Maxwell School, Syracuse University

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs



PAI735/ECN635
State and Local Government Finance 
Professor Yinger
Spring 2016

 

Professor Yinger
451 Eggers Hall
Phone: (315) 443-9062
Email jyinger@maxwell.syr.edu
http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/jyinger

  

Class Location: 113 Eggers
Class Time: MW 3:45-5:05
Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 Monday and Wednesday or by Appointment

 

 

 

 

 

Please contact Mrs. Santy to make an appointment with the professor. 

Mary Santy 
426 Eggers Hall  
Phone: (315) 443-3115
Email: mjsanty@maxwell.syr.edu

 

 

 

 

Course Overview and Requirements

This course examines the expenditure and revenue decisions of state and local governments and fiscal aspects of intergovernmental relations.  The principal objectives of the course are to describe the fiscal institutions of the U.S. federal system; to develop analytical tools, primarily drawn from microeconomics, for understanding the behavior of voters, public officials, businesses, and other actors affected by state and local policy; and to provide tools that will help students make fiscal policy decisions.  The course is designed for students who plan to be practitioners, that is, who plan to make decisions about state and local expenditures and revenues or about intergovernmental aid.  The emphasis of the course is therefore more on institutions and on applications than on the fine points of theory, and students will be given many opportunities to apply their analytical skills to actual policy problems.

As described in detail in the attached class schedule and reading list, the class will cover the following topics:

 

I.   State and Local Government Expenditures
II.   State and Local Government Revenues
III.    Financing State and Local Capital Projects  
IV. Fiscal Aspects of State and Local Economic Development
V.   Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations

 

Time & Place

The class will meet from 3:45-5:05 on Mondays and Wednesdays in 113 Eggers.

Class Format

Class sessions will consist of a mix of lectures, case discussions, and student presentations.  Student participation is encouraged in all classes, and, as discussed below, required in some.

This class will make extensive use of the internet. Students should expect to make frequent use of the professor's web site.  Many issues in state and local public finance are covered in The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/). The first few articles you read each month are free and The Times contains a wealth of information about state and local public finance. Other potentially useful sites include: 

Campaign for Fiscal Equity http://www.cfequity.org/

Education Finance and Accountability Program http://cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/efap/index.html

Education Week  http://www.edweek.com/

Government Finance Officers Association http://www.gfoa.org

International City/County Management Association  http://www.icma.org/go.cfm

National Conference of State Legislators http://www.ncsl.org/

National Governor's Association http://www.nga.org/

National League of Cities  http://www.nlc.org/

National Tax Association  http://www.ntanet.org/

The Rockefeller Institute at SUNY Albany http://www.rockinst/org/

U.S. Census of Governments http://www.census.gov/govs/

U.S. Conference of Mayors http://www.usmayors.org/

Prerequisite

The course is designed for students with previous exposure to microeconomic analysis.  Some background in statistics and regression analysis is also desirable, but not required.  Any student who has taken ECN 601 or PAIA 723 with a grade of B or better may take this course.  Other students must receive the instructor's permission in order to enroll.

Assignments            

All students are required to (1) participate in class discussions, (2) prepare a professional memo based on one of the cases, (3) draft a memo with recommendations concerning state or local public finance in a jurisdiction of their choosing (4) present their recommendations to the class (after feedback from the professor), and (5) prepare a final version of their policy memo for posting on the class web site.  Students may work in groups for the last three assignments.  Students also may discuss the first two assignments with each other, but each student should work alone in writing the professional memo (the second assignment). All students are expected to meet the highest standards for academic integrity.

These assignments are designed for master's students.  Any PhD students in the class should consult the professor to design alternative assignments that are appropriate for his or her course of study.  Any student requiring special arrangements because of a disability should make an appointment to see the professor. 

(1) The first assignment is to participate in formal class discussions.  As listed on the following class schedule, there are five case discussions in the class.  Each student must play a lead role in one of these case discussions.  The class web page (on the professor's web site) includes a form that allows each student to indicate the cases on which he or she would like to play a lead role.  This form should be downloaded, filled out, and turned in to the professor by e-mail (or delivered to the receptionist at the Center for Policy Research) on or before Tuesday, January 26. Students will be assigned to a case on a first-come, first-served basis.  The final assignments will be available on the class web page before class on January 27 (with the first case to take place on February 1). Guidelines for the case discussions, including suggestions for students who are playing the lead role, are posted on the class web page.

