOURCE: California Secretary of State Cal-Access data. Governor Davis’ VLF rate increase was among the actions that prompted angry voters to elect Arnold Schwarzenegger in his place in the recall election of November 2003. After taking office, Schwarzenegger immediately reversed the VLF increase. He announced he would shift $1.3 billion in property taxes (about 10 percent of local government property taxes) to the schools to reduce the state’s funding obligations (California Budget Project, 2004). ERAF funds also were traded as part of a complex mechani sm by which the state could pay off $15 billion in economic recovery bonds, passed in March 2004, without raising taxes. 26 25 The totals shown by category do not match those ta bulated by the Secretary of State. In that data, employers’ type categorization is self-designated; the result is inconsistency both within years (for employers of the same type, such as resource distri cts) and across years for given employers. For these calculations, the data was re-evalu ated and each employer assigned to one of the categories shown. 26 Through this mechanism, called the “triple flip,” th e state share of the sales tax rate was increased by one-quarter cent and dedicated to repaying the bonds. The local government share was reduced accordingly, to be replaced by property tax revenue. Schools were made whole from the state general fund. This mechanism will expire after the bonds are repaid. - 24 - Local governments raised a battle cry. The LCC, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and the California Special District Association formed LOCAL (Leave Our Community Assets Alone), a statewide coalition of over 300 agencies and groups representing health care, law enforcement, fire and emergency se rvices, park districts, utility districts, labor, chambers of commerce, and others (Tranter, 2006). In March 2004, the coalition qualified a state ballot initiative, Proposition 65, for the upcomi ng November election. As a constitutional amendment, Proposition 65 would have prohibited reductions in local receipts from the property and sales taxes and VLF fees without st atewide voter approval, and it would also have prohibited any effort to swap sales taxes for prop erty taxes—in other words, to alter the current allocation system for these taxes. It would have immediately and re troactively blocked a proposed ERAF transfer of $1.3 billion in pr operty taxes for 2004-05, and again for 2005-06, pending approval by state voters. Unfunded mandates would have been prohibited; local governments could ignore any state requirement no t fully reimbursed or could carry it out and obligate the state. Proposition 65’s protections would have applied to cities, counties, special districts, and redevelopment agencies. As Schwarzenegger surveyed the prospects for passing the 2004 state budget, he proposed increasing state borrowing to pay off the deficit. He also negotiated agreements with teachers unions, the 4-year university systems, prison guards unions, and Indian tribes—and local governments. Schwarzenegger offered loca l governments long-term gain in exchange for short-term pain. He would support a ballot measur e to protect local revenues, but in return he asked local governments to give up $1.3 billion in each of two years (2004-05 and 2005-06). Many Democrats balked at putting local revenues off limits and placing in the constitution the existing systems for allocating property and sa les taxes. But local governments stood firm. Negotiations resulted in Proposition 1A being placed on the November ballot as an alternative to Proposition 65. The constitutio nal amendment would ensure that after the two- year ERAF shift was complete, the state could only borrow local property taxes under certain conditions, including repayment within three years. 27 Any reduction in the VLF rate would require reimbursement to local governments of lo st revenues. At the cities' insistence, the legislature also would be barred from reducing the amount of sales tax that local governments collect or from redistributing it among local entities. 28 The LCC indicated that it would not accept any deal without this provision (Ve llinga, 2004). Furthermore, any change in how property tax revenues are allocated among non- education local governments within a county would require approval by two-thirds of both houses of the legislature. Unfunded mandates could not be forced on non-education local gove rnments, but if they chose to carry them out anyway, the state would not be liable. Unlike Proposition 65, Proposition 1A exempted redevelopment agencies from its protections. 27 The state could borrow up to 8 percent of total pr operty tax revenue if the governor proclaimed a “severe fiscal hardship” and if the legislature, by a two-thirds vote in each house, enacted an urgency measure and legislation providing full repayment plus interest within three years. This temporary property tax shift could occur no more than twice in a ten-year period, and only if all previous borrowing had been repaid. Voter approval would not be required. 28 The only exceptions would be if a change were re quired by federal law or if it were necessary to participate in an interstate agreement (for example, one that addresses payment of sales tax for internet purchases). - 25 - Local leaders threw their support behind Proposition 1A, raising $9.4 million for the measure (in addition to $3 million to gather the si gnatures necessary to qualify the initiative). The measure passed with 85 percent of the vote in favor. To put the campaign spending in perspective, average per-measure spending in su pport of ballot initiatives in California from 2002 to 2006 was $11.8 million, and median spending was $7.1 million. 29 Within a national context, spending for Proposition 1A was at 95 percent of the average, and 266 percent of the median, for per capita spending per ballot meas ure nationally for those measures related to taxation and state budgets during the years 2003 and 2004. 30 More than half of the contributions to the Proposition 1A campaign committee came from government-related organizations or employees, and about 11 percen t from real estate/finance/insurance sector contributors. 31 The two largest contributors, LCC/Ci tiPac and CSAC, together raised more than $4 million. Proposition 1A reflected the evolving politics of the state-local relationship. In cutting a deal on a ballot initiative, Schwarzenegger and local governments combined forces to make an end run around the legislature. That tactic si gnaled a change in power and approach vis-à-vis the legislature by both the governor and local governments. On Schwarzenegger’s part, it reflected his clout not just as an individual, but also the systematic strengthening of the governor’s role in relation to the legislature sinc e Proposition 13, as a result of such measures as term limits and legislative redistricting. Schw arzenegger’s use of ballot measures to achieve policy aims has been unprecedented. On the part of local governments, using th e initiative process to achieve their aims signaled a new approach toward the state govern ment, one in which they act more overtly like an interest group than an intergovernmental partner. The strategy shows that they have come of age politically; they marshaled collective reso urces and devised a winning strategy to protect their interests. However, Proposition 1A exhibits some unfortunate aspects of initiative-based policymaking in California—protecting narrow intere sts, often inflexibly. The proposition also protected—by placing into the state constituti on—dysfunctional aspects of the current state- local finance system, in particular, rigid and arca ne financing rules that hamper flexibility and transparency in addressing growth concerns facing the state. 29 This estimate is based on the author’s calculatio ns from campaign spending data from the California Secretary of State’s Office, in 2004 dollars. If a campaign committee registered support or opposition for more than one initiative, spending for that committee was split among all initiatives supported or opposed by the committee excluding initiatives for which no spending occurred, for or against. 30 Author’s calculations from data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, excluding initiatives for which no spending occurred. The number of initiatives nationally pertaining to taxation or state budgets during 2003 and 2004 was small, includ ing only 12 initiatives. To provide a broader comparison, spending on Proposition 1A was at 56 percent of the average, and 140 percent of the median, of per capita spending for all 104 state ballot measures during 2003 and 2004 for which spending occurred. 31 Based on data from the National In stitute on Money in State Politics. - 26 - Conclusion The passage of Proposition 1A represents a sort of bookend to the drama in state-local relations that played out after passage of Proposition 13, with local governments shifting the power balance back toward themselves vis-à-vi s the state government. By ending the decade- long stalemate in state-local relations precipitat ed by the ERAF shift, Proposition 1A may have opened the door for more productive negotiations on various policy topics. However, it also perpetuates the system that helped make local governments more vulnerable in the first place— one in which constraints imposed by someti mes narrow interests (often through ballot initiatives) serve to reduce the power and flexib ility of government to deliberate, balance, and trade off interests and integrate policies across needs, rather than apply ad hoc responses to the same pressures and needs. Proposition 1A prevents the state government from using local governments as a fiscal “shock absorber,” and this will constrict the st ate’s options when facing tight budgets. In addition to limiting government revenue throug h Propositions 13, 218, and other measures, California’s electorate also has voted to protect K-14 education, after-school programs, transportation funds, and “three strikes” as a de facto minimum for the prison system. With more and more of the state budget earmarked through voter initiatives, systematic changes may be more difficult to accomplish and government all the more impenetrable to voters. Programs that lack constitutional protection will be more vulnerable during economic downturns. These include higher education, resource and environm ental protection, health, social services, and public safety (California Budget Project, 2004). While schools are protected by Proposition 98, its spending guarantees are easier to suspend than Proposition 1A’s. 32 Thus, Proposition 1A also may threaten K-14 spending, an ironic outc ome given that, traditionally, local governments and voters were responsible for school spending choices. However, Proposition 1A constricts not only the state but local governments as well. In some important ways, local governments traded control for stability. Proposition 1A seems to strengthen the separation of sources by erecting a firewall between state and local revenue, but it provides no greater local reve nue-raising authority. Instead, Proposition 1A perpetuates the disconnection between local revenue and local service needs and preferences instituted with the AB 8 system. In this sense, Proposition 1A parallels AB 8 in establishing a distorted—and ultimately false—facsimile of the origi nal separation of sources doctrine. Local governments supported this outcome be cause of the urgency they felt in 2004 (when faced with an imminent threat of losing revenue) to oppose state interference and achieve revenue stability. They found it much easi er to unite around that simple theme than to negotiate a new, more rational system of lo cal finance, even one that might have provided greater local discretion over revenues. Reorde ring fiscal priorities and arrangements would have inevitably entailed creating new winners and losers among them, a basic sticking point to reform ever since Proposition 13 created a zero-sum fiscal system. Within a zero-sum equation, systematic reforms are difficult to achieve politically, especially in the absence of some 32 Proposition 98 can be suspended by a two-thirds vo te of the legislature. The state government must restore funding to the level absent suspension over ti me, but it is not required to repay schools for lost funds. - 27 - compelling external pressure. Going forward, systematic reforms will now be even more difficult to enact, requiring not only a two-thir ds vote in both legislative houses but also convincing voters to amend once again the state’s constitution. In post-Proposition 13 California, state and local finance and policymaking is more intertwined. Conflict, more than cooperation, has characterized intergovernmental relations. Debates between the state and local governments center far more on fiscal resources than on other governance or policy concerns. However, in their decades-long fight over slicing the property tax pie, the state and local government s may have done themselves a disservice. The state government was politically unable to devise an effective system for local finance within Proposition 13’s constraints, one that could reassure local governments about revenue predictability while setting rational incentives for land use and development, and matching revenue to responsibility. The state lacked a se t of policy goals to help guide such a system. The state government’s own recurrent bu dget crises—resolved by burdening local governments—reflect the same lack of effective mechanisms for matching revenues to service demands over the long term. This failure of leadership and vision came back to bite the state government with Proposition 1A. Although Proposition 1A may have shif ted the pendulum back toward local governments, underlying fiscal concerns rema in unresolved, for which local governments may pay a price. Public finance is a mystery to most Californians, and this confusion undermines public confidence in government. Service n eeds are disconnected from revenue capacity. Community-wide taxing power is limited, with consequences for local governments’ ability to engage residents in community-wide decisions ab out the future. These outcomes of the post- Proposition 13 regime undermine basic general-purp ose governance capacity at the local level. To address these concerns, local governments must consider their welfare collectively, not just individually. Putting policy goals first might en tail difficult fiscal consequences. However, without that leadership, public distru st of government may only worsen. In the end, the state and local governments need to work as intergovernmental partners rather than as separate, independent realms. California needs effective government, and local finance and land use decisions are not strictly local matters (Berman, 2003). Although systematic reform may currently lie dead in th e water, more incremental improvements may be possible. For example, some have advocated that sales taxes be applied to services, as well as goods, purchased in the state. If the state gove rnment were to pursue such an option, it should seek to ensure that the allocation method does no t exacerbate dysfunctional land use incentives. Proposition 13 and the state government’s response spelled the demise of the traditional framework for the state-local relati onship (in particular, of the separation of sources doctrine). The state and local governments’ response ever since has resembled a model of path dependence, with the virtue of providing stability, but at the price of some loss of policy coherence. The state government smoothed over the transition to the post -Proposition 13 era by replicating pre-1978 property tax allocation shares , but the method was only an artifice of the traditional system. With Proposition 1A, local governments reinforced the path dependence, placing into the state’s constitution an ossified system of local finance considered dysfunctional in certain respects. - 28 - A basic problem is that no clear framework of goals and principles has been agreed upon to help guide the distribution of author ity and responsibility under a new framework for the state-local relationship. Rather than prop up an artifice of the old system, elected leaders— both state and local—would do better to focus on devising, with and for the public, a better policy framework to guide decisi ons about public investment and services, along with related fiscal incentives and choices. To help restore pu blic trust, public officials at all levels must define clear priorities and objectives, and tr ack progress in achieving them. California’s governments themselves need to rise to the challenge of improving governance, notwithstanding the often formidable barri ers to achieving comprehensive reform. - 29 - References Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on Growth , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, May 2001. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, Public Policy Institute of California, San Franc isco, California, February 2003. