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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.

As cars become more fuel efficient and EVs become more prominent, states will not be able to rely on gas taxes for much longer. But some states are considering fees on Amazon deliveries as part of their road-funding solution.
Cash comprised 16 percent of payments during a month-long survey in 2023, compared to 31 percent seven years prior. But cash still remains pervasive among lower-income and older consumers.
Despite reserves bulging and revenues receding, many lawmakers remain reluctant to spend savings.
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.
Gov. Phil Scott argued that residents need tax cuts, not an increase. Legislators felt they had to act to address increased school spending.
Chris Ailman, the chief investment officer for the giant California teachers’ pension fund, is retiring. He showed the way in navigating a landscape of complexity, hazards and challenges to achieve steady investment success.
The current transportation budget falls short of the state’s litany of needs. As lawmakers prepare to craft a major transit package next session, they will need to figure out how to increase revenue streams despite logistical and political challenges.
Since the Great Recession, states have moved to reform their public pension plans, making tough choices and frequently doing so with bipartisan support. Federal lawmakers should keep these lessons in mind.
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.