Students who do not have a lead role for a particular case are still expected to attend and participate in the class discussion.  Students are also expected to attend and participate in all four sessions of the class conference (discussed under the fourth requirement).

A student's grade in class discussion will be based primarily on the case for which he or she plays a lead role.  However, exceptionally helpful (or counterproductive) contributions in other case discussions and in the discussions during the class conference also could influence a student's grade. 

(2) The second requirement is to prepare a short (2‑page), professional memoranda to an imaginary decision maker.  This memo must be based on one of the five case studies.  Instructions for the memos, tips for professional writing, and examples of the professor's professional memos can be found on the professor's web site. A student may select any of the five possible memos, but a memo must be turned in at the beginning of the class during which it is discussed.  Late memos will not be accepted.  Plan ahead!  These memos will be graded on presentation as well as on substance.  Although only one memo is required, a student may submit two memos; his or her grade will be based on the best one.

(3) The third requirement is to draft a professional memorandum on a topic in state and local public finance selected by the student.  This topic must either be taken directly from the course syllabus or be approved by the professor.  Some topics in the class obviously will not have been covered by the time this draft is due. Students selecting one of these topics are expected to complete the relevant readings before drafting their memo.

The memo must include a policy recommendation for a particular state or local government, so this assignment involves some investigation both of a topic in state and local public finance and of the circumstances facing a particular government.

The memo should be between two and four pages in length (plus supporting tables and figures, if desired).  Students are strongly encouraged to form groups to complete this assignment (and the following two assignments, which are related).  A memo from a group should be two to four pages per student.

This draft memo is due on March 23. Unless specifically authorized by the professor, late memos will receive a grade penalty.  The professor will provide comments on each student’s draft memo by April 11.

These draft memos (and their final versions, which are discussed below) will be graded largely on the quality of the analysis on which the recommendation is based.  A terrific recommendation that is not backed up by good analysis will not receive a good grade.  The readings for the course provide many examples of the type of analysis that can strengthen a memo and help to back up a recommendation.  Additional material can be found in the National Tax Journal, Public Budgeting and Finance, Public Finance Review, the Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, and other professional journals. 

These policy memos will also be graded on presentation, following the same guidelines as the case-based memos. 

(4) The last four days of class (April 20, 25, 27, and May 2) will be run as a conference on state and local public finance. Each student (or group of students) will present the topic and recommendation in his or her (their) memorandum (the third assignment), as revised in response to the professor's comments.  To the extent that time permits, each student (or group) will also respond to questions from the class.  A schedule for the presentations will be posted on the class website by April 18. All members of a group should participate in the presentation. 

(5) The fifth assignment is for each student (or group) to complete a final version of his or her (their) policy memo, incorporating both the professor's comments and issues that arise in the discussion at the class conference.  This final version should not exceed five pages (or five pages per student for groups), plus supporting tables and figures, if any. The final memo is due on May 6. Unless specifically authorized by the professor, late memos will receive a grade penalty.

All final memos will be posted on the class website, where they can be viewed not only by other students but by anyone with access to a web browser.

The professor will award a prize to the best memo.  This prize will be announced on the web site.  Several other memos may receive honorable mention, which will also be indicated when the memos are posted.    

Grades

The following weights will be used to determine each student's final grade in the course: 

Case Discussions: 10%
Case Memo:  20%
Draft Policy Memo: 10%
Policy Presentation: 20%
Final Policy Memo: 40%

A typical final grade distribution for this class will have a median grade near the A-/B+ border, very few straight A's, and no B-'s (at least for students who complete all the course requirements on time). 

Readings

All required reading, which is listed on the following reading list, is available through the internet or on the class Blackboard page.

CLASS SCHEDULE 

WEEK 1    January 18- 20

A. No Class - Dr. Martin Luther King Day

B. Introduction and Overview.
    Course overview, description of the state and local public sector, principles of public finance.
 