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on California's Fiscal System , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, January 2004a. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on California State Budget, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, May 2004b. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on Californians and the Future, Public Policy Institute of California, San Fr ancisco, California, August 2004c. Baldassare, Mark, Special Survey on Californians and Their Housing , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, Ca lifornia, November 2004d. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Future , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, August 2006. Baldassare, Mark, Dean Bonner, Jennifer Paluch, and Sonja Petek, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, May 2007. Baldassare, Mark, and Christopher Hoene, Local Budgets and Tax Policy in California: Surveys of City Officials and State Residents , Public Policy Institute of Calif ornia, San Francisco, California, September 18, 2004a. Baldassare, Mark, and Christopher Hoene, Local Budgets and Tax Policies in California and U.S. Cities: Surveys of City Officials , Public Policy Institute of Califor nia, San Francisco, California, December 3, 2004b. Baldassare, Mark, and Christopher Hoene, Perspectives on State and Local Finance: Surveys of City Officials in California and the U.S. , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, December 10, 2005. Berman, David R., Local Government and the States: Autonomy, Politics, and Policy , M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York, 2003. California Air Resources Board, Proposed State Strategy for California’s 2007 State Implementation Plan , Sacramento, California, January 31, 2007. - 31 - California Budget Project, Budget Brief: What Would Proposition 1A Mean for State and Local Government Finance? Sacramento, California, September 2004. California Constitution Revision Commission, Final Report and Recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature, Sacramento, California, 1996. California State Association of Counties, A Dollars and Sense Plan for Local Government , Sacramento, California, 2000. California State Association of Counties, The Property Tax Roller Coaster: Explanations for Variations in County Property Tax Revenues , Sacramento, California, October 2004. California State Controller, State Municipal Advisory Reform Team, "SMART" and "SMARTER," Sacramento, California, 1999. California State Controller’s Office, Community Redevelopment Agencies Annual Report 2005-6, Sacramento, California, 2007. Carpenter, Candace M., Tension & Ambiguity: A Legislative Guide to Recent Efforts to Reform California’s State-Local Fiscal Relationship , Senate Local Government Committee, Sacramento, California, March 2001. Chapman, Jeffrey I., Proposition 13: Some Unintended Consequences , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, 1998. Cole, Richard L., and John Kincaid, “Public Op inion on U.S. Federal and Intergovernmental Issues in 2006: Continuity and Change,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2006, pp. 443–459. Coleman, Michael J., “Property Tax Fairness Among Local Governments Means Consolidating Local Governance,” Cal-Tax Digest, November 1999. Coleman, Michael J., Memo: Fiscal Impacts of 1) The Propos al of the Speaker's Commission on State and Local Government Finance, and 2) Th e Task Force's Prospective Reform Concept , Coleman Advisory Services, Davis, California, March 7, 2000. Coleman, Michael J., Memo on AB1221: Fiscal and Policy Implications for Cities , Coleman Advisory Services, Davis, California, April 2003. Coleman, Michael J., Exploring Reform in California Municipal Finance, Coleman Financial Services, Davis, California, January 2006a. Coleman, Michael J., Fact Sheet: The ERAF Property Tax Shift, Coleman Financial Services, Davis, California, August 2006b. CP&DR Staff, “Assembly Passes Sales Tax-Sharing Measure,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventur a, California, January 2002. - 32 - Fulton, William, “Governor Proposes Growth Management Strategy,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Vent ura, California, February 1993. Fulton, William, “Sacramento Tax-Sharing Bill Fo rces Regionalism Issue, But Opposition Holds Firm,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventura, California, March 2002a. Fulton, William, “New Cities Raise Taxes, Pa y Alimony To Get Past ‘Revenue Neutrality’ Mandate,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventura, California, July 2002b. Fulton, William, “Tax-Limiting Initiatives Continue to Shape State,” CP&DR Special Report on Prop 13, California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventura, California, June 2003, p. 7. Hanak, Ellen, and Mark Baldassare, editors, California 2025: Taking On the Future , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, 2005. Innes, Judith, Judith Gruber, Mic hael Neuman, and Robert Thompson, Coordinating Growth and Environmental Management Through Consensus Building, California Policy Seminar, University of California, Berkeley, California, 1994. League of California Cities, Report of the League Special Task Force on Fiscal Reform , Sacramento, California, 2000. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Making Government Make Sense, Sacramento, California, February 1993. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Why County Revenues Vary: State Laws and Local Conditions Affecting County Finance, Sacramento, California, May 7, 1998. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Shifting Gears: Rethinking Property Tax Shift Relief, Sacramento, California, February 2, 1999. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Reconsidering AB 8: Exploring Alternative Ways to Allocate Property Taxes , Sacramento, California, February 3, 2000. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Realignment Revisited: An Evaluation of the 1991 Experiment in State- County Relations , Sacramento, California, February 6, 2001. Legislative Analyst’s Office, The 2003-04 Budget Bill: Perspectives and Issues: Realignment and the 2003-04 Budget, Sacramento, California, February 19, 2003. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill, VLF Issues: Vehicle License Fee Backfill , Sacramento, California, February 2004a. - 33 - Legislative Analyst’s Office, Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill: Another Property Tax Shift? , Sacramento, California, February 2004b. Legislative Analyst’s Office, California Spending Plan 2004-05: The Budget Act and Related Legislation , Sacramento, California, September 2004c. Legislative Analyst’s Office, State Oversight of Redevelopment, Sacramento, California, November 17, 2005. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Allocating Local Sales Taxes: Issues and Options , Sacramento, California, January 24, 2007. Lewis, Paul G., and Elisa Barbour, California Cities and the Local Sales Tax , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, July 1999. Mullins, Daniel R., “Tax and Expenditure Limitations and the Fiscal Response of Local Government: Asymmetric Intra-Local Fiscal Effects,” Public Budgeting & Finance, Winter 2004, pp. 11-147. Roush, Eileen A., and Philip J. Romero, “Surre ndering Sovereignty to Sacramento: State-Local Fiscal Relations During the 1990s,” in California Policy Options, UCLA School of Public Affairs, Los Angeles, California, 2000, pp. 27-44. Rueben, Kim S., and Pedro Cerdán, Fiscal Effects of Voter Approval Requirements on Local Governments , Public Policy Institute of Californi a, San Francisco, California, 2003. Saxton, Gregory D., Christopher W. Hoene, and St even P. Erie, “Fiscal Constraints and the Loss of Home Rule: The Long-Term Impacts of Calif ornia's Post-Proposition 13 Fiscal Regime,” American Review of Public Administration , Vol. 32, No. 4, December 2002, pp. 423-454. Schrag, Peter, California: America’s High-Stakes Experiment, UC Press, Berkeley, California, 2006. Senate Local Government Committee, Briefing Paper, Property Tax Allocation, Summary Report from the Interim Hearing of the Senate Local Government Committee, Sacramento, California, September 21, 1999. Sexton, Terri A., and Steven M. Sheffrin, “L iving With Limits: State and Local Finance in California,” in Controller’s Quarterly: California Economic Challenges , California State Controller’s Office, Sacramento, California, August 1997. Sheffrin, Steven M., “State Budget Defi cit Dynamics and the California Debacle,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 18, No. 2, Spring 2004, pp. 205–226. Silva, J. Fred, and Elisa Barbour, The State-Local Fiscal Relationship in California: A Changing Balance of Power , Public Policy Institute of Californi a, San Francisco, California, 1999. - 34 - - 35 - Sonstelie, Jon, Eric Brunner, and Kenneth Ardon, For Better or For Worse? School Finance Reform in California , Public Policy Institute of Californi a, San Francisco, California, 2000. Speaker’s Commission on State and Local Government Finance, Final Report, Sacramento, California, March 2000. Swenson, Jennifer, County Services: A Tale of Eight Counties , California Research Bureau, Sacramento, California, February 1999. Tranter, Revan, “Cities, Counties, and the Stat e: From Prop 13 to 1A and the Future,” in Governing California: Politics, Government, and Public Policy in the Golden State , edited by Gerald C. Lubenow, Institute of Governmental Studies Press, University of California, 2006, pp. 107-129. Vellinga , Mary Lynne, “At the Table: Local Governments Were Aggressive Political Players in This Year's Budget, But Not Everyone Belie ves the Result Was Good Public Policy,” California Journal , Sacramento, California, Vol. 35, No. 9, September 1, 20 PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Linda Griego President and Chief Executive Officer Griego Enterprises, Inc. Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc. Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Leon E. Panetta Director The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(108) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(126) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/state-local-fiscal-conflicts-in-california-from-proposition-13-to-proposition-1a/op_1207ebop/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8627) ["ID"]=> int(8627) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:39:18" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3878) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(11) "OP 1207EBOP" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(11) "op_1207ebop" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(15) "OP_1207EBOP.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "357665" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(112051) "Occasional Papers State-Local Fiscal Conflicts in California: From Proposition 13 to Proposition 1A Elisa Barbour December 2007 The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California's future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. Copyright © 2007 by Public Po licy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the so urce and the above copyright notice is included. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballo t measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, s upport, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Contents Summary iii Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 STATE-LOCAL BALANCE OF POWER AFTER PROPOSITION 13 3 State Bail-Out Legislation Establishes a Fiduciary Relationship 3 ERAF Ends the State Government’s Fiduciary Relationship 5 School Finance and the State-Local Relationship 6 LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SINCE PROPOSITION 13 9 County Finance Since Proposition 13 13 Cities After Proposition 13 15 CONFLICTS REACH THE BREAKING POINT: THE PATH TO PROPOSITION 1A 19 Growth Concerns Come to the Forefront 19 A Window Opens for Reform of the State-Local Relationship 20 Local Governments Enter a New Age: Proposition 1A 22 Conclusion 27 References 31 - i - Summary Over the past several decades, intergovernmental relations in California have been characterized by conflict, primarily over fiscal issues. The disput es trace back to Proposition 13 and subsequent state ballot initiatives that have fiscally constrained the state and local governments. 1 By giving the state government more control over local revenue and also limiting state and local taxing and spending power, the voter measures have engendered a “zero-sum” political atmosphere in whic h fiscal considerations have dominated intergovernmental policymaking. However, many of the problematic aspects of the post- Proposition 13 local fiscal system have been the product not of ballot initiatives but of government action. Within voter-imposed fisc al constraints, California’s state and local governments have had substantial room to shape fiscal and governance outcomes. This paper traces the evolution of the state-local relationship in California since Proposition 13 was approved by state voters in 1978. It considers the externally-imposed constraints and pressures that have most influe nced the state-local relationship, few of which are actually unique to California. Although vote r-imposed fiscal constraint looms large in this picture, other factors also have been important, including court-imposed and voter-imposed mandates for equitable education spending, environmental mandates, and conflicting pro- growth and anti-growth development pressures. The paper considers how California’s governments have adapted to, but also worked to circumvent, the constraints. As state-local finance became more intertwined, it also became more convoluted and contested. In the wake of Proposition 13, the state government adopted ad hoc measures to reorganize local finance that helped smooth over a difficult transition period. However, over time, the measures became ossified, and the result was a fiscal system opaque to voters, many local officials, and fisc al experts alike. The new system disconnected local revenue capacity from service needs and set dysfunctional incentives for local development choices, in particular by disfavoring housing. During the early 1990s, the state government compounded these structural problems with political problems, when it diverted proper ty tax revenue away from local governments to schools to help resolve a state budget crisis. Lo cal governments grew so resentful by the end of the decade that intergovernmental negotiations on topics from housing and land use policy to health and welfare programs were stymied by the fiscal impasse. Conflict also increased among local governme nts after Proposition 13, as competition and entrepreneurship intensified to maximize revenue sources over which local governments maintain control. Fiscal constraint deepened differences between city and county revenue structures and intensified conflicts between cities and counties. Fiscal constraint also eroded community-wide general purpose taxing capacity for both of these types of local government. 