Is California a High Tax State?

Apr 19, 1996

This budget brief encompasses the period from 1978 to 1996 and proposes answers to whether California’s tax rates are excessively high, and if the tax burden on households and businesses in California is out-of-line with that of similar states. The article offers a detailed summary of how the tax policy in California has evolved through the past two decades and finally concludes that while California compares favorably to other states with respect to tax burden, the state lags far behind in terms of critical investments in education and infrastructure. This article would be of particular interest to those who need specific information on previous tax practices in California.

Public Spending and the Poor: What We Know, What We Need to Know

By Dominique van de Walle, Jun 24, 1995

Public spending is a potentially powerful instrument for fighting poverty. Generally, what is needed is universalism in certain spending categories (basic services) and finer targeting in others (for providing safety nets, for example).

Unproductive Public Expenditures: A Pragmatic Approach to Policy Analysis

By Ke-young Chu, Sanjeev Gupta, Benedict Clements, Daniel Hewitt, Sergio Lugares, Jerald Schitt, Ludger Schukneck, and Ger Schwartz, Jan 22, 1995

Examines issues related to the productivity of public expenditures. The appendix provides a summary of the composition of public expenditure for high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries, keeping in view the limitations of such cross-country comparisons for the assessment of expenditure priorities.

Towards Better Governance: Public Service Reform in New Zealand (1984-94) and its Relevance to Canada

By Tom Wileman and John Holmes, Jan 24, 1994

This study focuses on the reform of the core public service in New Zealand. It examines the principal stages of a decade of reforms, including commercialization, corporatization, and restructuring undertaken primarily over the period from 1984 to 1987, fundamental changes in the approach to management and accountability, begun in 1988 and 1989, and more recent initiatives which have perpetuated and consolidated the reforms.

Mission Driven, Results Oriented Budgeting

Sep 24, 1993

This report, released in 1993, examines ways to improve the budgeting process, making it more reflective of government priorities and more focused on attaining specific results. It creates the framework for changing the management culture in the federal government to focus on results, quality, and customer service.

Improving Program Design

Sep 24, 1993

Recommendations for program design to avoid inefficiency, redundancy, and lack of accountability.

Streamlining Management Control

Aug 24, 1993

This report looks at management expenditures in the U.S. government. In their totality, the federal government’s management control methods are vast, complex, and very expensive. The primary responsibility of approximately one in three federal employees is to exert control over the other two-thirds and non-federal grantees and contractors. The system includes about 280,000 formally designated supervisors, managers, and executives, all of whom perform control functions, costing billions of dollars. Another nearly 267,000 people in internal staff positions–including legal, personnel, procurement, budget, and financial management staff–also spend a large portion of their time performing control functions.