WEEK 2    January 25-27

A. Demand for Local Public Services I: Determinants.
    Determinants of demand, mechanisms of demand articulation

B. Demand for Local Public Services II: Collective Choice and Tax and Expenditure Limitations.
    Aggregating demand through voting, implications of demand for our system of local  governments

WEEK 3    February 1-3

A. Demand for Local Public Services III:
   
*CASE DISCUSSION #1: 
Spending Incentives in New York's School Tax Relief Program.

B. Public Sector Cost Determinants I:  Concepts. 
    Production and cost concepts, governmental inefficiency

WEEK 4    February 8-10

A. Public Sector Cost Determinants II:  Policy.
    Competition, privatization, and contracting out

B. Public Sector Cost Determinants III: Application. 
    
*CASE DISCUSSION #2: 
 Lockup Quotas for Private Prisons

WEEK 5    February 15-17

A. State and Local Revenue Sources: Overview.
    Evaluating revenue sources, introduction to the property tax.

B. Property Tax I:  Capitalization. 
    Property tax capitalization and assessment reform

WEEK 6    February 22-24

A. Property Tax II:  Equity and Efficiency. 
    Impact of the property tax by income class, programs for property tax relief limitation

B. Property Tax III:  Application to Property Tax Classification.
    
*CASE DISCUSSION #3:
   State Regulation of Local Property Tax Assessing

WEEK 7     February 29- March 2

A. State and Local Income and Sales Taxes. 
     Definitions of tax bases, administrative feasibility, equity and efficiency

B. Revenue from Government Monopoly. 
    Reasons for government monopoly, types of government monopoly, evaluation of lotteries

WEEK 8     March 7-9

A. User Fees
    The theory of public pricing,  determining when user fees are appropriate.
 

B. State and Local Infrastructure. 
    What is capital spending?  When is long-term financing appropriate?   Who bears the burden?
   

WEEK 9    March 14-16

SPRING BREAK!!!

WEEK 10    March 21-23

A. State and Local Bonds I:  Bond Markets.  
    What is a municipal bond?  How do bond markets work?

B. State and Local Bonds II:  Issuing Bonds. 
    Procedures for issuing municipal bonds, rating and bidding

WEEK 11   March 28-30

A. The Economics of economic development

B. Fiscal Aspects of Economic Development II:  Policy. 
    Evaluating alternative state and local policies.

** Draft Policy Memo must be handed into the professor by March 23th.

WEEK 12    April 4-6

A. CASE DISCUSSION #4:  Zone-Based Tax Incentives and Local Economic Redevelopment    

B. Intergovernmental Relations:  Introduction. 
    Division of responsibilities in a federal system, theory of intergovernmental grants

WEEK 13   April 11-13

A. School Aid I.
    Objectives and design of education aid programs

B. School Aid II.
    Accountability, choice, and other issues related to state aid reform

WEEK 14    April 18-20

A. School Aid Reform in New York State. 
   
*CASE DISCUSSION #5: Campaign for Fiscal Equity vs. New York

 B. Class Conference: Day 1

WEEK 15    April 25-27

A. Class Conference: Day 2

B. Class Conference: Day 3

WEEK 16    May 2

A. Class Conference: Day 4

**Final Policy Memo must be handed in to the professor by May 6. 

 

CLASS OUTLINE AND READING LIST

An optional textbook for the class, which nicely supplements the other readings is State Tax Policy by David Brunori, 3rd Edition (The Urban Institute Press, 2011). It is abbreviated "Brunori" on the reading list.  All other required readings are available through the internet or on the class blackboard page. The reading list also provides several optional readings, most of which are available on the internet. State and Local Public Finance, 4th Edition, by Ronald C. Fisher (Routledge, 2016), abbreviated "Fisher" on the reading list, also provides excellent supplementay material for interested students.  A few key chapters from Fisher are also posted on the class blackboard page. 

Required readings are marked with an asterisk (*).  Completing the required reading before the class for which it is assigned will help a student understand the lectures. Students looking for additional material on a topic also might want to take a look at:   

J. R. Aronson and E. Schwartz, Management Policies in Local Government Finance, 5th edition (International City Management Association, 2004).

M. Drennen and D. Netzer, editors, Readings in Local Public Finance (Blackwell Publishers, 1996) 

The Encyclopedia of Taxation and Tax Policy, edited by Joseph J. Cordes, Robert D. Ebel, and Jane G. Gravelle, Urban Institute Press,  2001. 

