Spending and Taxes, 1970–2000

in For the Many or the Few

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780226510811
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226510873 | DOI:
Spending and Taxes, 1970–2000

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This chapter investigates how the initiative affects spending and taxes. To preview the findings, it shows that, over the last three decades, the initiative had three significant effects on fiscal policy. First, it cut the overall size of state and local government, as measured by revenue or expenditure. Second, the initiative shifted disbursement of funds from state to local governments; that is, it “decentralized” government spending. Third, the initiative altered the way funds are raised: it reduced the reliance on taxes in favor of user fees and charges for services. These results establish benchmarks that can be compared with opinion data to see if the initiative brought about policy changes supported or opposed by the majority, and also are interesting in their own right because they shed light on how important, if at all, the initiative is in practice.

Keywords: initiative; spending; taxes; fiscal policy; revenue expenditure; local government; decentralization

Chapter.  9144 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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