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Research

Latest Report

  • April 30, 2020    |    Strategic Research

    Cities and towns nationwide use their power to enforce traffic, property code and other ordinances to raise revenue rather than solely to protect the public. And, as this report finds, a wide range of state laws may enable or even encourage such taxation by citation. This report is the first comprehensive accounting of state laws relating to municipal fines and fees. It uses 52 legal factors to rank the 50 states based on the extent to which their laws may contribute to municipal fines and fees abuse. The rankings offer a systematic way to diagnose possible relationships between state laws and municipal behavior—and to identify potential policy solutions.

Strategic Research Team

Recent Reports

  • December 3, 2019    |    Legal and Policy Studies

    Educational choice programs—defined broadly as programs that provide parents with financial aid to help their children opt out of the traditional public school system—are a hallmark of meaningful educational reform. Yet despite widespread news coverage of such programs, polls show most Americans are unfamiliar with how educational choice programs work. Opponents of educational choice routinely…

  • November 19, 2019    |    Strategic Research

    Barriers to Braiding

    Illinois Analysis

    This report supplements our 2016 study Barriers to Braiding: How Job-Killing Licensing Laws Tangle Natural Hair Care in Needless Red Tape. That study investigated whether (1) braiding licenses keep people out of work and (2) braiding poses risks that justify occupational licensing. This report uses data from Illinois that we intended to include in Barriers…

  • October 24, 2019    |    Strategic Research

    The Price of Taxation by Citation

    Case Studies of Three Georgia Cities That Rely Heavily on Fines and Fees

    Taxation by citation is when local governments use their power to enforce traffic and other ordinances to raise revenue rather than solely to protect the public. This report explores the phenomenon via case studies of three Georgia cities that have historically relied on fines and fees from ordinance violations for large proportions of their revenues.…

 

Strategic Research

  • April 30, 2020    |    Strategic Research

    Cities and towns nationwide use their power to enforce traffic, property code and other ordinances to raise revenue rather than solely to protect the public. And, as this report finds, a wide range of state laws may enable or even encourage such taxation by citation. This report is the first comprehensive accounting of state laws relating to municipal fines and fees. It uses 52 legal factors to rank the 50 states based on the extent to which their laws may contribute to municipal fines and fees abuse. The rankings offer a systematic way to diagnose possible relationships between state laws and municipal behavior—and to identify potential policy solutions.

  • November 19, 2019    |    Strategic Research

    Barriers to Braiding

    Illinois Analysis

    This report supplements our 2016 study Barriers to Braiding: How Job-Killing Licensing Laws Tangle Natural Hair Care in Needless Red Tape. That study investigated whether (1) braiding licenses keep people out of work and (2) braiding poses risks that justify occupational licensing. This report uses data from Illinois that we intended to include in Barriers…

  • October 24, 2019    |    Strategic Research

    The Price of Taxation by Citation

    Case Studies of Three Georgia Cities That Rely Heavily on Fines and Fees

    Taxation by citation is when local governments use their power to enforce traffic and other ordinances to raise revenue rather than solely to protect the public. This report explores the phenomenon via case studies of three Georgia cities that have historically relied on fines and fees from ordinance violations for large proportions of their revenues.…

 

Legal and Policy Studies

  • December 3, 2019    |    Legal and Policy Studies

    Educational choice programs—defined broadly as programs that provide parents with financial aid to help their children opt out of the traditional public school system—are a hallmark of meaningful educational reform. Yet despite widespread news coverage of such programs, polls show most Americans are unfamiliar with how educational choice programs work. Opponents of educational choice routinely…

  • August 9, 2018    |    Legal and Policy Studies

    Expropriation in Puerto Rico

    Policy Brief and Report Card

    In a new report (released August 6), the Institute for Justice (IJ) gives Puerto Rico’s eminent domain laws a grade of “F.” IJ is a nonprofit, civil liberties law firm dedicated to ending eminent domain abuse:  when the government seizes private property not for traditional public uses, but for private development. The report examines Puerto…

  • November 13, 2017    |    Legal and Policy Studies

    The Inverted Pyramid

    10 Less Restrictive Alternatives to Occupational Licensing

    When it comes to occupational regulation, policymakers may see their options as action or inaction: licensing or no licensing. In fact, policymakers can choose from a plethora of alternatives that provide the purported benefits of licensing, without the downsides. This paper discusses 10 less restrictive alternatives to licensing that can protect consumers as well as…

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