Brunori
Dr. David Brunori

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dbrunori@law.gwu.edu
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GWIPP Research: David Brunori

This page features research funded through GWIPP and performed by David Brunori.


Title: Guidebook on Tax Expenditure Budgets for the Property Tax

Researcher(s): Michael Bell, David Brunori

Funding: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Start Date: September 2011

Status: Current

Summary: This project will create a guidebook for the development of property tax expenditure budgets. It will describe the various property tax expenditures currently in use, provide a literature review of of the impact/cost of the particular expenditure, and discuss the methodology for analyzing the costs of the expenditure. The guidebook will also provide a sample calculation of the costs of each expenditure. The guidebook will focus on the following expenditures:  Preferential Assessment (assessment programs for agriculture and timber and green space/conservation); assessment limits; homestead exemptions; non profit exempt property;  circuit breakers; classification; and economic development.


Title: Understanding New Jersey's State and Local Tax System
Researcher(s): Mike Bell, David Brunori
Funding: NEA
Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy
Start Date: 6/1/09
End Date: 11/30/09
Status: Current

Summary: This project is a study of the New Jersey state and local taxation system. The study will be made up of two segments. The first segment will describe what are generally thought to be the components of an ideal state and local tax structure, examining various models used to describe the ideal mix of taxes and non-tax revenue. The study will review an extensive body of literature to describe the optimal structure of particular taxes and present what is generally thought to be the best way to structure 1) individual income taxes, 2) corporate income taxes, 3) sales taxes, and 4) property taxes. New Jersey’s tax system will be compared with these widely accepted notions of sound tax policy. The second segment of the study will examine particular aspects of the New Jersey tax system, including relative reliance on different types of taxes and non-tax revenue, relative tax levels, the mix of business and household taxes, as well as how New Jersey compares with states in the surrounding area with respect to tax rates.


Title: Iowa Property Tax Study

Funding: Iowa Legislative Property Tax Study Committee, Legislative Services Agency
Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy
Start Date: July 1, 2008
Status: Current

Summary: This project involves research on four areas of local public finance. We will identify and review methods used by states to value agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial properties for purposes of property taxation. We will identify efforts by states to alleviate property tax burdens through intergovernmental aid and user fees.
We will identify major categories of local government expenditure and the composition of local government revenue sources. And we will identify state statutes that use property taxes to provide incentives for smart growth and in fill development.


Title: An Evaluation of State Tax Incentives for Economic Development
Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Funding: Pew Center on the States

Status: Completed

Summary: Provide an in-depth description and evaluation of state tax incentive programs designed to foster economic development. The project identifies all state tax incentive programs for economic development and evaluates the programs using the following criteria: 1) whether the state audits tax incentive programs, 2) whether the state imposes penalties for non-compliance with program requirements, 3) whether the state publishes the names of beneficiaries and the amount of incentive received by each, and 4 whether the state prepares tax expenditure budgets.


Title: The Property Tax in Fifty States: State Property Tax Policy Roundtable; Compendium of State Property Tax Regimes

Funding: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Start Date: July 2006

Status: Ongoing

Summary: This two-part project is a collaborative multi-year undertaking by Lincoln and GWIPP to promote research in the areas of property tax policy and administration. As a follow-up to the 2005-06 pilot project, a data collection team is compiling and classifying a wide range of material that characterizes property tax structures and processes in all fifty states to produce a "Compendium of State Property Tax Regimes." The compendium will be available as a data set, and researchers will be able to perform simple queries through an interactive web site. Key results will be presented in a series of tables, patterned after the biennial Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism , produced by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) through 1994. Plans are being made to update the compendium annually.
Under the contract, GWIPP will produce the following research papers: A Calculation of Effective Tax Rates; A Broad-Based Property Tax: Calculations and Implications; A Broad-Based Property Tax: Calculations and Implications; Tax and Expenditure Limitations (TELs) and Their Impact; The Increasing Use of Preferential Assessments to Subsidize Specific Land Uses.
A State Property Tax Policy Roundtable will be scheduled for Fall 2007 in Washington, DC. Papers written by GWIPP research faculty will be supplemented by several commissioned papers, focusing on the topic “Erosion of the Local Property Tax Base: Trends and Consequences.”


