Our Work

The Government Finance Research Center partners with various public and private groups making our research informative, wide-spread, and accessible.


Briefs, Research Reports & White Papers

Estimated Impact of the Cap on SALT Deductions at the Zip Code Level in Illinois (2018, draft as of 12/20)

Dr. Yonghong Wu examines data from Illinois’ 2015 federal income tax filings to estimate the impact of the new $10,000 cap on federal income tax deductions for certain state and local taxes (SALT), which was approved as part of a massive federal tax reform program called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Preliminary findings in this draft report, are: (1) approximately 15% of all Illinois tax filers (or 896,790 filers) would have been affected in 2015; (2) the estimated average reduction due to the new cap would have been 1.8% (or $2.6 billion) for filers with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) above $200,000 in 2015; and (3) tax filers who would likely see their federal income tax liability increase due to the new cap are likely to be concentrated in the AGI brackets above $100,000 and in municipalities with high property values and high local tax rates. This is a draft report, and should not be cited without express permission from Dr. Wu.

The People's Money: 2018 UIC Urban Forum (2018/2019)

These briefs are abbreviated versions of the white papers authored for the 2018 UIC Urban Forum. The longer versions of the papers are available here.

How the 2018 Elections Reshaped State and Local Governments' Fiscal Policy Space  (2018, Published by Brookings)

This paper by CUPPA's Dean Michael Pagano and Nathan Arnosti published by Brookings focuses on the ways in which the 2018 midterm elections reshaped state and local governments' "fiscal policy space" to innovate and govern. Pagano studied the results of state and city ballot measures in an effort to understand the contexts in which voters sought to expand or restrict public services and government spending.

City Budgets  in an Era of Increased Uncertainty (2018, Published by Brookings)

This paper, by CUPPA's Dean Michael Pagano and the California Budget and Policy's Christopher W. Hoene, examines the extent to which cities can take on greater fiscal responsibilities based on their “fiscal policy space,” a framework for understanding cities’ fiscal capacity and adaptability. The paper includes a typology that assesses 100 large cities on their fiscal capacities, especially in relation to constraints imposed by states or cities’ own tax misalignment with their economic bases. It closes with implications for local and state actions.