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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tax Policy Center Hosts Conference Today in D.C. on State and Local Finances After the Storm

The Tax Policy Center hosts a conference today in Washington, D.C. on State and Local Finances After the Storm: Is Smooth Sailing Ahead?:

The economy has recovered and most states are flush again with revenues. This is an ideal time to step back and examine how state (and local) governments responded to the fiscal crises that developed at the turn of the millennium and what pressures loom ahead for states. What contributed to the budget shortfalls and how can those pitfalls be avoided in the future? How did states balance their budgets? Did property tax revenues support state and local tax systems after stock market prices fell resulting in swings downward in income and sales taxes? Is the current tax system adequate to provide needed services? We will address these questions at this all-day conference.

For the list of panels, speakers, and their topics (with links to papers), see below the fold.

9:00 a.m.:  Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Moderator: Kim Rueben
  • Federal-State Partnership for Access to Affordable Health Coverage, by Katherine Baicker (Member, Council of Economic Advisers)

9:45 a.m.:  Session #1: Steps Taken During the Recession of 2001

11:00 a.m.:  Session #2: Pushing Down the Problem: Changes in the State-Local Relationship

  • Moderator: Christopher Hoene (National League of Cities)
  • Property Tax Responses to State Aid Cuts in the Recent Fiscal Crisis, by Richard F. Dye (Lake Forest College) & Andrew Reschovsky (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Responses of Local Governments in Minnesota to Changes in State Aid, Nathan B. Anderson (University of Illinois-Chicago)
  • Fiscal Problems and Education Finance, by James Alm, David Sjoquist & Robert Buschman (all of Georgia State University)

1:30 p.m.:  State and Local Finances and the Rating Agencies

  • Moderator: Therese McGuire
  • Speakers: Melanie Shaker & Laura Porter (both of Fitch Ratings)

2:30 p.m.:  Session #3: Future Pressures Ahead: Likely Budget Busters Going Forward

  • Moderator: C. Eugene Steuerle (The Urban Institute)
  • Medicaid Expenditures and State Budgets: Past, Present and Future, by James Marton (University of Kentucky) & David E. Wildasin (both of University of Kentucky)
  • State Spending on Education: Promises or Pitfalls Ahead?, by Sheila Murray (Texas A&M University) & Kim Rueben (The Urban Institute)
  • Pension Funding and State Government Finances: Back in the Black or Trouble Ahead?, by J. Fred Giertz (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) & Leslie E. Papke (Michigan State University).

The conference is being held at the Urban Institute, 2100 M Street, N.W, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.

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