Title: State and Local Infrastructure Financing

Funding: National Center for Real Estate Research, National Association of Realtors

Researchers: Hal Wolman, Michael Bell, David Brunori, Royce Hanson, Chanyong Choi, Lori Metcalf, and Bing Yuan

Start Date: August 2004

Status: Completed

Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Summary: The report consists of four parts. The first part presents data on aggregate state and local infrastructure spending for the nation and for the fifty states individually. We define infrastructure to include highways (including streets and bridges), mass transit, air transportation, water transportation, water supply and sewerage. We collect and report spending trends for each category of infrastructure, including total spending by category and capital spending by category for the most recent year available (2002). The second part examines recent trends in federal intergovernmental assistance to state and local governments for infrastructure purposes. The third part is a literature review in order to develop a general understanding of the various financing mechanism used by state and local governments to finance infrastructure spending. The concluding part is an extensive literature review of the mechanisms available to state and local governments to undertake prioritization of infrastructure needs.

Product:

Working Paper 028 - State and Local Infrastructure Financing, Mike Bell, David Brunori, Royce Hanson, Chanyong Choi, Lori Metcalf, and Bing Yuan, November 2005.


Title: Feasibility Study of Restoring the Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism Publication for the Property Tax and its Fiscal Environment and Structure

Funding: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Start Date: August 2004

Status: Completed

Summary: A pilot project to explore the feasibility of a new annual publication, patterned after ACIR’s Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism, that would, at least partially, fill the void since it ceased publication. Prior to its demise in the mid-1990s, the US Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) published a widely used and acclaimed two volume annual report entitled Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism. The report was largely a compilation and organization of data on federal, state, and local revenues and expenditures, the institutional structure through which these fiscal flows occurred, and important changes in them. Significant Features has been sorely missed by both researchers and practitioners. No other publication has taken its place. If deemed feasible, the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) would then prepare a proposal for an annual version of such a report, to be funded and published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and disseminated jointly by Lincoln and GWIPP.


Title: The Effect of State and Local Fiscal Policy on Local Economic Development

Researcher(s): David Brunori, Michael Bell, Hal Wolman (GWIPP), Joe Cordes, and Richard Green, School of Business (now at Lusk Center for Real Estate)

Funding: National Center for Real Estate Research

Start Date: August 2004

Status: Completed

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: Provide a synthesis and critique of current knowledge and research on 1) the factors driving local economic growth and development and 2) the effects of state and local fiscal policy upon local economic growth and development. The report will make clear where there is clear consensus, where there is disagreement, and where research is currently lacking.

Product:

Hal Wolman

Working Paper 026 - State and Local Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth and Development. Michael Bell, David Brunori, Richard Green, Hal Wolman, Joe Cordes, and Tanya Qadir, August 2005.


Title: The Property Tax: It's Role and Significance in Funding State and Local Government Services

Funding: National Association of Realtors

Start Date: June 2005

Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Status: Completed

Summary: The project focuses on the incidence of the property tax and its significance in funding state and local government services. The purpose of the study is to help policy makers, researchers, and others interested in local government finance to better undertstand the role of the property tax.


Title: State and Local Fiscal Systems Face the Future

Funding: National Association of Realtors

Researchers: Hal Wolman, David Brunori, Michael Bell, Pat Atkins, Joe Cordes, and Bing Juan

Start Date: July 2005

Status: Completed

Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Summary: The project will examine recent trends in state and local revenues and expenditures and the current condition of state and local finances. In particular, it will assess the likely impact of foreseeable or potential future economic, social, political and technological changes on state and local revenues and expenditures.

Product:

Working Paper 025 - State and Local Fiscal Trends and Future Threats, David Brunori, Michael E. Bell, Hal Wolman, Patricia Atkins, Joseph J. Cordes, and Bing Yuan, 2005.


Title: State Corporate Income Tax: Can (and Should) it be Saved?

Funding: American Tax Policy Institute

Start Date:

Category: State and Local Fiscal Policy

Status: Completed

Summary: This project focuses on several questions relevant to assessing the role of the corporate income tax in the system of state finance. The research documents the trends in state corporate tax to quantify the extent of the decline in corporate tax recieipts. The Researchers have assembled panel data on state finances for each of the fifty states spanning the period from 1981 to 2001. The panel data has allowed evaluations of the effects of different policies on corporate tax receipts. The panel has also allowed comparisons of how the state corporate tax fares in manufacturing versus non-manufacturing states.