H. F. Ladd and J. Yinger, America's Ailing Cities: Fiscal Health and the Design of Urban Policy (Johns Hopkins Press, 1991).

J. E. Brandl, Money and Good Intentions are not Enough, or Why a Liberal Democrat Thinks States Need Both Competition and Community (The Brookings Institution, 1998).

Introduction and Overview (Wednesday 1/20)

*U.S. Census.  U.S. Census of Governments, 2002:  Government Organization, December 2002, pp. i-xiv.  Available at:  http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/gc021x1.pdf

*U.S. Census.  U.S. Census of Governments, 2007. Skim "Number of Governments" and "Description by State at www.census.gov/govs/

Fisher, Chapters 1, 2, and 6. Available on the class blackboard page.

 

PART I:  LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES 

A.   Demand for Local Public Services

1.    Determinants of Demand (Monday 1/25)

*Fisher, Chapter 3.  Available on the class blackboard page.

*J. Yinger, "Bidding and Sorting Notes for a Class in State and Local Public Finance," and Bidding and Sorting Graphs.

2.   Collective Choice and Tax and Expenditure Limitations (Wednesday, 1/27)

*Fisher, Chapter 4. Available on the class blackboard page.

*T.A. Downes and D.N. Figlio, 1999. "Do Tax and Expenditure Limits Provide a Free Lunch?  Evidence on the Link Between Limits and Public Sector Service Quality," National Tax Journal, (March): 113-128.  Available through Journals at the SU library.

T.R. Hodge, G. Sands, and M. Skidmore, 2015. "Assessment Growth Limits and Mobility: Evidence from Home Sale Data in Detroit," Michigan National Tax Journal, 68 (September): 573-600.

S.N. Kioko, 2011. "Structure of State-Level Tax and Expenditure Limits." Public Budgeting & Finance, (Summer): 43-78. Available on the class blackboard page.

W. Duncombe and J. Yinger, 2011. "Making Do: State Constraints and Local Responses in California's Education Finance System." International Tax and Public Finance, (June): 337-368. Available on the class blackboard page.

 

3.    Application (Monday, 2/1)

*Case Discussion #1:  Spending Incentives in New York's School Tax Relief Program.

*J. Yinger,  2014. The Last Word on STAR?,  It’s Elementary, (July). http://cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/efap/about_efap/ie/July14.pdf

B.   Public Sector Cost Determinants

1 .    Concepts (Wednesday, 2/3)

*J. Yinger, 2005. "Calculating the Added Costs of Educating Disadvantaged Students,"”(January). Available at:  http://cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/efap/about_efap/ie/Jan05.pdf 

*W.J. Baumol and others, 2012. The Cost Disease:  Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn’t.  New Haven: Yale University Press, Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2.  Chapters 3 and 4 are optional. Available on the class blackboard page.

W. Duncombe and J. Yinger, 2011. "Are Education Cost Functions Ready for Prime Time?  An Examination of their Validity and Reliability." Peabody Journal of Education, 86(1): 28-57. Available on the class blackboard page.

Fisher, Chapter 8.  Available on the class blackboard page.

2.    Policy (Monday, 2/8) 

*M. Warner and R. Hebdon,  "Local Government Restructuring: Privatization and Its Alternatives," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Spring 2001, 315-336. Available through Journals at the SU library.

*M. Rich, 2011.  A Hidden Toll as States Shift to Contract Workers. The New York Times, November 6. Available on the class blackboard page.

*Editorial Board, 2014.“Not Getting Their Money’s Worth,” The New York Times, January 3.  Available on the class blackboard page. 

R. Nixon, 2011. "Government Pays More in Contracts, Study Finds," The New York Times, September 12. Available on the class blackboard page. 

The Opinion Pages, 2011. Is Privatization a Bad Deal for Cities and States?, The New York Times, April. Available on the class blackboard page. 

3.    Application (Wednesday, 2/10) 

*Case Discussion #2:  Lockup Quotas, Available on the class blackboard page.

L.E. Glaze and E. J. Herberman, Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bulletin NCJ 243936, December 2013.

