An Analysis of Government Revenues in California Since the Enactment of Proposition 13

Executive Summary

  • Revenues for every category of government in California increased when adjusted for inflation and population growth between FY 1977-78 and FY 2002-03.
  • Total state government revenues adjusted for inflation and population growth grew well over 25% from FY 1977-78 to FY 2002-03 (see page 13). Personal income tax revenues adjusted for inflation and population growth have increased 57 percent over this period (see page 19).
  • County government revenues in California, adjusted for inflation and population growth, grew 8.43 percent from FY 1977-78 to FY 2002-03 (see page 69). During this time, counties became more dependent upon state transfers for revenue, while experiencing a significant drop in property and sales tax revenue (see page 71).
  • City government revenues in California, adjusted for inflation and population growth, grew over 20 percent from FY 1977-78 to FY 2002-03 (see page 127). Per capita revenues from current service charges, adjusted for inflation, increased over 41 percent over this period, while revenues from general property taxes decreased over 49 percent. This loss in property tax revenue was more than offset by other non-property taxes and other revenues (see page 131).
  • K-12 school districts revenues per student, adjusted for inflation, increased over 30 percent between FY 1977-78 and FY 2002-03 (see pages 188-189). Particularly notable increases in school district revenue came from federal aid, which increased sharply since FY 1997-98. Large increases in state aid to education were also recorded during this period (see pages 190-193).
  • Special district revenues in California, adjusted for inflation, grew over 160 percent. Per capita revenues increased over 64 percent (see page 207). Special district enterprise revenue, adjusted for inflation and population growth, grew over 31 percent, while special district non-enterprise revenue grew over 74 percent (see pages 209-211).
  • State expenditures for K-12 education, adjusted for inflation and population growth, grew almost 99 percent between FY 1977-78 and FY 2002-03, while health and welfare expenditures grew over 48 percent (see page 49).
  • County expenditures for health and sanitation, adjusted for inflation and population growth, increased over 38 percent, while public protection expenditures increased over 61 percent (see page 107).
  • City expenditures for police protection, adjusted for inflation and population growth, increased almost 59 percent between FY 1977-78 and 2002-03, while expenditures for sewerage and sanitation increased over 301 percent (see page 173).

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