1 This paper considers the relationship between the state government and general-purpose local governments, namely cities and co unties. General-purpose governments provide a range of services in response to voter preferences. Other local governme nt entities such as school districts and special districts provide specific services; many special districts are dependent agencies of cities or counties. - iii - By the 1990s, state leaders had to contend with consequences of local land use and development choices induced by the post-Proposition 13 fiscal regime. They worried in particular whether fiscal constraint had led local governments to limit housing production, especially in older communities. As a growing st ate population strained infrastructure facilities and natural resources, state leaders also looked to land use policy as one lever in more coordinated development strategies. But any effo rts to redirect local land use policy met with stiff resistance from local governments, still ang ry because of the state government’s earlier diversion of property tax revenue toward school s. Thus, inasmuch as the post-Proposition 13 fiscal regime created dysfunctional incentiv es for land use and development, it also undermined the chances of altering the incentives. By the late 1990s, the governor and legislative commissions were calling for an overhaul of the local government finance system for the sake of governmental accountability, public engagement, and economic development. Most major reform proposals would have operated within the parameters of voter-imposed fiscal constraints, underscoring the conclusion that there was considerable room to improve the state-local relationship even within those constraints. Reformers sought to address problems caused not by the voter measures themselves, but instead by the fiscal measur es the state government took in response. The reform effort of the late 1990s fizzled out, however, producing no major changes. Policymakers could not resolve certain fundamen tal dilemmas—in particular, how to reconcile policy-driven reform with local governments’ in sistence on revenue neutrality (no net revenue loss for any jurisdiction). Within a zero-sum fi scal framework, reforms that would create new winners and losers proved hard to adopt. A major reform of the state-local relationship did occur in 2004, although not in response to the reform deliberations. Instead, when local revenue was threatened once again during a state budget crisis, local governments took matters into their own hands. They mounted a state ballot campaign that resulted in the passage of Proposition 1A, a constitutional amendment that protects rates and/or allocation methods for major local revenue sources —property taxes, sales taxes, and vehicle license fees. Proposition 1A represents a new stage in the state-local fiscal power struggle in which local governments acted collectively to regain a portion of the autonomy they had lost after passage of Proposit ion 13. By preventing further “raids” by the state government on local revenue, Proposition 1A also settled the sorest point in the state-local conflict. This outcome ended the policy impasse on related topics such as land use and housing reform. However, Proposition 1A, no matter its pe rceived necessity among local government advocates, also extended the dynamics of the stat e-local fiscal power struggle. Faced with an imminent threat, local governments found it easier to unite to protect the existing finance system, in spite of its flaws, than it would have b een to devise a new one. Proposition 1A failed to resolve a number of problematic aspects of the fiscal system that had been the focus of reform proposals. Local governments gained no new loca l revenue-raising authority to enable them to better connect service needs to revenue capacity . On the contrary, the measure placed the state’s rigid, arcane local finance system into th e constitution, which will make future efforts to reorganize the system even more difficult. Furthermore, by keeping in place dysfunctional fiscal incentives for local land use, Proposit ion 1A will hamper efforts to improve development - iv - planning at a time when the state faces substantial challenges on this front. Thus, Proposition 1A reinforces the troubling conclusion that some of the more dysfunctional constraints on the local fiscal system have been imposed by government itself. For this reason, a central focus of this pa per is not just how individual governments have reacted to external factors (even considerin g reactions in the aggregate), but also how the state and local governments – the latter acting collectively through lobbying organizations – have renegotiated basic terms of the relationship in response to external constraints. Focusing on central debates in the state-local power struggle – the intergovernmental story within the wider context of changing conditions – helps elucidate how and why government itself shapes outcomes. The protracted state-local fiscal drama of recent decades shows that the inter- governmental power struggle can trump many other considerations. State-local fiscal conflict in California has gained little media or public attention. The issues debated, such as how to allocate proper ty and sales tax dollars among local governments, can seem esoteric. Reform goals such as enhanc ing fiscal “transparency” or local government “responsiveness” can seem highly abstract. But consequences are evident in such areas of local government responsibility as housing regulati on, community health and welfare programs, and governance of K-12 schools. In these policy areas, the disconnect that has been introduced between local revenue-raising authority and pr ogram responsibility aggravates accountability problems and skews incentives in a fashion coun terproductive to certain state policy goals. When the fiscal system does not promote policy goals, government cannot perform as effectively as it should. What is more, the protracted state-local power struggle stalled progress in various policy arenas for more than a decade. The very aspects of the state-local relationship that gave rise to calls for change by the late 1990s—in pa rticular, competition for resources and lack of clear guidelines to clarify intergovernmental re sponsibilities and authority—also made it more difficult to achieve. Wi th fiscal control the main focus of de bate in the state-local relationship, policymakers paid less attention to intergovernmen tal issues that could actually help clarify fiscal responsibilities, such as promoting more efficient development patterns and infrastructure investment. Intergovernmental relations characterized by fiscal conflict and confusion rather than policy focus and coordination erode public trust in government, even if only indirectly through lack of effective, concerted action. The effect iveness and welfare of state and local governments is a collective, not just individual, concern. To help restore trust, California governments will need to move beyond a fight over fiscal resour ces and focus instead on addressing policy goals and objectives to enhance California’s future. - v - Acknowledgments I would like to thank Max Neiman, PPIC Senior Fellow and Associate Director of Research, for his ongoing support for this proj ect. I am also indebted to reviewers and discussants for valuable input and insight, includ ing Paul Lewis, formerly at PPIC and now at Arizona State University; Tracy Gordon, also formerly at PPIC and now at the University of Maryland; Peter Detwiler with the California Senate Local Government Committee; Peter Schrag, columnist for the Sacramento Bee ; Greg Andranovich, from the California State University at Los Angeles; Steve Sanders, with the Institute for Local Government; Ron Loveridge, from the City of Riverside and the League of California Cities; Steve Szalay, with the California State Sheriffs’ Association (formerly with the California State Association of Counties); and Christopher Hoene, with the National League of Cities. Gary Bjork of PPIC provided editorial assistance. I owe a special debt of thanks to Fred Silva, formerly of PPIC; what I gained from his vast store of knowledge and understanding during past collaborations infuses this paper and made the project possible. However, all errors and omissions are my own. - vii - Introduction Tension between the state and local governments in California is nothing new (Silva and Barbour, 1999). It is probably inevitable, because by law, local governments are “creatures of the state,” but they have long sought to carve out a degree of independent political and fiscal authority. The ability of local governments to act on th eir own behalf, or “home rule power,” ends where the state expresses an interest in th e uniform application of a statewide policy interest. And therein lies the dilemma—wher e should the line be drawn? (Silva and Barbour, 1999, p. 1) Until Proposition 13 was passed by state voters in 1978, the framework of the state-local relationship had been stable since the early 1900 s, when local government reformers established two key legal principles: home rule power and the separation of revenue sources (Silva and Barbour, 1999). Home rule power—exerted by cities within their borders and by county governments in unincorporated areas—includes co nsiderable discretion over land use decisions and the authority to build and operate public work s. Local fiscal authority—the ability to levy taxes locally and set rates that reflect local pref erences for services—has long been viewed as a critical underpinning of home rule. According to this principle, political accountability is enhanced when government responsibilities are a ligned with the fiscal power needed to carry them out, and voters can adjust policy outcomes in response to changing needs and preferences. Local fiscal authority had been secured in 1910 through passage of a state ballot measure known as the Separation of Sources Act. The measure granted local government exclusive control over property taxes, the main public revenue source at that time. The property tax remained the mainstay of local public finance until Proposition 13. More than just providing a stable source of lo cal income, the property tax has appealed to theorists because it gives a highly visible tax pr ice for public services and links the cost of services to tangible economic development benefits in a community (Berman, 2003). The visibility of the property tax also made it a target for voter frustration about government spending. Even as Americans generally rate conf idence in local government higher than in the federal or state governments, they also consistent ly rate the property tax as their least favored after the federal income tax (Cole and Kinkaid, 2006). Although it is widely understood that Pr oposition 13 limited property tax receipts,2 few Californians understand that the measure also pr ofoundly undermined local government fiscal autonomy. Proposition 13 set a uniform statewid e property tax rate and transferred control of allocation to the state government. It thereby essentially transformed the property tax from a locally-controlled revenue source to a state-contro lled resource, and in the process, substantially undid the separation of sources doctrine. Understanding this develo pment is critical to understanding why California’s state and local governments have spent the last thirty years 2 Proposition 13 limited the general property tax rate to 1 percent of property value and reassessment to no more than 2 percent annually, except for new owne rship or construction. It mandated a two-thirds vote in both state legislative houses to approve state tax increases and a two-thirds local popular vote for local special taxes (which were not defined). - 1 - locked in a conflict about local fiscal autonomy. Local governments have sought to re-establish the autonomy from state control they enjoyed before 1978. Although Proposition 13 profoundly reshaped the state-local government relationship, many of its most important effects emerged only over time and indirectly through governments’ responses to the measure. The first chapter of this paper considers how the state government reshaped the terms of the state-local relationship in the first two decades after Proposition 13. The state government’s acti ons were conditioned by various pressures, including, in particular, legal mandates for equitable education spending. The second chapter picks up the story at th e local level, evaluating how individual governments adapted to the new constraints and the aggregate effects on intergovernmental relations. The third chapter returns to a state-le vel perspective, from which, by the 1990s, state leaders had to contend with negative consequenc es of those local government responses. The chapter discusses a state-level reform effort that emerged by the late 1990s to systematically redesign the local finance system, and why it failed to achieve more than marginal changes. Finally, the chapter traces the events that led to the passage of Proposition 1A in 2004. Although that measure substantially altered the terms of the state-local power balance, it did not accomplish all that reformers had hoped for. For example, although many had called for a restoration of the underlying principles of the separation of sources doctrine, Proposition 1A represents something more like the opposite. The paper concludes by discussing consequences and implications of the failure of the state and local governments, thirty years after passage of Proposition 13, to address certain shortcomings in the local government fiscal system—in particular, a disconnection between fiscal responsibility and po licy authority that undermines some state policy goals. - 2 - State-Local Balance of Power After Proposition 13 The passage of Proposition 13 launched a thirty-year struggle between the state and local governments in California about how to re organize local finance. By setting a uniform statewide property tax rate and transferring co ntrol of allocation to the state government, Proposition 13 substantially undid the separation of sources doctrine. However, the protracted struggle that followed would not have occurred if Proposition 13 had instituted a new local fiscal system to replace the old. Instead, by providing the state government with the power to establish the system for allocating property taxes, Proposition 13 ensured that the state government’s choices would reshape the state- local relationship as much as gaining the authority per se. This chapter traces how state government ch ose to exercise its new authority, and the consequences for the state-local re lationship. It also traces another set of developments that had a major influence on the outcome, namely, court-imposed and voter-imposed mandates on the state government related to K-12 school spending. State Bail-Out Legislation Estab lishes a Fiduciary Relationship The immediate effect of Proposition 13 on loca l tax receipts was dramatic: Property tax revenue statewide dropped by more than half (Silva and Barbour, 1999). Because of Proposition 13, local own-source revenue (revenue raised locally, a measure of fiscal independence) dropped as a share of total government revenue in California, while state own-source revenue rose (Figure 1). 3 Before Proposition 13, California’s fiscal system reflected its strong “home rule” tradition; afterwards, the state’s basic fiscal composition resembled the rest of the nation’s. In 1977, property taxes formed 28 percent of state and local general revenue in California, and they were controlled and levied locally. Since Proposition 13, property taxes have formed 13 to 15 percent, and the revenue is state-controlled and highly contested. The profound changes wrought by Proposition 13 were not immediately apparent, however, to voters or even to the state and local governments. That is because in the immediate aftermath, the state government used its budget surplus to fund a relief package that smoothed over the transition to the new fiscal regime. State legislators passed emergency “bailout” legislation, Senate Bill 154 (SB 154), a few w eeks after Proposition 13 was approved. SB 154 attempted to restore the status quo ante for loca l governments. Property tax revenue would be allocated based on proportional shares in place before Proposition 13 for property tax revenue generated in a given area, divided among the county, city, special districts, and schools serving the area. Multiplied across all jurisdictional configurations across the state, this method produced an arcane system of local finance. SB 154 also provided fiscal relief, replacing most of the lost revenue to cities, counties, and special districts. The state government’s cost of K–12 education increased by the amount of the shift. Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8), enacted in 1979, made 3 Calculations in the paragraph and in Figure 1 are from data from the U.S. Census of Governments (COG), Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finances , multiple years. Pivot data tables produced by the Public Policy Institute of California based on COG data are available at http://www.ppic.org/main/datadepot.a sp. General revenue excludes insurance trust revenue, utility charges, and liquor charges. - 3 - principal features of SB 154 permanent, and assured that revenues from increases in assessed valuation would accrue to the communities in which the growth occurred. 