C. Mason, Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America,” The Sentencing Project, January 2012.  

J. Collins, 2001. "Private Prisons Company's Growth went  Hand-in-Hand with Political Influence." The Michigan Messinger, September 26. Available on the class blackboard page.

J. McKinley, 2011. "Police Departments Turn to Volunteers," The New York Times, March 1. Available on the class blackboard page.

C. Kirkham, 2012. Private Prison Corporation Offers Cash In Exchange For State Prisons, The Huffington Post, February 14. Available on the class blackboard page.

 

PART II: STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUES 

A.  Overview and Introduction to the Property Tax (Monday 2/15) 

*U.S. Bureau of the Census, State and Local Government Finance Summary Report,” Available at: http://www.census.gov/govs/local/.

*Brunori, Chapters 1 and 2. Available on the class blackboard page.

*R.C. Fisher, 2009. “What Policy Makers Should Know about Property Taxes,” Land Lines, (January): 8-14. http://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/1551_What-Policy-Makers-Should-Know-About-Property-Taxes

Fisher, Chapters 13. Available on the class blackboard page. 

B.       Property Tax 

1.    Capitalization (Wednesday, 2/17) 

*J. Yinger, H. Bloom, A. Börsch‑Supan, and H. F. Ladd, 1988. Property Taxes and House Values (Academic Press), Chapter 1, and Chapter 7. Available on the class blackboard page. 

K.R. Ihlanfeldt, 2011. "Do caps on increases in assessed values create a lock-in effect? Evidence from Florida's amendment one." National Tax Journal, (March): 7-26. Available on the class blackboard page.

2.    Equity and Efficiency (Monday, 2/22) 

*U.E. Reinhardt, “Who Ultimately Pays the Corporate Income Tax?” The New YorkTimes, July 23, 2010. Available on the class blackboard page.

*W.D. Duncombe and J. Yinger, 2001. “Alternative Paths to Property Tax Relief.  In Property Taxation and Local Government Finance, edited by W.E. Oates, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.  Pages 243-259 are required; pages 260-294 are optional.)  Available on the class blackboard page. 

*J. Yinger, 2008. “Property Tax Relief in New York.”(February). Available at:  http://cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/efap/about_efap/ie/Feb08.pdf 

*P. Cohen, 2015. Study Finds Local Taxes Hit Lower Wage Earners Harder,” The New York Times, Business Day, January 13. Available on the class blackboard page. 

Fisher, Chapter 14. Available on the class blackboard page.

M. Skidmore, C.L. Ballard, and T.R. Hodge2010. "Property Value Assessment Growth Limits and Redistribution of Property Tax Payments:  Evidence from Michigan.National Tax Journal, (September): 509-538.

3.    Application (Wednesday, 2/24) 

*Case Discussion #3:   State Regulation of Local Property Tax Assessing

 

C.   Other State and Local Taxes 

1.  Analysis  (Monday, 2/29)

*A. Liptak, 2013. “Justices Pass on Tax Case from Online Merchants. The New York Times, December 2. Available through the class blackboard page.

*R. Mandelbaum, 2013. Study Suggests Online Sales Tax Bill Could Leave Billions Untaxed,” The New York Times, December 12. Available through the class blackboard page.

*J. Alm and Mikhail I. Melnik, 2012.“"Cross-Border Shopping and State Use Tax Liabilities: Evidence from eBay Transactions."” Public Budgeting & Finance, (Spring): 5-35. Available on the class blackboard page.

*J.B. Stewart, 2013. "The Myth of the Rich Who Flee From Taxes," The New York Times, February 15. Available through the class blackboard page.

*V.J. Karplus. 2013. "The Case for a Higher Gasoline Tax," The New York Times, (February 21). Available on the class blackboard page.

*L. Chiou, and E. Muehlegger, 2014. "Consumer Response to Cigarette Excise Tax Changes," National Tax Journal, (September) 67(3). Available through the class blackboard page.

D. Bruce, W.F. Fox, and L. Luna, 2015. “"E-Tailer Sales Tax Nexus and State Tax Policies,"” National Tax Journal 68 (Special Issue, September): 735-766.

Brunori, Chapters 5, 6, 8 and 10. Available on the class blackboard page.

