As a result of the pandemic, municipalities face increased spending needs and declining revenues. Many have the ability to raise property taxes, though others are constrained by Proposition 2 1/2. Moreover, property taxes tend to fall hardest on those with lower incomes. Without sufficient municipal aid, cities and towns may be forced to make public cuts which would slow the economic recovery.
Cities and towns rely on property taxes as their chief source of revenue to provide vital public services and infrastructure. Low- and moderate-income households tend to pay a larger portion of income in property taxes than those with high incomes, especially considering how some taxes get passed on from owners to renters. This paper examines why this is the case and what existing policies help make property taxes more progressive.Finally seven kids of state and local policy reforms are discussed that would redirect responsibility for property taxes towards those most able to pay.
Shelter and Housing for Homeless Families: Historical Funding and the Governor’s FY 2015 Budget Proposal
Providing access to stable, safe, affordable housing is an important way the state helps low income families avoid homelessness. Funding for the state program that provides vouchers to help low income renters pay for housing has decreased by more than 60 percent over the past 20 years.
To help vulnerable families, our state provides emergency shelters and also housing subsidies. The state’s multi-year “Housing First” effort has limited families’ access to shelter while modestly increasing affordable housing resources.