4 Figure 1 Revenue by Level of Government as Share of State and Local General Revenue 5 0% 20% 40% 60% 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 California: Stat e own-s ourc e Rest of US: Stat e own-s ourc e California: Loc al own-s ourc e Rest of US: Loc al own-s ourc e California: Federal aid Rest of US: Federal aid The bailout legislation glossed over the profound alteration of the state-local relationship that had occurred with Proposition 13. In adopting the AB 8 system, the state government reassured local governments by si gnaling that it would act something like a fiduciary agent: The state would restore a large portion of the lost funds and allocate them on the traditional basis, namely local voter preference s. However, over time it became clear that the AB 8 system had not restored the status quo ante; instead, it had restored only a false facsimile of the traditional system. As communiti es grew and developed, their AB 8 allocation shares remained basically frozen in time, so that today Californians have become locked into community revenue structures reflecting 30-year -old voter decisions. The rationale for the separation of sources depends on benefits de rived from adjusting local revenue levels in response to local service needs and preferences. The AB 8 system, however, disconnected local revenue from such needs and preferences. What was in 1978 a small, low-tax suburb dependent on the county government or special di stricts for services such as fire protection, may today have grown into a crowded city with diverse service needs, now more fiscally capable of providing them locally. However, the rigidity of the AB 8 system has made it much harder for such a city to reorganize services. Could the state government have created an a llocation system that better preserved the separation of sources doctrine? Such a system is challenging in concept, because the state government is ill equipped to allocate revenue in response to myriad local preferences and conditions. In the immediate aftermath of Proposition 13, the dire need for an expedient solution to stabilize local revenue made such an endeavor politically infeasible. However, by 4 Legislators made some further modifications to the AB 8 system. For example, in 1987, some property taxes were shifted from counti es to selected cities that had either no shares or very small shares of the tax. 5 Applying the COG convention, property taxes are considered local own-source revenue because they are levied locally. However, the constraints impo sed by Proposition 13—and subsequent manipulation of property tax revenue by the state government—mea ns that this calculation tends to over-represent locally-controlled revenue in California. - 4 - the 1990s, as the shortcomings in the state’s approach became more apparent, many reformers advocated a restoration of fundamental principles of the separation of sources doctrine. Reformers even believed this could occur within the parameters of Proposition 13. ERAF Ends the State Governme nt’s Fiduciary Relationship Local government complacency about the post-Proposition 13 system of finance came to an end when the state’s economy slid into severe recession during the early 1990s. Facing court-imposed and voter-imposed constitutional mandates related to education spending (discussed in the next section), the state government balanced its own budget at the expense of local governments, especially co unties. This action signaled the start of a second, highly contentious stage in the post-Proposition 13 st ate-local relationship, during which the full measure of Proposition 13’s effects came home for local governments. In fiscal years 1992–93 and 1993–94, the state government ordered county auditors to transfer about 25 percent of property taxes (over $3.5 billion) to schools that before had been allocated to cities and counties, thereby redu cing the state general fund commitment to K–14 education. Transferred revenue was placed into a so-called Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) in each county; the action came to be known as the “ERAF shift.” In essence, the shift undid post-Proposition 13 relief to cities and counties, reducing the non- education share of property taxes from 65 to 48 percent (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2004b). The amount of funds transferred from each jurisdiction reflected its AB 8 share. The state replaced about half of the lost revenue with funds earmarked for public safety. 6 However, the formulas for allocating new revenue did not match the AB 8 system, and as a result, differences in net tax shift losses ha d only a distant relationship with earlier post- Proposition 13 relief. 7 The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that 13 of 58 counties and about 20 percent of cities actually came out be tter off than before ERAF (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999). With ERAF, the state government shifted its responsibility as fiduciary agent away from local governments toward schools, understandab le given constitutional mandates for school spending imposed by the courts and voters (discu ssed later in more detail). Local governments, alarmed that the governor and legislature had re solved state budget problems at their expense, grew resentful when lost funds were not replaced after the fiscal outlook improved. However, from the state government’s perspective, accusations about “stealing” funds were unfounded. State and local finance had become closely intertwined, and local needs now competed with 6 Proposition 172, passed in 1993, increased state sales taxes one-half cent for public safety. The revenue, about $2 billion annually, went mainly to counties. Growth in Proposition 172 funds is restricted to public safety purposes; thus, the state traded loca l discretionary revenue with earmarked funds. The Citizens Option for Public Safety (COPS) program also was established, providing about $100 million annually for law enforcement—another earmarked revenu e stream. In 1997 and 1998, the state replaced more lost revenues when it assumed all trial court costs for the 20 least-populous counties and capped contributions for the other 38. 7 Proposition 172 sales taxes are distributed based on the county in which the sale occurs. Trial court relief reflects county population and historic court funding formulas. COPS funding is allocated by population. - 5 - many interests for state general fund revenue. Why should local governments not share in budget cuts affecting needed programs and services? By 2006-07, the cumulative total cost of the ERAF shift, less Prop 172 public safety funds, came to $35.9 billion, according to a fiscal expert for the League of California Cities (Coleman, 2006b). The ERAF shift brought home to local governments the undoing of the separation of sources. Although AB 8 had not reconstitute d local fiscal autonomy, it took ERAF to demonstrate local governments’ vulnerability. Over time, the AB 8 system had become ossi fied into an arcane, rigid fiscal system unresponsive to local variation and change. The accretion of related, ad hoc state actions was also making reform more difficult. Local gove rnment anger about the ERAF shift and distrust of state interference stymied discussions on a ho st of policy topics, from local housing mandates to county health and welfare programs, during the 1990s and early 2000s (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999; Senate Local Government Committee, 1999; Fulton, 2003). Yet even as local governments demanded that “stolen” revenue be restored, the establishment of new state programs made the proposition problematic. Mu ch lost revenue had been restored, but to varying degrees among different communities, and often with new program requirements attached. School Finance and the State-Local Relationship The ERAF shift demonstrated to city and county governments that some local interests—specifically, schools—had more successf ully secured a stable share of the state’s general fund dollar. K-14 school finance in Ca lifornia has undergone even more radical change since the 1970s than local government finance, with important outcomes for local governments. Proposition 13 altered school finance dramatically because property taxes had been the traditional main revenue source for school districts. But other factors also had major effects. In particular, in 1971, as a result of a class-action lawsuit ( Serrano v. Priest), the California Supreme Court called on the legislature to equalize school funding per pupil irrespective of differences in the property wealth of school districts. Co urts in about half of U.S. states have forced legislatures to address inadequacies in school quality or spen ding from reliance on property taxes (Berman, 2003). As a result, many states now finance education from other state taxes. The Serrano ruling provided a policy framework that guided the state’s response to school finance after Proposition 13—a framework la rgely absent in the case of the state-local government relationship. Legislative refor ms of school finance helped produce a more equitable distribution of funds across school districts. However, in conjunction with Proposition 13, the system also resulted in lower per pupil spending compared to other states, and legislative reforms did not address needs of disadvantaged children in a significant way (Sonstelie, Brunner, and Ardon, 2000). Observers raise concerns about the system of school finance similar to those about local government finance. Some argue that the complex post-Serrano system is hard for voters to understand, and that state-controlled finance combined with locally-controlled governance disconnects responsibility from authority. Such a system produces neither the merits of state - 6 - control (such as rational performance-based or equity-based criteria and oversight) nor of local control (such as accountability and local responsiveness) (ibid.). A third reform with major consequences for California school finance was Proposition 98. Passed in 1988, Proposition 98 establishe d a constitutional mandate for minimum state spending for K-14 education. A school advocacy coalition had mounted the initiative, concerned about funding in the wake of voter fiscal initiatives. The political lesson was not lost on city and county governments, who would emulate the political approach (namely, going to voters for approval of an initiative to earmark revenue) fifteen years later. In the short run, Proposition 98 hurt local government finance, as ERAF was implemented largely in response. In 2002, schools won another victory with passage of Proposition 39, which lowered the voter threshold for passing local school bonds from 66 to 55 percent. Approval of local school bonds shot up dramatically afterward (Hanak and Baldassare, 2005). Just as with Proposition 98, local governments viewed Proposition 39 as a model; in recent years, local government lobby groups made lowering super-majority re quirements for passing local infrastructure spending a legislative priority. - 7 - Local Governments Since Proposition 13 How have local governments fared since Proposition 13, and how has their relationship with the state government changed? The general patte rn in California is not unique to the state. A tax and expenditure limitation movement caught hold across the nation after Proposition 13; 46 states have measures in place which limit local government revenues and/or spending (Mullins, 2004). As local governments’ ability to raise revenue, particularly property taxes, was constrained and as many state governments took more control of education, the power of state government increased relative to local government s. At the same time, the slowdown of federal aid to localities, and federal devolution to st ates in policy areas such as welfare, also empowered state governments, relatively speaking (Berman, 2003). The trend has not been solely toward greate r centralization at the state level, however (ibid.). Local governments have responded to fi scal limits by maximizing revenue sources over which they retain control in order to replace lo sses in property taxes and federal aid. Some states have provided new local revenue-raising authority; an important California example is counties’ ability, provided since 1987, to raise sales taxes by one-half cent for transportation purposes, subject to voter approval. These fund s form about one-third of local transportation revenue in California. State aid to localities also has increased, especially in states such as California that vest considerable authority over welfare programs at the county level; in these states, federal devolution over programs such as welfare translated into further devolution (ibid.). Because of these trends, tax and expenditure limitations in California as elsewhere have generally had less effect on total local governme nt spending than on the composition of local revenue—in particular through increased reliance on state aid and locally collected fees and taxes (Mullins, 2004). In spite of Proposition 13, California per capita local government revenue has increased over time and remains higher th an the average in other states (Table 1). However, these general trends mask stark contrasts in the way that revenue composition has changed for different types of government in California as compared to the rest of the nation—in particular, for cities and counties. In California, unlike the rest of the nation, structural differences between city and coun ty finance have deepened profoundly since the 1970s. From 1972 to 2002, city own-source revenue in California took on a larger role over time as a share of all state and local revenue, but county own-source revenue diminished. In the rest of the U.S., the reverse occurred (Table 2). 8 8 By contrast, revenue patterns for school districts and special districts were similar in California and the rest of the nation, with own-source revenue from school districts declining over time as a share of state and local revenue and own-source revenue from special districts increasing in share. - 9 - Table 1 Per Capita Local Government General Revenu e, California and Rest of U.S. (2002 $) 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 California Counties 1,268 1,232 998 1,181 1,404 1,296 1,569 Cities 895 1,058 989 1,151 1,202 1,228 1,395 Special Districts 193 267 322 419 438 491 558 School Districts 1,214 1,305 1,011 1,127 1,230 1,245 1,617 Rest of U.S. (excluding California) Counties 482 580 561 677 763 828 935 Cities and Townships 946 1,080 980 1,133 1,215 1,276 1,372 Special Districts 102 146 181 222 236 263 301 School Districts 790 827 764 883 994 1,075 1,199 SOURCE: Data for Tables 1 through 4 and Figures 2 and 3 are from the U.S. Census of Governments (COG). NOTE: In per capita tabulations, the population deno minator varies by level of government. For city revenue, it is the population living in municipalities and townships; for county revenue, it is the population living in counties included in COG financial data; and for special and school districts, it is the total population. Population values are from COG go vernment organization files for the years shown. Table 2 Revenue by Level of Government as Share of Total State and Local General Revenue California Rest of U.S. 1972 1982 1992 2002 1972 1982 1992 2002 Federal Subventions to States 17% 16% 17% 18% 16% 14% 16% 19% Federal Subventions to Localities 2 4 2 3 3 5 2 2 State Own-Source Revenue 36 46 45 43 43 45 45 43 Local Own-Source Revenue 44 34 37 36 38 36 37 35 Counties 14 9 10 8 7 8 9 10 Cities and Townships 11 13 14 14 17 15 14 13 Special Districts 4 5 6 6 2 3 3 3 School Districts 16 7 7 8 12 10 10 9 Total State and Local Revenue 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% - 10 - California cities became more fiscally independent, raising more own-source revenue than in the rest of the nation, but receiv ing less in state subventions (Figure 2). Figure 2 City Per Capita Revenue, Own-Source and from State Subventions 0 400 800 1200 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 Rev enue (2002 $) California: Cit y own-s ourc e Rest of US: Cit y own-s ourc e Rest of US: State subventions to cities California: State subventions to cities Meanwhile, California counties became more dependent on the state. Their own-source revenue plummeted from a high level to below the national average (Figure 3). State subventions more than made up the difference, reaching a level more than three times higher than in the rest of the nation by 2002 (Table 3). By then, California cities raised four-fifths of their revenue independently, but counties only abou t one-third (Table 3). In contrast, in the rest of the nation, city and county finance was much less dissimilar, and both types of local government raised most revenue independently. Figure 3 County Per Capita Revenue, Own-Source and from State Subventions 0 250 500 750 1000 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 Rev enue (2002 $) California: County own-sourc e Rest of US: County own-sourc e California: State subventions to counties Rest of US: State subventions to counties - 11 - Table 3 Per Capita City and County General Revenue by Source (2002 $) Pct. in Pct. in 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 1972 2002 California: Cities Own-source Revenue 648 724 746 926 990 982 1,121 72% 80% Property Taxes 232 251 149 181 235 184 232 26% 17% Sales Taxes 118 139 140 150 134 144 168 13% 12% Other Taxes 93 116 125 177 176 192 212 10% 15% Charges and Fees 119 136 161 213 245 287 311 13% 22% Other 87 83 171 206 200 176 198 10% 14% Federal Subventions 71 125 104 43 45 54 69 8% 5% State Subventions* 176 208 139 182 167 191 205 20% 15% Total General Revenue 895 1,058 989 1,151 1,202 1,228 1,395 100% 100% Rest of U.S.: Cities and Townships Own-source Revenue 641 655 635 794 861 909 955 68% 70% Property Taxes 335 316 248 283 333 327 346 35% 25% Sales Taxes 39 49 53 67 67 76 83 4% 6% Other Taxes 107 116 111 149 151 167 176 11% 13% Charges and Fees 96 112 124 154 192 222 228 10% 17% Other 64 62 98 141 118 118 122 7% 9% Federal Subventions 62 153 113 73 53 63 67 7% 5% State Subventions* 243 272 232 266 301 305 350 26% 26% Total General Revenue 946 1,080 980 1,133 1,215 1,276 1,372 100% 100% California: Counties Own-source Revenue 647 604 407 513 582 465 571 51% 36% Property Taxes 487 447 215 264 307 169 205 38% 13% Sales Taxes 15 19 22 20 19 19 24 1% 2% Other Taxes 13 17 12 19 20 21 25 1% 2% Charges and Fees 93 83 88 121 138 163 218 7% 14% Other 39 38 70 90 96 93 98 3% 6% Federal Subventions 8 77 40 31 22 29 57 1% 4% State Subventions* 612 551 550 637 800 803 