Fisher, Chapters 15 and 16.  Available on the class blackboard page.

R. H. Frank, 2011. Find the Taxes That Do Double Duty, The New York Times, Economic View, February 18. Available through the class blackboard page.

C.L. Ballard and J. Lee, 2007. "Internet Purchases, Cross-Border Shopping, and Sales Taxes," National Tax Journal, (December): 11-726.

G.E. Metcalf, 2011. "Assessing the Federal Deduction for State and Local Tax Payments." National Tax Journal, (June): 565-590. Available on the class blackboard page.

J. Alm and J. S. Leguizamon, 2015. "Whither the Marriage Tax?" National Tax Journal 68 (June): 251-280.

R.H. Mattoon, 2015. “Sin Taxes: The Sobering Fiscal Reality”, Essays on Issues, The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Number 339. Available through the class blackboard page.

L. Farmer, 2015. “How Federal Tax Reform Impacts States; GOVERNING: The States and Localities, August 13.

S.H. Giertz and M.S. Tosun, 2012. "Migration Elasticities, Fiscal Federalism, and the Ability of States to Redistribute Income."”National Tax Journal, (December): 1069-1092. Available on the class blackboard page.

2.  Revenues from Government Monopoly (Wednesday, 3/2) 

*Brunori, Chapters 9. Available on the class blackboard page.

*C. Haberman, 2012. "Cuomo's Push for Casinos Not Good New for All Gamblers." The New York Times, January 5. Available on the class blackboard page.

*J. Yinger, 2008.“Don’t Gamble with New York’s Lottery.”(January Available at:    http://cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/efap/about_efap/ie/Jan08.pdf 

*M.S. Kearney, "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling."  National Tax Journal, June 2005, pp. 281-302.  Available through Journals at the SU library.

*V. Lee, "State Aims to Lift Curbs on a Lottery That Beguiles." The New York Times, February 20, 2013. Available on the class blackboard page.

M.A. Trousdale, and R.A. Dunn, 2014. “Demand for Lottery Gambling: Evaluating Price Sensitivity within a Portfolio of Lottery Games,” National Tax Journal, 6 7(3), 595-620. Available on the class blackboard page.

J.E. Anderson, 2005. "Casino Taxation in the United States. National Tax Journal, (June): 303-324.  

Fisher, Chapter 18.  Available on the class blackboard page.

D.   User Fees   (Monday, 3/7) 

*Fisher, Chapter 9. Available through the class blackboard page.

*Editorial, 2009. A Smart Way to Help Commuters. The New York Times, February 27. Available through the class blackboard page.

*J.D. Echeverria,“2013. A Legal Blow to Sustainable Development,”The New York Times, June 26. Available through the class blackboard page.

Case on "Transit Pricing."

E.  State and Local Infrastructure (Wednesday 3/9) 

*H. Lawrence, 2014. "Summers, Idle workers + Low interest rates = Time to rebuild infrastructure Rebuilding the nation’s airports, highways, and bridges will boost the economy and jobs," The Boston Globe, April 11. Available on the class blackboard page.

*American Society of Civil Engineers, Investing in Infrastructure: Our Nations Economic Engine, http://www.asce.org/failuretoact/ 

*U.E. Reinhardt. 2012. “America’s Mid-20th-Century Infrastructure.” Economix:  Explaining the Science of Everyday Life.  The New York Times, November 16.

*J. Schwartz, 2013. "Governments Look for New Ways to Pay for Roads and Bridges," The New York Times, February 14. Available on the class blackboard page.

B. Ritholtz, 2011. "Repairing Infrastructure can Help Repair Economy," The Washington Post, October 22. Available through the class blackboard page.

Editorial, 2011. A Chance to Build Again, Editorial, The New York Times, March 20. Available through the class blackboard page.

J. Yinger. "Notes on Present Value, Discounting, and Financial Transactions." Review section on "Compound Interest" and "Discounting". Available through the class blackboard page. 

W. Wang, W.D. Duncombe, and J. Yinger. 2011. "School District Responses to Matching Aid Programs for Capital Facilities: A Case Study for New York's Building Aid Program," National Tax Journal, (September) 64 (3): 759–794. Available through the class blackboard page.

