Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center

Public Policy Projects 2006

Each summer, analysis projects are solicited from state and local agencies and government officials. The seniors in the Public Policy Program taught by Professor Paul Gary Wyckoff have the opportunity to select a project that aligns with their interests in lieu of their senior thesis. The research they accomplish provides data of special interest to the agencies, and the students gain some real world experience. This year, two seniors conducted public policy projects:
John D. Adams, "Consolidating Property Tax Assessment Services: A Viable Cost-Cutting Measure for Onondaga County?"  Sponsoring Agency: Town of Dewitt
The Town of Dewitt wanted to know whether consolidating property tax assessment would save money for the town and for Onondaga County.  John examined the empirical literature on property tax consolidation, especially a recent study in Georgia which analyzed assessment costs for counties of different population sizes.  John also examined consolidation efforts in Fulton, Tompkins, and Herkimer counties in New York State.  The report ends with recommendations for consolidation of assessment services, in the short term and over the long run.
Alicia Giglio, "Sex Offenders: Looking Past Our Fears Toward Effective Policy."  Sponsoring Agency: New York Division of the Budget
The Division of the Budget requested an analysis of recent moves to restrict convicted sex offenders after they leave prison.  Many states now require offender registration, community notification, residency restrictions, or civil commitment for such offenders.   Alicia found that there is much stronger empirical evidence for cognitive-behavioral treatment of offenders than for these kinds of restrictions.  She also found that treatment was much more cost effective than civil commitment.  Finally, Alicia determined that monitoring and treatment for sex offenders needs to be tailored to the circumstances of each offender, according a risk profile that accounts for actuarial, clinical, static, and dynamic factors.