941 48% 60% Total General Revenue 1,268 1,232 998 1,181 1,404 1,296 1,569 100% 100% Rest of U.S.: Counties Own-source Revenue 290 326 347 460 523 568 636 60% 68% Property Taxes 173 172 156 191 224 227 252 36% 27% Sales Taxes 18 26 28 46 51 63 68 4% 7% Other Taxes 17 22 22 31 36 42 51 4% 5% Charges and Fees 61 79 91 108 138 166 182 13% 19% Other 20 27 51 84 73 70 83 4% 9% Federal Subventions 10 56 39 26 18 22 26 2% 3% State Subventions* 183 198 174 191 222 238 274 38% 29% Total General Revenue 482 580 561 677 763 828 935 100% 100% * Also includes local intergovernmental revenue - 12 - County Finance Since Proposition 13 What accounts for these differences in city and county finance in California, and why do they matter? Cities and counties became very different types of government after Proposition 13, leading to considerable conflict between them . The main effects on counties of the post- Proposition 13 fiscal regime have been greate r dependence on the state government and a decline in their general-purpose role. Counties hav e three main roles: acting first as “agents of the state” administering mandated federal and st ate programs such as welfare and health care; second, providing countywide services such as airports and jails; and third, providing municipal-type services in unincorporated areas. Counties rely on general purpose revenue to fund their general purpose role and for the loca l “match” often required to obtain state or federal funds. Counties cannot fulfill or ex pand almost any responsibility without general purpose revenue (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1998). Counties have a binary fiscal structure reflecting their multipurpose role, heavily reliant on two revenue sources—property taxes and state subventions (Table 3). With Proposition 13, counties effectively lost control over how their revenue is raised, because of their reliance on these two state-dominated sources. California counties depend more on property taxes for general purpose revenue than counties in the rest of the nation. Other than that tax, California counties have limited countywide taxing power, with their power to raise general-purpose revenue from sales taxes, utility users taxes, and transient occupancy taxes restricted to unincorporated areas. Counties elsewhere rais e more revenue from sales and “other” taxes, both as a share of total revenue and in per capita terms (Table 3). Because of their heavy dependence on property taxes, California counties were harder hit than cities by Proposition 13. Per capita county own-source revenue dropped by about one-third from 1977 to 1982, while city own-source revenue actually increased. Counti es were harder hit again by ERAF; own-source revenue dropped by 20 percent between 1992 and 1997 (Table 3). Since Proposition 13, the state government has adopted various strategies in relation to county “agency” responsibilities. Some of the measures were adopted to help address state budget problems, but many also were undertaken to help rationalize the state-county relationship. The strategies provide useful le ssons about realigning state and local roles and responsibilities. As part of post-Proposition 13 relief, the state “bought out” or reduced the mandated county share of vari ous health and welfare programs. 9 Then, in response to state budget problems in the early 1990s, the state reversed course, adopting a “realignment” strategy to help rationalize the state-county rela tionship. Various program responsibilities were shifted to counties, and new revenue was provided through earmarked increases in the state sales tax and vehicle license fees. 10 9 Transferred programs included Medi-Cal, indigent health, the SSI portion of SSI/SSP, and AFDC. 10 Some cost-sharing changes were substantial. Fo r example, AFDC-Foster Care went from 95 percent state-funded to 40 percent, In-Hom e Supportive Services from 97 to 65 percent, and the state welfare-to- work program (GAIN) from 100 to 70 percent (Chapman , 1998). However, the state retained authority to set eligibility criteria. The total increase in county expenditures was about $2.2 billion. During the late 1990s, the state adopted more program changes that aided counties. In 1997, as part of the state’s welfare reform, counties were given increased flexibility as prov iders of last resort for indigents, and also fiscal incentives to move aid recipients off welfare and/or reduce fraud. In 1997 and 1998, the state bought out - 13 - Some observers criticized realignment for shifting responsibilities to counties without providing adequate revenue to fund them (Roush and Romero, 2000). Others contend that realignment has provided steadier revenue and should be considered positive overall in clarifying state-county relationships (Chapman, 1998; Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2001). Principles of the realignment e ffort—successfully implemented in some instances, such as for mental health programs—are held up as a mo del for future changes in the relationship (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2001). These prin ciples include dedicated state revenue streams outside the annual budget appropriat ion process, ability to alter historical allocations (such as by equalizing funding based on changing caseloads or poverty incidence), greater county flexibility (in regulation and in shifting revenue across programs), fiscal incentives for efficiency (in particular, by altering revenue growth formul as to reward cost-cutting), and state oversight through performance measurement (ibid.). Although the state “bought out” or realigned county agency responsibilities after Proposition 13, there was no similar effort to ai d counties’ general-purpose functions. County services funded through general purpose revenue and not targeted by state aid—such as library services—suffered (California State Association of Counties, 2004). Some counties were forced to sell assets, increase debt, or cut services , employment, or compensation (Swenson, 1999; Saxton, Hoene, and Erie, 2002). California counties’ agency functi ons, reflecting their most restricted role, comprise over half of county expenditure (Table 4). In the rest of the nation, the same functions account for only about one-third, but the absolute level is much lower. When public safety expenditure (also subject to state restriction) is added in, only about one-third of California county expenditure reflects other general purpose functi ons. In 2002, per capita spending for those other functions in California counties was lower t han the average for counties in the rest of the nation, in spite of the fact that a higher share of California’s population lived in unincorporated areas. In addition to constraining countywide general services, cuts to general-purpose revenue affected municipal-type services provid ed for residents of unincorporated areas, and especially in counties in which new cities inco rporated after Proposition 13. Under the AB 8 system, counties lost property tax revenue wh en new cities incorporated, and they had no effective means to increase tax rates to compensate . This situation led to much conflict between cities and counties as city incorporations rose after Proposition 13. Although 19 new cities were incorporated during the 1970s, during the 198 0s and early 1990s (to 1992) another 46 were incorporated. Counties complained that incorporations allowed the new cities to capture sales tax revenue from retail activity in the formerly un incorporated areas. In 1992, to address these concerns, counties gained passage of a “revenue neutrality” law, which requires that a newly incorporating city demonstrate it would leave the county government fiscally unharmed (Fulton, 2002b). Since then, incorporations slow ed down, with only 10 new cities having been established, because in practice, incorporations now depend on new cities turning over some tax money to counties (ibid.). responsibility for trial court funding, providing counti es with over $700 million in annual relief (Roush and Romero, 2000). - 14 - Table 4 Per Capita County Direct General Expenditure by Category (2002 $) California Rest of U.S. 1972 1982 1992 2002 1972 1982 1992 2002 Agency Role (California) Social Services 539 322 450 385 78 54 79 89 Health 161 165 266 326 84 108 136 160 Judicial 0 42 114 120 0 18 33 42 Other Services Public Safety 110 123 193 243 31 53 95 128 Education 59 75 75 136 104 95 131 164 Transportation 65 46 49 63 70 63 73 80 Environment and Housing 68 56 83 76 30 39 58 78 General Government (except judicial) 124 73 54 59 52 42 54 63 Interest on General Debt 12 12 42 37 13 24 51 46 Other 53 43 58 80 36 49 64 88 Total Expenditure 1,191 958 1,384 1,524 499 544 775 936 “Agency Role,” % of Total 59% 55% 60% 55% 33% 33% 32% 31% “Agency” and Public Safety, % of Total 68% 68% 74% 70% 39% 43% 44% 45% Cities After Proposition 13 Fiscal constraint has also co nstricted cities’ general-purpose role, but in a different manner than for counties. California cities have become more independent, relying more than in the past, and the rest of the nation, on own- source revenue. However, many of the faster- growing city revenue sources are more closel y linked to specific services rendered—for example, revenue from charges and fees. Community-wide taxes and services have declined as a share of city finance. Thus, even as structur al differences between cities and counties have deepened since Proposition 13, in both cases their general-purpose government roles were constrained. While the main effect on counties of Propos ition 13 was to increase dependence on the state, cities instead became more entrepreneur ial about identifying new revenue sources—with major consequences for land use and development—and more aggressive about imposing user charges and fees. Unlike counties, cities faced a decline in subvention funding until recently, and they turned to other revenue sources to make up for the losses (Table 3). Before Proposition 13, cities had become mo re fiscally self-reliant than counties, diversifying their own-source revenue base so t hat by 1972, property taxes constituted only one- quarter of city revenue, compared to 38 percent for counties (Table 3). However, most community-wide discretionary revenue came from two sources—property and sales taxes. These sources declined from 39 percent of city re venue in 1972 to 29 percent in 2002 (Table 3). In their place, cities turned to revenue source s that more closely link payments to services received, such as charges, fees, and benefit asses sments. Although California city officials rate the sales tax and property tax most desirable over all, most still would elect to raise or impose - 15 - new user fees instead (Baldassare and Hoene, 2004a). Revenue from charges and fees increased by 162 percent in California cities from 1972 to 2002, faster than for California counties and cities in the rest of the nation. Per capita revenue from benefit assessments in California nearly doubled from 1987 to 2002, reaching a level more than twice as high as in the rest of the nation. As a result, the cost of city services has become increasingly “internalized,” based on a “user pays” principle. Such financing may be efficient economically if services can be treated independently (Sexton and Sheffrin, 1997). Howeve r, when interdependencies such as shared infrastructure exist, residents should take them into account. As community-wide taxing power declines, voters may be less apt to engage in or understand decisionmaking for their community’s future. In that case, the general-pu rpose character of local government is eroded. Also, “particularized” services may become ineffi cient if revenue structures are rigid, as with the AB 8 system in regard to services provided by special districts. Fiscal constraint also affected local government choices about land use and development, an important element of home rule power. Land use choices became increasingly “fiscalized,” scrutinized with an eye to budget impacts. One consequence is that city governments strongly favor retail developm ent over housing and industry—land uses generally less able to “pay their way” in terms of the cost of services (Lewis and Barbour, 1999; Coleman, 2006a). Cities compete to attract retail development and associated sales tax revenue, which in California is allocated on a “situs” basis (to the jurisdiction in which the sale occurred). California cities earn about twice as much in per capita sales tax revenue as cities in the rest of the nation, and about seven times more than California counties (Table 3). 11 Still, sales tax as a share of city revenue has declined since 1972 (Table 3). With the hierarchy among cities for sales tax dollars rather stable over that time , it appears that cities have been competing over a relatively fixed pot of money. Inducements offered to retailers may serve mainly, in the aggregate, to divert public resources to the retail sector (Lewis and Barbour, 1999; Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2007). In spite of complaints about ill effects of competition for retail development, city governments themselves have not been strong advocates for reforming the system. To the contrary, many of them have been more apt to re sist such reforms (California Budget Project, 2004). For example, a bill introduced in 2002 would have introduced a modicum of sales tax sharing among jurisdictions in the Sacramento regi on. It was defeated by stiff opposition from suburban cities which feared they would lose out to the City of Sacramento (CP&DR Staff, 2002; Fulton, 2002a). Such controversies demonstrate th e difficulty—especially if competition over a resource is intense—of changing the system in a way that creates new winners and losers (ibid.). As voter-imposed fiscal constraints have limited the ability to raise community-wide funds, another result has been to transfer the costs of infrastructure for new development onto the development itself. For example, local offi cials impose fees and exactions on developers and create community facilities districts. 12 These techniques facilitate development in 11 However, many states do not impose local sales taxes. 12 In 1982, the state authorized “Mello-Roos” financing. Within designated areas, two-thirds of the voters, or landowners representing two-thir ds of the land area, can issue debt for capital improvements, and levy - 16 - “greenfields” areas more than “infill” development in built-up areas.13 However, one state development tool that does aid inner-city areas—redevelopment financing—has gained importance. Authorized since 1951, this techni que facilitates improvements in designated “blighted” areas by allowing local governments to borrow funds to be paid back from increased property taxes generated by the improvements. 14 Most of the state’s 422 redevelopment areas are managed by cities, which capture most of th e growth in property tax receipts (the “tax increment” revenue) that otherwise would have been parceled out among all local government entities serving that area. From 1980 to 2006, the number of redevelopment agencies in the state more than doubled to 422, and the number of project ar eas more than tripled to 759 (California State Controller’s Office, 2007). According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, redevelopment agencies captured 10 percent of state property tax revenues in 2003-04, up from 2 percent in 1977-78 (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2005). Conc ern about abuse led to 1993 reforms that tightened the statutory definition of “blight” and allocated a portion of tax increment to all local agencies servicing a redevelopment area. Ho wever, no state agency regularly reviews redevelopment proposals. Even as cities looked for new revenue sources, frustrated anti-tax advocacy groups sought to rein them in. In 1996, voters passed Proposition 218, the “Right to Vote on Taxes Act.” The constitutional amendment culminated a decade-long effort by anti-tax groups to establish vote requirements for local taxes and sought to prevent local governments from turning to other revenues sources without gain ing voter approval. Proposition 218 established that majority voter approval is required to impose or increase any local tax for general purposes, and two-thirds voter approval is required for taxes designated for special purposes. Vote requirements for property assessments and property-related fees and charges also were specified. 15 In spite of Proposition 218, per capita city re venue from “other taxes,” charges, fees, and assessments increased from 1997 to 2002 (although fo r the latter categories, at a slower rate than from 1992 to 1997). And although more local tax measures were placed on the ballot after 1996, passage rates did not change much (Rueben and Cerd án, 2003). Thus, overall, California cities have been able to increase revenue in spite of vo ter constraints. However, these general trends mask differences among cities. Less than one- third are “full-service,” meaning they are taxes to pay for it. In practice, governments often work with developers to establish such community facilities districts for new neighborhoods. 