PART III: FINANCING CAPITAL PROJECTS 

A.   State and Local Bonds (Monday 3/21) 

1.    Bond Markets

*The Bond Market Association, "An Investor's Guide to Bond Basics." (scroll down to find this guide).

*J. Yinger. "Notes on Present Value, Discounting, and Financial Transactions." Review section on "Bonds" Available through the class blackboard page.

*I. Lovett, 2013. California Schools Finance Upgrades by Making the Next Generation Pay, The New York Times, February 9. Available through the class blackboard page.

*H.K. Galper, Rueben, R. Auxier, and A. Eng, 2014. "Municipal Debt: What Does It Buy and Who Benefits?" National Tax Journal, (December) 67(4): 901-924. Available through the class blackboard page.

2.    Issuing Bonds (Wednesday, 3/23)

*The Bond Market Association, "An Investor's Guide to Municipal Bonds." Start with "What Are Municipal Bonds;" click on the other entries on the left of the page to learn more.

*M. Williams Walsh. 2009. "Nationwide Inquiry on Bids for Municipal Bonds." The New York Times, January 9.  Available through the class blackboard page.

*M. Williams Walsh, and L. Story, 2013.  "A Stealth Tax Subsidy for Businesses Comes Under NEw Scrutiny," The New York Times, March 4. Available through the class blackboard page.

U.S. Municipal Bond Defaults and Recoveries, 1970-2011, Mody’s Investor Service, March 7, 2012. Available through the class blackboard page.

M.J. Luby, 2012. "Federal Intervention in the Municipal Bond Market: The Effectiveness of the Build America Bond Program and Its Implications on Federal and Subnational Budgeting," Public Budgeting & Finance, (Winter): 46-70.  Available through the class blackboard page. 

I. J. Law, 2011. Unbreakable Bonds, The New York Times, March 20. Available through the class blackboard page.

M. Williams Walsh, 2009. Bond Advice Leaves Pain in Its Wake. The New York Times, February 17. Available through the class blackboard page.

J. Yinger, 2009. "Municipal Bond Ratings and Citizens' Rights," American Law and Economics Review, (October):1-38. Available through the class blackboard page.

PART IV:  FISCAL ASPECTS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

A.   Concepts (Monday, 3/28) 

*E. Moretti, 2010. "Local Multipliers,"”American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings, (May):1-7.  Available through the class blackboard page.

J.E. Anderson, 2012. "State Tax Rankings: What Do They and Don't They Tell Us?” National Tax Journal, (December): 985-1010.  Available through the class blackboard page.

Fisher, Chapters 17 and 22. Available on the class blackboard page.

B.   State and Local Policy (Wednesday, 3/30) 

*Brunori, Chapter 3. Available on the class blackboard page.

*D.A. Kenyon, A. H. Langley, and B. P. Paquin, 2012. "Property Tax Incentive Pitfalls,” National Tax Journal, (December): 1011-1022. Available through the class blackboard page.

*T.J. Bartik,  2005. "Solving the Problems of Economic Development Incentives," Growth and Change," (Spring): 139-166. Available through Journals at the SU library.

*L. Story, 2012.  "As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price," The New York Times, December 1.  Available through the class blackboard page.

*L. Story, 2012. "Lines Blur as Texas Gives Industries a Bonanza," The New York Times, December 2. Available through the class blackboard page.

*L. Story, 2012.  "Michigan Town Woos Hollywood, but Ends Up With a Bit Part," The New York Times, December 3.  Available through the class blackboard page.

*Editorial, 2012. "Race to the Bottom,” The New York Times, December 5. Available through the class blackboard page.

T P. DiNapoli, 2012. "IDA Reform Needed: Legislation Proposed to Ensure Projects Meet Economic Goals," Available at:  http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/may12/050112.htm

*D. Leonhardt, 2011. A Conversation With Edward L. Glaeser, The New York Times, Economix, February 15. Available through the class blackboard page.

K. Tampone, 2015. "Inside Start-Up NY: Are tax breaks a valuable tool or an expensive waste of money?” Syracuse.com, November 11. http://www.syracuse.com/business-news/index.ssf/2015/11/start-up_ny_syracuse.html

R. Moriarty, 2013. "Three Central New York Development Agencies Among Biggest Givers of Tax Exemptions in State." Syracuse.com, (March 12).  Available through the class blackboard page.

