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Finance

Managing public finance has become a demanding aspect of state and local government, especially as economic health fluctuates and outside forces create revenue instability. Articles on taxes, budgets, pensions and bonds help to bring insight to finance management at the state and local level.

It’s not just the decline in fuel tax revenues and its impact on highway construction and maintenance. Real estate will also be affected, and sales taxes are likely to take a hit. States need to begin developing strategies.
A state House committee voted 8-3 to pass a cluster of bills that would devote billions over 10 years to Michigan’s economic development and transit. But Democrats will need at least one Republican to vote to pass the package.
A national stock exchange headquartered in downtown Dallas could drive more company relocations and jobs to the city and state. But many still wonder if it can compete against established exchanges.
Climate and weather disasters are more frequent and more costly. What can be done to keep insurers viable and property owners protected?
Local government finance officers can employ revenue, procurement and other tactics that disrupt the status quo to finance important initiatives.
With most public retirement systems seeing improved actuarial funding levels, there’s an opportunity to offer options that could make government compensation more competitive. But any impetus for change should come from pragmatic public employers, not partisans or lobbyists.
The council passed a $12.8 billion budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, which is approximately 2 percent less than the current fiscal year’s budget. The city will eliminate 1,700 vacant jobs next fiscal year.
Florida has a reputation as a low-tax state, thanks to its lack of a personal income tax, but top earners get bigger breaks than low-income individuals.
The California governor presented his spending plan for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. It would strip $260 million from the state’s major homelessness program. Some lawmakers want to restore that funding.
Despite a high demand for programs that help children, elderly and those with disabilities, lawmakers made wide cuts for fear that the federal government might take back millions in COVID aid.
Staff levels at Class I railroads declined about 28 percent between 2011 and 2021. Trains have also gotten longer, often reaching 2 or 3 miles long. Many are concerned that the combination poses a safety risk.
States are sitting on near-record surpluses. How and where exactly do they store their savings?
Hundreds of billions of state and local dollars are sitting stagnant in bank accounts earning almost nothing — balances that have tripled in recent years. It’s not clear why this is happening, but it’s far too much foregone income.
On Wednesday, senators rejected efforts to roll back guidance from the Treasury Department regarding how state and local governments can spend pandemic recovery funds.
The Washington state school district mistakenly recorded revenue twice during the accrual and reconciliation process, revealing a $20 million shortfall when the error was corrected. The staff reduction will save about $13 million.
State officials are offering up to $400 in gift cards to drivers who are willing to try out a new system aimed at replacing the gas tax with funding based on the number of miles a person drives.
The state’s Environmental Finance Authority acts as a bank, a development authority and an aid agency all at once. The agency’s mission is about to get even larger as it will manage $1 billion of federal aid.
A 6-year plunge in federal funding that aids victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse is causing alarm among state and local organizations that rely on those dollars to provide services.
The state has a surplus of 15,000 prison beds. Consolidating and deactivating prisons could free up billions of dollars for safety net programs, education, housing and workforce development.
Increasing climate risks are spiking demand for weather technology as businesses try to protect themselves against changing climate and social norms.
The program offered financial incentives to those who were willing to move to the state’s rural areas, places with less than 50,000 residents, in hopes of boosting local economies and combating population decline.
Citing political interference from investment firms, legislators in red states continue to restrict a set of investment considerations known as environmental, social and governance (ESG).
States are beginning to use artificial intelligence to multiply the power of their audit teams. But the tax collectors risk political blowback unless they can convince the public that it’s just the artful tax dodgers they’re after.
Lawmakers in Mountain West seek to provide permanent tax relief without harming local revenue.
The city’s finance department has grown 35 percent since 2019 and the cost of internal-facing departments have increased by 50 percent. Seattle’s total budget is currently $7.8 billion.
The Chicago-based nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life distributed $3.5 million in private funds to 2,500 local election offices across 49 states during the 2020 presidential election cycle. But many believe the additional funds were unnecessary.
The elementary schools have the district’s lowest enrollment, fewer than 300 students total, and will have to share a single librarian next year. No current librarians will lose their jobs.
The state estimates it will have between $300 and $400 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding still available for use. The problem will be figuring out how to prioritize which programs get money.
While they enjoy today’s high tide in the money markets, state and local treasurers should also promote the case for expanded and targeted federal insurance for public deposits.
Republicans in at least six states are looking to ban basic income programs as Democrats seek to expand the no-strings-attached payments. Some state lawmakers are seeking to ban local communities from enacting similar programs.
Last month, Washington increased funding for the preschool program by $275 million. Additional funding for salaries may help address workforce shortages that have led to a steep decline in enrollment.