13 Developer fees do not require voter approval. 14 Redevelopment agencies’ tax allocation bonds do not require voter approval. 15 New benefit assessments must meet extensive requirements for determining proportionate benefits and weighted voting according to benefit. A detailed report by a registered engineer is required to demonstrate the special benefit for each land parcel. To levy assessments, local governments must first hold a mail-in election with ballots weighted by th e proposed assessment, and with a weighted majority required for passage. Thus, the vote of a corporation (located anywhere) can outweigh votes of resident property owners (Tranter, 2006). To set a property-related fee or charge, a majority vote of affected property owners or two-thirds of voters within an af fected area is required. Fees for sewer, water, and refuse collection are exempt. Fees for a general serv ice are specifically disallowed (e.g., police, fire, ambulance, and libraries). - 17 - responsible for a full set of municipal services including police, fire, parks and recreation, libraries, streets, and land use planning (Coleman, 1999). 16 Partial-service cities rely on special districts and/or county governments for some se rvices and generally receive smaller shares of property taxes. Thus, they are more dependent on sales taxes. City revenue levels vary not only because of differing service responsibilitie s, but also depending on voter willingness to pass new taxes. Research in California and nationally suggests that voter constraints have widened historical revenue differences among cities, limiting poorer and more fiscally constrained cities the most. 17 Thus, although some cities have maintain ed or increased revenues in the more competitive post-Proposition 13 context, others have fallen behind. Propositions 13 and 218 were blunt instruments, imposing a one-size-fits -all constraint on local taxing and spending. Although voters apparently find such seemingl y straightforward mandates appealing ways to curb government excess, they most probably do not understand how such measures affect localities individually and differentially. Most voters indicate a low level of understanding about fiscal issues in the st ate (Baldassare et al., 2007). Local officials feel constrained by both voters and the state government. In contrast to state voters, seven in ten California city official s say that Proposition 13 has mainly been a bad thing for the state (Baldassare and Hoene, 2005). 18 They are more apt than city officials in other states to consider tax and expenditure limits to be sometimes or always a bad idea (Baldassare and Hoene, 2004b). Only one in three California city officials consider it possible to spend less and still maintain the city’s service levels; in other states, a slim majority consider it possible. In looking ahead, California city officials are more likely than officials elsewhere to see the largest challenges coming from cuts in federal or state support for cities and federal or state preemption of local authority, and to be more co ncerned about effects of voter pressure to limit taxation and public perceptions of waste in government (ibid.). 16 However, full-service cities serve a majority of the state’s population. 17 See Rueben and Cerdán (2003) and Mullins (2004). Fr om 1980 to 2000, about half of California cities proposed at least one ballot measure to increase taxe s; one-third of cities were successful in gaining passage (Rueben and Cerdán, 2003). Various factors relate to cities’ likelihood of placing a measure on the ballot, and the chances of success. For example, ci ties that did not propose ballot measures had more diversified tax bases to start with and became increasi ngly reliant on fees and assessments. Cities more apt to attempt and to pass new tax measures historic ally relied more on property taxes. Those with higher income, fewer special districts, and lower nonw hite household shares also were more likely to gain passage. The group of cities that tried and failed to pass new taxes had lower property tax and overall revenues before Pr oposition 13, and those differences widene d over time. These cities had lower Democratic voter registration shares and lower hous ehold income than those that passed a tax measure. 18 A majority (57%) of California residents polled in 2003 said that passing Proposition 13 has turned out to be mostly a good thing, and that its property tax limitations have had either a good effect (27%) or no effect (29%) on local government services (Baldassare, 2003). However, a year later a majority (60%) also indicated that local government did not have adequa te funding for infrastructure projects needed to prepare for future growth, and a majority (56%) would have been willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for local government services (Balda ssare, 2004 a and c). California residents also consider local governments inefficient; in 2004, 58 percent believed that their local government could spend less and still provide the same level of services , and 71 percent that the state government could do so (Baldassare, 2004b). - 18 - Conflicts Reach the Breaking Point: The Path to Proposition 1A By the late 1990s, state-local fiscal conflict in California had grown heated. State policymakers were concerned abou t growth-related problems—in particular, lack of affordable housing and strains on public infrastructure syst ems. These concerns forced state leaders to face consequences for land use and developmen t of the post-Proposition 13 fiscal regime. However, efforts to enact growth policy reform were stymied by local government anger over the ERAF shift of the early 1990s. The impasse in state-local relations led state policymakers to consider a systematic overhaul of the state-local relationship. Growth Concerns Come to the Forefront By the late 1990s, state policymakers had gr own alarmed about a housing affordability “crisis” in the state and its potential effect on economic health. At the same time, they worried about the need for new investment in infrastruc ture to support projected population growth. With real costs increasing for building and maintaining public infrastructure facilities, and various facilities reaching capacity limits, numerous policy re ports called for more strategic state planning and investment. 19 Meanwhile, environmental mandates posed another growth- related constraint. For example, most of the state’s metropolitan regions remain out of compliance with federal air quality standards, and mobile sources such as cars and trucks form the largest source of polluting emissions (Calif ornia Air Resources Board, 2007). California is also a “hot spot” for biological diversity, leading to protracted legal battles over new development projects on the fringe of urban ar eas, as proposed developments collided with legal mandates for preserving natural habitat for threatened and endangered species. In a context of growth-related pressure and fiscal and environmental constraint, state leaders scrutinized local land use and housing po licy more closely. The issue strained state- local relations because land use decisions had long been considered a home rule prerogative. While a principal concern was whether local go vernments were doing enough to facilitate housing production, policymakers also viewed l and use as a potential lever for promoting more efficient infrastructure investment and meetin g environmental mandates. For example, more compact “transit-oriented” development might help address environmental, housing, and infrastructure imperatives simultaneously. In considering these issues, California was not unique. Concerns about problems associated with uncoordinated sprawl development, such as higher transportation costs and air pollution, have induced a number of state gove rnments to adopt stronger growth management policies—thereby provoking resentment from local governments (Berman, 2003). However, California, traditionally a planning innovator, has been behind that curve during recent decades. Although many bold reform efforts have been advanced—for example by Governor Wilson during the early 1990s—they frequently fa iled because of local government resistance. For example, local governments walked away from the negotiations with Wilson because of anger about the ERAF shift (Ful ton, 1993; Innes et al., 1994). 19 See Hanak and Baldassare (2005) for a discussion. - 19 - Thus, inasmuch as the post-Prop 13 fiscal regime imposes dysfunctional incentives for land use and development, it also directly undermines the potential for negotiating reforms to improve the system. Discussions on reforming fiscal relations, growth management, housing mandates, tax base sharing, and a host of county health and welfare programs, stalled after ERAF because of local officials’ resistance to any new system that would create “winners” and “losers,” and because of entrenched distrust of state interference (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999; Senate Local Government Committee, 1999; Fulton, 2003). Regarding policy areas such as land use, wh ich have traditionally been considered the prerogative of local governments, the image of centralized state control in post-Proposition 13 California is inaccurate. Voters generally suppo rt local control over development decisions, giving local governments something of a veto over state policies they do not like. 20 However, local officials’ relationship with their voters is tricky, because even as voters voice support for local control, they also support tax and expenditure limitations that rein in local governments. Voters believe that local control means themselves, not their elected officials. 21 Voters’ desire to retain control seems somewhat ironic, given that Proposition 13 constrained local choice over property tax levels and helped create a more opaque finance system difficult for most fiscal experts—let alone voters—to understand. A Window Opens for Reform of the State-Local Relationship By the late 1990s, a window opened for reform of the state-local relationship, considered by many to be fundamentally out of whack. Calling the property tax allocation system “seriously flawed,” the legislature and Governor Davis indicated their intent to reform the system in order to increase taxpayer knowle dge, provide better incentives for land use and development, and provide greater local control (Chapter 94, Statutes of 1999). The governor directed the legislature to consider fundamen tal reform (Carpenter, 2001). The Assembly Speaker created a Commission on State and Local Government Finance, and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee held statewide forums (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 1999). Numerous reform proposals circulated. Th eir common themes included addressing the lack of accountability in a system so arcane th at few could understand the relationship between taxes and the services they paid for, and ameliorating the constraints and realigning incentive structures that rendered local governments unab le to respond effectively to the needs of an expanding economy. Reform proposals a ddressed accountability, intergovernmental 20 In 2001, three-quarters (74%) of California resident s indicated that city and county governments should decide local growth and development, rather than ha ve the state government take a more active role (Baldassare, 2001). In 2004, a majority of adults (51%) and of likely voters (59%) reaffirmed that local governments, rather than the state, should decide how much and what kinds of new housing to build in their communities (Baldassare, 2004d). On the other hand, in 2004 and 2006, a majority of residents indicated that the state government should provide gu idelines for local land use and development, rather than not be involved (Baldassare, 2004c and 2006). 21 When asked who should make the important decisions at the local level, nearly three-quarters (73%) of state residents surveyed replied that local voters shou ld do so at the ballot box, while about one-quarter (23%) replied that local elected officials should make the most important decisions (Baldassare, 2004c). - 20 - coordination, revenue stability, skewed development incentives, and local inability to finance services from locally levied taxes. 22 Revenue stability was a major concern. Many advocated a constitutional amendment to prevent the state government from shifting prop erty taxes to address its own budget needs. There was tension between reforms to ensure aggregate local revenue stability, by precluding state “raids” of local revenue, versus revenue stability for individual local governments, by guaranteeing no net loss to any government. “Revenue neutral” reform was considered politically paramount, but applied at the indivi dual government level, it made systematic change difficult. Regarding fiscal structure, many argued that the state government should shift more property tax revenue to cities, even as it reduced sales taxes revenue to cities, in order to create better land use incentives. Some proposals would have addressed the problem of situs-based competition for sales taxes by distributing th e revenue on a different basis, such as by population or to counties. Others would have swapped substantial portions of existing sales and property tax revenue, and still others woul d have swapped only new revenue growth from these sources. However, the assumption that a revenue swap of this sort would improve land use incentives was not systematically tested. 23 As with Proposition 13 itself, a one-size-fits-all approach could produce unintended and non-un iform effects, and it would perpetuate the disconnection between local service choices and revenue streams. To address this concern, some proposals wo uld have increased local authority over the property tax, for example by lowering the rate to provide a certain amount of “room” for local choice within the 1 percent property tax rate cap, or by allowing local governments to allocate property taxes based on agreed-upon service pl ans. The latter reform could have promoted reorganizing responsibilities for the sake of effici ency and accountability. For example, if cities, counties, and special districts collectively deve loped compacts for reallocating property tax revenue, subject to voter approval, they might consolidate operations in the process. Along similar lines, some advocated allo cating all property taxes to cities and allowing them to establish contracts with other agencies. Some reforms would have required altering key provisions of Proposition 13—for example, by lowering vote requirements on spec ial taxes to 55 percent or by treating assessment of residential and commercial property taxes diffe rently (thereby creating a “split roll”). The split assessment roll would address concerns t hat because corporate buildings and commercial and industrial property are sold less often than is residential property, they are thus reassessed less frequently. Reforms could include regular reassessments regardless of whether a sale 22 See California Constitution Revision Commission (1996); Legislative Analyst's Office (1993 and 2000); California State Controller’s State Municipal Adviso ry Reform Team (1999); Speaker's Commission on State and Local Government Finance (2000); California State Association of Counties (2000); League of California Cities (2000). 