Bay Area Financial Crisis: Oakland

By Sheridan Swanson
Like San Francisco, the Bay Area City of Oakland is facing major budget woes. Mayor Sheng Thao’s proposed budget for 2023-25 released last month reveals the city is facing  a $360 million shortfall, the largest budget deficit in Oakland’s history.  The proposed budget for FY 2023-24 and 2024-25 plans for total expenditures of over $2.1...

TAGS: Bay Area, Finance, Government Finance, municipal bankruptcy, Oakland, San Francisco

San Francisco’s Financial Crisis

By Sheridan Swanson
The State of California isn’t the only one scrambling to prepare a budget while staring down a deficit. Several Bay Area municipalities are also struggling with their own budget problems, San Francisco chief among them.  San Francisco’s 2022-23 budget and next year’s 2023-24 budget total approximately $14 billion each. On March 31, the San Francisco...

TAGS: California budget, California state budget, Finance, Government Finance, Reparations, San Francisco

The Rise of Zombie Cities 

By Mark Moses
When the California State Auditor’s Office released its annual report on the “Fiscal Health of California Cities” in fall 2022, most city officials and journalists focused on the blunt financial risk rating results and the relative position of their city organization amongst the 431 cities analyzed. But there is more that we can learn from...

TAGS: artificial scarcity, economy, Finance, Government Finance, municipal bankruptcy

No, California Is Not the World’s Fourth Largest Economy

By Marc Joffe
Boasting of his state’s robust economic growth, California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently declared that “California’s values and entrepreneurial spirit have powered this ascent to becoming the 4th biggest economy in the world.” Not so fast. California elected officials frequently cite the Golden State’s position in global economic rankings, comparing the size of the state’s economy...

TAGS: economic growth, economics, economy, Finance, Government Finance

Capistrano Unified: A Case Study in Opposing Bad Bonds

By Sheridan Swanson
A practical way for citizens to fight ill-conceived school bond measures View our full School Bonds Toolkit here for additional resources. School bonds are designed to fund the building and maintenance of school facilities, but there have been increasing concerns about bond oversight and how districts utilize bonds. Too often, school districts put bond measures on...

TAGS: financing infrastructure, Government Finance, school bonds

California Per Capita General Fund Spending Doubles – Where Is It Going?

By Edward Ring
California’s state government is spending twice as much as it did a decade ago, and by every metric that matters to ordinary Californians, things have only gotten worse. Even without further analysis, this is an incredible fact. California’s state government, in constant dollars, is spending nearly twice as much per resident as it did a...

TAGS: California government unions, Edward Ring, government employee unions, Government Finance, Government Spending, Transparency