Is California’s Tax Burden “Fair”? 

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

A recent report by the highly regarded Calmatters.com found that the State of California has been on a “taxing binge” over the past few years, having enacted a whole slew of recent tax increases such as the “gas tax,” the “cap and tax” energy taxation scheme. The Calmatters.com analysis found that the recent state tax increases “plus a slew of […]

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New Stanford University Study Reveals California Pension Crisis is Bad Now, But Likely to Get A Lot Worse

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

Amidst a backdrop of an ever worsening “pension crisis,” Stanford University has released a new “bombshell” study that documents the “financial tail spin” that California state and local governments are struggling with as a result of spiking pension costs, but things will only get “worse” over the next decade, according to the report. The report, titled “Pension […]

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Is the “Make it Fair” Commercial Property Tax Reform Campaign Really “Fair”?  

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

If you have been down to your local property tax collector’s office recently, you might have heard a loud sucking sound, which caused by the windfall collection of property tax dollars that are being sucked up by the state’s “unsustainable” pension system. According to a recent Calmatters.com report from Dan Walters, the dean of the Capitol […]

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Can Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes Retain His Leadership Post? 

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

As evidenced by a recent wave of media reports and GOP grassroots activity, the position of Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes has become increasingly tenuous in the aftermath of his staunch backing of Democrats cap-and-trade deal late last month. Assembly Leader Chad Mayes broke with the state and national Republican Party and voted to support […]

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Is the California Economy “Rigged”? 

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in charges and overheated rhetoric, which argues that the United States economy is “rigged” to the benefit of a small minority, particularly the rich. Far less attention has been given to the California economy in particular, but as the 2018 Governor’s race heats up the economy […]

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Has the California GOP Become Too Liberal? 

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

With much attention given in recent months to divisions in the California Democratic Party, it was not until the passage of the Governor’s cap-and-trade legislation that significant divisions became apparent in the California GOP. Furthermore, a total of eight California Republicans, including Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes, defied the national party in supporting Governor Jerry […]

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A Union Continues Misinformation Campaign on Pension Crisis

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

Just as the moment appeared that the media attention devoted to California’s pension crisis had begun to reach a fever pitch regarding the state’s pension crisis, a key state public employee union doubled down on its misinformation campaign regarding the state’s pension crisis. Yvonne Walker, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 1000, wrote […]

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Public Administrators See Financial Crisis Ahead for California Municipalities

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

A relatively small but growing number of public finance experts and administrators are projecting an impending financial crisis for California municipalities—which will become particularly acute when the next recession hits. The Los Angeles Times, East Bay Times and Sacramento Bee and many other California newspapers have recently run a series of stories documenting concerns voiced […]

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Gov. Brown’s Proposed $6 billion Pension Payment is a Bad Investment

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

In his May Revise, Governor Jerry Brown (D) has proposed a complicated $6 billion fund shift to the California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERs) that is intended to “reduce unfunded liabilities, stabilize state contribution rates, and save $11 billion over the next two decades,” according to the Governor’s May Revised Budget. Don’t believe the advertising, […]

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Can California Public Transit Agencies Survive the “Rideshare Revolution”? 

David Kersten
Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy

There has been nothing short of a “rideshare revolution” in the California transportation industry over the past few years with Uber and Lyft continuing to shuttle more and more passengers every day, particularly in major urban areas. The growth of Uber and Lyft, and their impact on public transportation continues to increase and there has […]

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