23 A consultant to the League of California Cities argued that under the scenario proposed by the Commission on State and Local Government Finance—to reduce local sales taxes by half in exchange for equivalent property tax revenue—many cities would st ill find retail development more lucrative than housing in relation to service requirements (Coleman, 2000 and 2003). - 21 - occurred, or redefining change in ownership. However, most proposals would have operated within the provisions of Proposition 13. Some proposals focused on clarifying responsi bilities, for example, in relation to the county role. County “municipal” functions might be transferred to other entities, such as inter- city joint powers authorities. The realignment process might be strengthened by devolving to counties certain programs for which innovation , local responsiveness, and efficiency are paramount, for example inter-related public health, mental health, and child welfare programs (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2001 and 2003). The reform debates brought out underlying questions at the heart of the state-local relationship regarding the balance between stat e and local interests. There is an inherent tension between the state’s interest in achievin g consistency for statewide policy—for example, to enhance equity in the allocation of resource s or promote efficient development patterns—and increasing local accountability and control to promote responsiveness to local needs and preferences. In the debates, tension over increase d state control arose especially in regard to the proposals to alter the allocation of sales taxes so as to reorient development incentives. In spite of wide consensus about the negative conseque nces of the current allocation system, local governments have resisted efforts to reallocate sales taxes because this general-purpose revenue source is one of the few over whic h they retain some discretion. Also at stake in the debates was how the state government could frame a local fiscal and governance system responsive to local needs and preferences. With over 6,000 units of local government in California, the very complexity of local government today serves as a constraint on state policymaking. The traditional answer—to establish separate spheres of influence and fiscal authority—is difficult to reconstruct, not just within curren t fiscal constraints but also now that prerogatives once considered local—such as land use—are subject to state scrutiny. The reform debate indicated widespread agreement among policymakers that the state- local relationship needed repair. Most proposal s would have operated within the parameters of Proposition 13, indicating that reformers vi ewed major problems—and their solutions—as advancing within its constraints. However, although over 50 ERAF relief bills were introduced in the 1999 and 2000 legislative session, and a joint conference committee deliberated major reform proposals, the outcome was the pass age only of one-time ERAF relief, not thoroughgoing reform. Difficulties in achieving “revenue neutrality” while also accomplishing substantial reform, and in addressing variation in local government circumstances and needs, were cited as primary obstacles (Senate Local Government Committee, 1999; Carpenter, 2001). Local Governments Enter a New Age: Proposition 1A In 2004, the state-local relationship in Calif ornia underwent substantial change. But just as in the previous decade, this change was not th e result of a careful effort to systematically reform the relationship, so much as it was a response to a state budget crisis that brought conflicts to the fore. And also, as with the ERAF shift, the 2004 reform exacerbated some underlying problems. - 22 - Already angry about ERAF, local governments became more wary about state interference when, starting in 1999, the state government began phasing in reductions of the vehicle license fee (VLF) as tax relief for voters. The VLF, a substitute for property taxes on vehicles, has long been a substantial local revenue source. 24 The fee was reduced to one-third its earlier level by 2001. Local government loss es were backfilled from the state general fund, which, at full implementation, cost about $4.1 b illion annually (California Budget Project, 2004). The legislature created a trigger mechanism allowing the VLF to be restored during lean fiscal times. But the VLF move raised uneasy memories of AB 8 and ERAF, because the state could reverse its commitment. Feeling constrained by voters on the one hand, and the state government on the other, local governments organized to protect their ow n interests. Cooperation between city and county governments had been a while in the making because of past conflicts over redevelopment finance, new city incorporations, and annexations of areas with lucrative retail development. However, reforms of incorporat ion and redevelopment law allowed cities and counties to put aside differences and face what they perceived as a common threat. By the 2000s, local government lobby groups were among the most vocal at the state level. The League of California Cities (LCC)—t he association representing California cities— was considered among the most aggressive of such groups in the nation (Berman, 2003). From 2001 to 2006, non-education local government entities and their associations spent about $38 million annually to lobby the state government. Counting school districts and public offices of education as well, local government lobbying accounted for 20 percent of total lobbying expenditures in the state. Table 5 shows the expenditures for 2003-04, the years leading up to passage of Proposition 1A. After the high-tech bubble burst in the earl y 2000s, the state government faced severe budget problems because its revenue depended heav ily on personal income taxes that dropped dramatically as stock earnings plummeted (S heffrin, 2004). Governor Davis was trapped between constraints on spending cuts resulting from constitutional commitments and resistance from the Democratic legislative majority and interest groups such as public employee unions, on the one hand, and Republican veto power over tax increases (because of the two-thirds legislative vote requirements fo r passing budgets and state tax rates) on the other (Schrag, 2006). As a result, constitutionally unprotected areas of the budget were vulnerable to cuts; these included higher education and local governments. By 2004, local governments felt their heads were on the chopping block. In 2003, Governor Davis had pulled the VLF trigger, faced wi th few politically acceptable alternatives in addressing a $38 billion deficit. Payment of a po rtion of the VLF backfill to local governments, totaling $1.3 billion, was deferred (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2004a). In 2002, 2003, and 2004, the state deferred mandate reimbursements to lo cal governments; the total exceeded $1.5 billion by late 2004 (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2004c). 24 All VLF revenue is dedicated to local governments pursuant to the state constitution. Statutes provide 75 percent to cities and counties on a per capita basi s, and 25 percent to counties for health and welfare programs pursuant to the 1991-92 realignment (Roush and Romero, 2000). - 23 - Table 5 California Lobbying Expenditures by Employer, Government-Related Categories, 2003-04 25 $ % GOVERNMENT (EXCEPT EDUCATION) Associations of Governments 12,400,994 3.0% Transportation Agencies and Authorities 6,617,265 1.6% Utility and Natural Resource Districts 16,022,985 3.9% City and County Governments 36,906,246 8.9% Indian Tribes 2,956,756 0.7% Redevelopment Agencies 302,802 0.1% Sheriff/Fire Departments or Districts 1,026,841 0.2% Other 1,358,695 0.3% Total 77,592,586 18.8% PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (EXCEPT EDUCATION) Associations and Unions 11,426,929 2.8% EDUCATION (PRIVATE AND PUBLIC) School Districts and District Associations 6,691,504 1.6% County Superintendents, Offices of Education 1,868,620 0.5% Other (includes unions) 20,748,982 5.0% Total 29,309,107 7.1% OTHER EMPLOYERS 294,892,516 71.4% TOTAL LOBBYING EXPENDITURES 413,221,137 100.0% SOURCE: California Secretary of State Cal-Access data. Governor Davis’ VLF rate increase was among the actions that prompted angry voters to elect Arnold Schwarzenegger in his place in the recall election of November 2003. After taking office, Schwarzenegger immediately reversed the VLF increase. He announced he would shift $1.3 billion in property taxes (about 10 percent of local government property taxes) to the schools to reduce the state’s funding obligations (California Budget Project, 2004). ERAF funds also were traded as part of a complex mechani sm by which the state could pay off $15 billion in economic recovery bonds, passed in March 2004, without raising taxes. 26 25 The totals shown by category do not match those ta bulated by the Secretary of State. In that data, employers’ type categorization is self-designated; the result is inconsistency both within years (for employers of the same type, such as resource distri cts) and across years for given employers. For these calculations, the data was re-evalu ated and each employer assigned to one of the categories shown. 26 Through this mechanism, called the “triple flip,” th e state share of the sales tax rate was increased by one-quarter cent and dedicated to repaying the bonds. The local government share was reduced accordingly, to be replaced by property tax revenue. Schools were made whole from the state general fund. This mechanism will expire after the bonds are repaid. - 24 - Local governments raised a battle cry. The LCC, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and the California Special District Association formed LOCAL (Leave Our Community Assets Alone), a statewide coalition of over 300 agencies and groups representing health care, law enforcement, fire and emergency se rvices, park districts, utility districts, labor, chambers of commerce, and others (Tranter, 2006). In March 2004, the coalition qualified a state ballot initiative, Proposition 65, for the upcomi ng November election. As a constitutional amendment, Proposition 65 would have prohibited reductions in local receipts from the property and sales taxes and VLF fees without st atewide voter approval, and it would also have prohibited any effort to swap sales taxes for prop erty taxes—in other words, to alter the current allocation system for these taxes. It would have immediately and re troactively blocked a proposed ERAF transfer of $1.3 billion in pr operty taxes for 2004-05, and again for 2005-06, pending approval by state voters. Unfunded mandates would have been prohibited; local governments could ignore any state requirement no t fully reimbursed or could carry it out and obligate the state. Proposition 65’s protections would have applied to cities, counties, special districts, and redevelopment agencies. As Schwarzenegger surveyed the prospects for passing the 2004 state budget, he proposed increasing state borrowing to pay off the deficit. He also negotiated agreements with teachers unions, the 4-year university systems, prison guards unions, and Indian tribes—and local governments. Schwarzenegger offered loca l governments long-term gain in exchange for short-term pain. He would support a ballot measur e to protect local revenues, but in return he asked local governments to give up $1.3 billion in each of two years (2004-05 and 2005-06). Many Democrats balked at putting local revenues off limits and placing in the constitution the existing systems for allocating property and sa les taxes. But local governments stood firm. Negotiations resulted in Proposition 1A being placed on the November ballot as an alternative to Proposition 65. The constitutio nal amendment would ensure that after the two- year ERAF shift was complete, the state could only borrow local property taxes under certain conditions, including repayment within three years. 27 Any reduction in the VLF rate would require reimbursement to local governments of lo st revenues. At the cities' insistence, the legislature also would be barred from reducing the amount of sales tax that local governments collect or from redistributing it among local entities. 28 The LCC indicated that it would not accept any deal without this provision (Ve llinga, 2004). Furthermore, any change in how property tax revenues are allocated among non- education local governments within a county would require approval by two-thirds of both houses of the legislature. Unfunded mandates could not be forced on non-education local gove rnments, but if they chose to carry them out anyway, the state would not be liable. Unlike Proposition 65, Proposition 1A exempted redevelopment agencies from its protections. 27 The state could borrow up to 8 percent of total pr operty tax revenue if the governor proclaimed a “severe fiscal hardship” and if the legislature, by a two-thirds vote in each house, enacted an urgency measure and legislation providing full repayment plus interest within three years. This temporary property tax shift could occur no more than twice in a ten-year period, and only if all previous borrowing had been repaid. Voter approval would not be required. 28 The only exceptions would be if a change were re quired by federal law or if it were necessary to participate in an interstate agreement (for example, one that addresses payment of sales tax for internet purchases). - 25 - Local leaders threw their support behind Proposition 1A, raising $9.4 million for the measure (in addition to $3 million to gather the si gnatures necessary to qualify the initiative). The measure passed with 85 percent of the vote in favor. To put the campaign spending in perspective, average per-measure spending in su pport of ballot initiatives in California from 2002 to 2006 was $11.8 million, and median spending was $7.1 million. 29 Within a national context, spending for Proposition 1A was at 95 percent of the average, and 266 percent of the median, for per capita spending per ballot meas ure nationally for those measures related to taxation and state budgets during the years 2003 and 2004. 30 More than half of the contributions to the Proposition 1A campaign committee came from government-related organizations or employees, and about 11 percen t from real estate/finance/insurance sector contributors. 31 The two largest contributors, LCC/Ci tiPac and CSAC, together raised more than $4 million. Proposition 1A reflected the evolving politics of the state-local relationship. In cutting a deal on a ballot initiative, Schwarzenegger and local governments combined forces to make an end run around the legislature. That tactic si gnaled a change in power and approach vis-à-vis the legislature by both the governor and local governments. On Schwarzenegger’s part, it reflected his clout not just as an individual, but also the systematic strengthening of the governor’s role in relation to the legislature sinc e Proposition 13, as a result of such measures as term limits and legislative redistricting. Schw arzenegger’s use of ballot measures to achieve policy aims has been unprecedented. On the part of local governments, using th e initiative process to achieve their aims signaled a new approach toward the state govern ment, one in which they act more overtly like an interest group than an intergovernmental partner. The strategy shows that they have come of age politically; they marshaled collective reso urces and devised a winning strategy to protect their interests. However, Proposition 1A exhibits some unfortunate aspects of initiative-based policymaking in California—protecting narrow intere sts, often inflexibly. The proposition also protected—by placing into the state constituti on—dysfunctional aspects of the current state- local finance system, in particular, rigid and arca ne financing rules that hamper flexibility and transparency in addressing growth concerns facing the state. 29 This estimate is based on the author’s calculatio ns from campaign spending data from the California Secretary of State’s Office, in 2004 dollars. If a campaign committee registered support or opposition for more than one initiative, spending for that committee was split among all initiatives supported or opposed by the committee excluding initiatives for which no spending occurred, for or against. 30 Author’s calculations from data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, excluding initiatives for which no spending occurred. The number of initiatives nationally pertaining to taxation or state budgets during 2003 and 2004 was small, includ ing only 12 initiatives. To provide a broader comparison, spending on Proposition 1A was at 56 percent of the average, and 140 percent of the median, of per capita spending for all 104 state ballot measures during 2003 and 2004 for which spending occurred. 