W.G. Gale, A. Krupkin, and K. Rueben, 2015 “The Relationship Between Taxes and Growth at the State Level: New Evidence,” National Tax Journal,  68 (December): 919-942.

R.T. Greenbaum, and J. Landers, 2014. “The Tiff over Tif: A Review of the Literature Examining the Effectiveness of the Tax Increment Financing,” National Tax Journal, (September) 67(3): 655-674. Available through the class blackboard page.

D. Burnes, D. Neumark, and M.J. White, 2014. “Fiscal Zoning and Sales Taxes: Do Higher Sales Taxes Lead To More Retailing and Less Manufacturing?” National Tax Journal, (March) 67(1): 7–50. Available through the class blackboard page.

D. Bruce, X. Liu, and M.N. Murray, 2015. “State Tax Policy and Entrepreneurship,” National Tax Journal, 68 (Special Issue, September): 803-838.

J. Kolko and D. Newmark. 2010. "Do Some Enterprise Zones Create Jobs?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, (Winter): 5-38. 

N. Bania and J. A. Stone, 2008. "Ranking State Fiscal Structure Using Theory and Evidence," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, (Autumn): 751-770.

R.W. Wassmer and J.E. Anderson, 2001. "Bidding for Business: New Evidence on the Effect of Locally Offered Economic Development Incentives in a Metropolitan Area," Economic Development Quarterly, (May): 132-148.

E.L. Glaeser, 2011. Done Right, New Applied Science Center for New York Makes Sense, The New York Times, Economix, March 22.  Available through the class blackboard page.

PART V: INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

A.    Introduction (Monday 4/4) 

*Case Discussion #4: Zone-Based Tax Incentives and Local Economic Redevelopment

 1.   Introduction and the Concept of Fiscal Health (Wednesday, 4/6)

*H.F. Ladd and J. Yinger, America's Ailing Cities: Fiscal Health and the Design of Urban Policy, (The John Hopkins University Press) Chapters 5, Chapter 9, and Epilogue. These are available through the class blackboard page.

Fisher, Chapters 6 and 10.  Available on the class blackboard page.

K. Bradbury and B. Zhao, 2009. "Measuring Non-School Fiscal Disparities among 'Municipalities'," National Tax Journal, (March): 25-56.

"Syracuse area lags other regions in activity under Cuomo's Start-Up NY program," Syracuse.com, Kevin Tampone, March 29, 2015. 

B.   School Aid

1.    Aid Design (Monday, 4/11) 

*J. Yinger, 2004. "State Aid and the Pursuit of Educational Equity:  An Overview," In Helping  Children Left Behind, edited by J. Yinger, MIT Press, 2004.  Skip sections 3.5 through 3.7 and 4.4 through 4.6. 

*H.F. Ladd and E.B. Fiske, 2011. "Class Matters, Why Won't We Admit It?" The New York Times, Op-Ed, (December). Available through the class blackboard page.

*U.S. Census. 2009.  Public Education Finances:  Skim the “Introduction” and “Table 1.”  Available at: http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/09f33pub.pdf

J. Yinger, 2014.  “The Impact of Education Finance Reform on Student Achievement in Massachusetts,” It's Elementary, (May), http://cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/efap/about_efap/ie/May14.pdf

Fisher, Chapter 19. Available on the class blackboard page.

2.    Topics Related to Aid Reform (Wednesday, 4/13) 

*S. Dynarski, 2015. “Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburban Ones Often Don’t,” The New York Times, November 20.

*J. Yinger,  2004. "State Aid and the Pursuit of Educational Equity:  An Overview," In Helping Children Left Behind, edited by J. Yinger, MIT Press, Sections 3.5 through 3.7 and 4.4 through 4.6. 

D. Figlio, 2004. "Funding and Accountability: Some Conceptual and Technical Issues in State Aid Reform." In Helping Children Left Behind, edited by J. Yinger, MIT Press,  Available through the class blackboard page.

3.  School Aid Reform in New York State (Monday, 4/18) 

*Case #5:  Campaign for Fiscal Equity vs. New York

 

   
 

Trustee Professor of Public Administration and Economics