31 Based on data from the National In stitute on Money in State Politics. - 26 - Conclusion The passage of Proposition 1A represents a sort of bookend to the drama in state-local relations that played out after passage of Proposition 13, with local governments shifting the power balance back toward themselves vis-à-vi s the state government. By ending the decade- long stalemate in state-local relations precipitat ed by the ERAF shift, Proposition 1A may have opened the door for more productive negotiations on various policy topics. However, it also perpetuates the system that helped make local governments more vulnerable in the first place— one in which constraints imposed by someti mes narrow interests (often through ballot initiatives) serve to reduce the power and flexib ility of government to deliberate, balance, and trade off interests and integrate policies across needs, rather than apply ad hoc responses to the same pressures and needs. Proposition 1A prevents the state government from using local governments as a fiscal “shock absorber,” and this will constrict the st ate’s options when facing tight budgets. In addition to limiting government revenue throug h Propositions 13, 218, and other measures, California’s electorate also has voted to protect K-14 education, after-school programs, transportation funds, and “three strikes” as a de facto minimum for the prison system. With more and more of the state budget earmarked through voter initiatives, systematic changes may be more difficult to accomplish and government all the more impenetrable to voters. Programs that lack constitutional protection will be more vulnerable during economic downturns. These include higher education, resource and environm ental protection, health, social services, and public safety (California Budget Project, 2004). While schools are protected by Proposition 98, its spending guarantees are easier to suspend than Proposition 1A’s. 32 Thus, Proposition 1A also may threaten K-14 spending, an ironic outc ome given that, traditionally, local governments and voters were responsible for school spending choices. However, Proposition 1A constricts not only the state but local governments as well. In some important ways, local governments traded control for stability. Proposition 1A seems to strengthen the separation of sources by erecting a firewall between state and local revenue, but it provides no greater local reve nue-raising authority. Instead, Proposition 1A perpetuates the disconnection between local revenue and local service needs and preferences instituted with the AB 8 system. In this sense, Proposition 1A parallels AB 8 in establishing a distorted—and ultimately false—facsimile of the origi nal separation of sources doctrine. Local governments supported this outcome be cause of the urgency they felt in 2004 (when faced with an imminent threat of losing revenue) to oppose state interference and achieve revenue stability. They found it much easi er to unite around that simple theme than to negotiate a new, more rational system of lo cal finance, even one that might have provided greater local discretion over revenues. Reorde ring fiscal priorities and arrangements would have inevitably entailed creating new winners and losers among them, a basic sticking point to reform ever since Proposition 13 created a zero-sum fiscal system. Within a zero-sum equation, systematic reforms are difficult to achieve politically, especially in the absence of some 32 Proposition 98 can be suspended by a two-thirds vo te of the legislature. The state government must restore funding to the level absent suspension over ti me, but it is not required to repay schools for lost funds. - 27 - compelling external pressure. Going forward, systematic reforms will now be even more difficult to enact, requiring not only a two-thir ds vote in both legislative houses but also convincing voters to amend once again the state’s constitution. In post-Proposition 13 California, state and local finance and policymaking is more intertwined. Conflict, more than cooperation, has characterized intergovernmental relations. Debates between the state and local governments center far more on fiscal resources than on other governance or policy concerns. However, in their decades-long fight over slicing the property tax pie, the state and local government s may have done themselves a disservice. The state government was politically unable to devise an effective system for local finance within Proposition 13’s constraints, one that could reassure local governments about revenue predictability while setting rational incentives for land use and development, and matching revenue to responsibility. The state lacked a se t of policy goals to help guide such a system. The state government’s own recurrent bu dget crises—resolved by burdening local governments—reflect the same lack of effective mechanisms for matching revenues to service demands over the long term. This failure of leadership and vision came back to bite the state government with Proposition 1A. Although Proposition 1A may have shif ted the pendulum back toward local governments, underlying fiscal concerns rema in unresolved, for which local governments may pay a price. Public finance is a mystery to most Californians, and this confusion undermines public confidence in government. Service n eeds are disconnected from revenue capacity. Community-wide taxing power is limited, with consequences for local governments’ ability to engage residents in community-wide decisions ab out the future. These outcomes of the post- Proposition 13 regime undermine basic general-purp ose governance capacity at the local level. To address these concerns, local governments must consider their welfare collectively, not just individually. Putting policy goals first might en tail difficult fiscal consequences. However, without that leadership, public distru st of government may only worsen. In the end, the state and local governments need to work as intergovernmental partners rather than as separate, independent realms. California needs effective government, and local finance and land use decisions are not strictly local matters (Berman, 2003). Although systematic reform may currently lie dead in th e water, more incremental improvements may be possible. For example, some have advocated that sales taxes be applied to services, as well as goods, purchased in the state. If the state gove rnment were to pursue such an option, it should seek to ensure that the allocation method does no t exacerbate dysfunctional land use incentives. Proposition 13 and the state government’s response spelled the demise of the traditional framework for the state-local relati onship (in particular, of the separation of sources doctrine). The state and local governments’ response ever since has resembled a model of path dependence, with the virtue of providing stability, but at the price of some loss of policy coherence. The state government smoothed over the transition to the post -Proposition 13 era by replicating pre-1978 property tax allocation shares , but the method was only an artifice of the traditional system. With Proposition 1A, local governments reinforced the path dependence, placing into the state’s constitution an ossified system of local finance considered dysfunctional in certain respects. - 28 - A basic problem is that no clear framework of goals and principles has been agreed upon to help guide the distribution of author ity and responsibility under a new framework for the state-local relationship. Rather than prop up an artifice of the old system, elected leaders— both state and local—would do better to focus on devising, with and for the public, a better policy framework to guide decisi ons about public investment and services, along with related fiscal incentives and choices. To help restore pu blic trust, public officials at all levels must define clear priorities and objectives, and tr ack progress in achieving them. California’s governments themselves need to rise to the challenge of improving governance, notwithstanding the often formidable barri ers to achieving comprehensive reform. - 29 - References Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on Growth , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, May 2001. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, Public Policy Institute of California, San Franc isco, California, February 2003. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on California's Fiscal System , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, January 2004a. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on California State Budget, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, May 2004b. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey on Californians and the Future, Public Policy Institute of California, San Fr ancisco, California, August 2004c. Baldassare, Mark, Special Survey on Californians and Their Housing , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, Ca lifornia, November 2004d. Baldassare, Mark, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Future , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, August 2006. Baldassare, Mark, Dean Bonner, Jennifer Paluch, and Sonja Petek, PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, May 2007. Baldassare, Mark, and Christopher Hoene, Local Budgets and Tax Policy in California: Surveys of City Officials and State Residents , Public Policy Institute of Calif ornia, San Francisco, California, September 18, 2004a. Baldassare, Mark, and Christopher Hoene, Local Budgets and Tax Policies in California and U.S. Cities: Surveys of City Officials , Public Policy Institute of Califor nia, San Francisco, California, December 3, 2004b. Baldassare, Mark, and Christopher Hoene, Perspectives on State and Local Finance: Surveys of City Officials in California and the U.S. , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, December 10, 2005. Berman, David R., Local Government and the States: Autonomy, Politics, and Policy , M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York, 2003. California Air Resources Board, Proposed State Strategy for California’s 2007 State Implementation Plan , Sacramento, California, January 31, 2007. - 31 - California Budget Project, Budget Brief: What Would Proposition 1A Mean for State and Local Government Finance? Sacramento, California, September 2004. California Constitution Revision Commission, Final Report and Recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature, Sacramento, California, 1996. California State Association of Counties, A Dollars and Sense Plan for Local Government , Sacramento, California, 2000. California State Association of Counties, The Property Tax Roller Coaster: Explanations for Variations in County Property Tax Revenues , Sacramento, California, October 2004. California State Controller, State Municipal Advisory Reform Team, "SMART" and "SMARTER," Sacramento, California, 1999. California State Controller’s Office, Community Redevelopment Agencies Annual Report 2005-6, Sacramento, California, 2007. Carpenter, Candace M., Tension & Ambiguity: A Legislative Guide to Recent Efforts to Reform California’s State-Local Fiscal Relationship , Senate Local Government Committee, Sacramento, California, March 2001. Chapman, Jeffrey I., Proposition 13: Some Unintended Consequences , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, 1998. Cole, Richard L., and John Kincaid, “Public Op inion on U.S. Federal and Intergovernmental Issues in 2006: Continuity and Change,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2006, pp. 443–459. Coleman, Michael J., “Property Tax Fairness Among Local Governments Means Consolidating Local Governance,” Cal-Tax Digest, November 1999. Coleman, Michael J., Memo: Fiscal Impacts of 1) The Propos al of the Speaker's Commission on State and Local Government Finance, and 2) Th e Task Force's Prospective Reform Concept , Coleman Advisory Services, Davis, California, March 7, 2000. Coleman, Michael J., Memo on AB1221: Fiscal and Policy Implications for Cities , Coleman Advisory Services, Davis, California, April 2003. Coleman, Michael J., Exploring Reform in California Municipal Finance, Coleman Financial Services, Davis, California, January 2006a. Coleman, Michael J., Fact Sheet: The ERAF Property Tax Shift, Coleman Financial Services, Davis, California, August 2006b. CP&DR Staff, “Assembly Passes Sales Tax-Sharing Measure,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventur a, California, January 2002. - 32 - Fulton, William, “Governor Proposes Growth Management Strategy,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Vent ura, California, February 1993. Fulton, William, “Sacramento Tax-Sharing Bill Fo rces Regionalism Issue, But Opposition Holds Firm,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventura, California, March 2002a. Fulton, William, “New Cities Raise Taxes, Pa y Alimony To Get Past ‘Revenue Neutrality’ Mandate,” California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventura, California, July 2002b. Fulton, William, “Tax-Limiting Initiatives Continue to Shape State,” CP&DR Special Report on Prop 13, California Planning and Development Report , Solimar Research Group, Ventura, California, June 2003, p. 7. Hanak, Ellen, and Mark Baldassare, editors, California 2025: Taking On the Future , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, 2005. Innes, Judith, Judith Gruber, Mic hael Neuman, and Robert Thompson, Coordinating Growth and Environmental Management Through Consensus Building, California Policy Seminar, University of California, Berkeley, California, 1994. League of California Cities, Report of the League Special Task Force on Fiscal Reform , Sacramento, California, 2000. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Making Government Make Sense, Sacramento, California, February 1993. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Why County Revenues Vary: State Laws and Local Conditions Affecting County Finance, Sacramento, California, May 7, 1998. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Shifting Gears: Rethinking Property Tax Shift Relief, Sacramento, California, February 2, 1999. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Reconsidering AB 8: Exploring Alternative Ways to Allocate Property Taxes , Sacramento, California, February 3, 2000. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Realignment Revisited: An Evaluation of the 1991 Experiment in State- County Relations , Sacramento, California, February 6, 2001. Legislative Analyst’s Office, The 2003-04 Budget Bill: Perspectives and Issues: Realignment and the 2003-04 Budget, Sacramento, California, February 19, 2003. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill, VLF Issues: Vehicle License Fee Backfill , Sacramento, California, February 2004a. - 33 - Legislative Analyst’s Office, Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill: Another Property Tax Shift? , Sacramento, California, February 2004b. Legislative Analyst’s Office, California Spending Plan 2004-05: The Budget Act and Related Legislation , Sacramento, California, September 2004c. Legislative Analyst’s Office, State Oversight of Redevelopment, Sacramento, California, November 17, 2005. Legislative Analyst’s Office, Allocating Local Sales Taxes: Issues and Options , Sacramento, California, January 24, 2007. Lewis, Paul G., and Elisa Barbour, California Cities and the Local Sales Tax , Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, July 1999. Mullins, Daniel R., “Tax and Expenditure Limitations and the Fiscal Response of Local Government: Asymmetric Intra-Local Fiscal Effects,” Public Budgeting & Finance, Winter 2004, pp. 11-147. Roush, Eileen A., and Philip J. Romero, “Surre ndering Sovereignty to Sacramento: State-Local Fiscal Relations During the 1990s,” in California Policy Options, UCLA School of Public Affairs, Los Angeles, California, 2000, pp. 27-44. Rueben, Kim S., and Pedro Cerdán, Fiscal Effects of Voter Approval Requirements on Local Governments , Public Policy Institute of Californi a, San Francisco, California, 2003. Saxton, Gregory D., Christopher W. Hoene, and St even P. Erie, “Fiscal Constraints and the Loss of Home Rule: The Long-Term Impacts of Calif ornia's Post-Proposition 13 Fiscal Regime,” American Review of Public Administration , Vol. 32, No. 4, December 2002, pp. 423-454. Schrag, Peter, California: America’s High-Stakes Experiment, UC Press, Berkeley, California, 2006. Senate Local Government Committee, Briefing Paper, Property Tax Allocation, Summary Report from the Interim Hearing of the Senate Local Government Committee, Sacramento, California, September 21, 1999. Sexton, Terri A., and Steven M. Sheffrin, “L iving With Limits: State and Local Finance in California,” in Controller’s Quarterly: California Economic Challenges , California State Controller’s Office, Sacramento, California, August 1997. Sheffrin, Steven M., “State Budget Defi cit Dynamics and the California Debacle,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 18, No. 2, Spring 2004, pp. 205–226. Silva, J. Fred, and Elisa Barbour, The State-Local Fiscal Relationship in California: A Changing Balance of Power , Public Policy Institute of Californi a, San Francisco, California, 1999. - 34 - - 35 - Sonstelie, Jon, Eric Brunner, and Kenneth Ardon, For Better or For Worse? School Finance Reform in California , Public Policy Institute of Californi a, San Francisco, California, 2000. Speaker’s Commission on State and Local Government Finance, Final Report, Sacramento, California, March 2000. Swenson, Jennifer, County Services: A Tale of Eight Counties , California Research Bureau, Sacramento, California, February 1999. Tranter, Revan, “Cities, Counties, and the Stat e: From Prop 13 to 1A and the Future,” in Governing California: Politics, Government, and Public Policy in the Golden State , edited by Gerald C. Lubenow, Institute of Governmental Studies Press, University of California, 2006, pp. 107-129. Vellinga , Mary Lynne, “At the Table: Local Governments Were Aggressive Political Players in This Year's Budget, But Not Everyone Belie ves the Result Was Good Public Policy,” California Journal , Sacramento, California, Vol. 35, No. 9, September 1, 20 PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Linda Griego President and Chief Executive Officer Griego Enterprises, Inc. Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Associates, Inc. Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Leon E. Panetta Director The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:39:18" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(11) "op_1207ebop" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:39:18" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:39:18" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(53) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/OP_1207EBOP.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }