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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.

Affordable online advertisements are critical for thousands of brick-and-mortar businesses that need to reach out to national customers to survive. A Nebraska proposal and similar federal legislation would be a serious blow.
By 2030, an estimated 12 percent of people ages 75 and older will be working, more than doubling from 2000, due to longer lifespans and rising costs of living. In Florida, soaring insurance rates add to financial pressures.
Proposals to eliminate them usually ignore the basic facts of life in state and local revenue management. Successful changes will be focused and surgical, and there is an intriguing opportunity to apply AI to local tax relief.
The state’s gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is expected to bring in $750 million annually, totaling $6 billion through 2030. Currently, 96 percent of the funds are committed to water-quality projects.
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and GOP legislators have agreed to reduce the state’s top income tax bracket, starting at $30,000, from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent. The proposal would cost $1.4 billion over the next three years.
With California facing a serious budget crunch, lawmakers may have to curb their policy ambitions in a variety of areas. Ahead of April tax collections, it's not yet clear if proposed cuts will be deep enough.
Experts predict that the celestial event could drive millions of dollars for local businesses, including a $179.8 million boost to the restaurant industry and $221.8 million for hotels.
States are sitting on near-record surpluses. How and where exactly do they store their savings?
Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott used money from billionaire out-of-state allies to defeat fellow Republicans in primaries.
Earlier this month, bitcoin’s value rose to an all-time high of more than $73,000. The cryptocurrency has had a highly variable performance in the market, but Miami continues to embrace it.
The program has cost taxpayers at least $26 million so far, with more than 90 percent of those funds going to administrative and consulting costs. About 3,500 people have signed up since July.
Congress could enable cities to employ tax-exempt bonds to help stabilize their office tax bases in a way that’s friendly to both taxpayers and the IRS. There might already be opportunities for brave mayors and crafty public financiers.
States have devoted billions of dollars to replenishing their unemployment trust funds, but many are still short. Fewer states are now prepared for a recession than before the pandemic.
As other states ramp up their own development incentives, Texas is experiencing more competition for opportunity zone projects. Of 94 economic incentives projects across the nation this year, just two were in Texas.
The state will launch an alternative system where drivers are charged for each mile they drive. That might replace the gas tax, which hasn’t been updated since 2003. As of 2022, just 0.13 percent of the state’s vehicles were hybrid or electric.
Two political leaders are backing a congressional bill that would lower the cost of homeowner property insurance by about a quarter. In 2023, Florida homes cost three times the national average to insure.
An audit by a federal watchdog found several instances of poor planning, misallocation of funds and a lack of workers which undercut millions of dollars of federal aid meant to keep stormwater at bay.
Getting rid of personal income taxes entirely, which several states are considering, would gut services and shift taxes onto those least able to afford them.
Today’s interest rates may tempt public financiers to try to play the spread between tax-exempt and taxable bond yields. That invites heightened federal scrutiny, but there are some strategies likely to avoid the bite of the IRS.
As property values surge and tax bills go up, some state lawmakers are hoping to end the property tax. Doing so would not be cheap or easy.
Authorities known as industrial development agencies hand out nearly $11 billion worth of subsidies each year.
As the national debt continues to climb past $34 trillion, lawmakers are considering extending a broadband program that would drive inflation higher and deepen deficits, all while providing already-connected residents with Internet service.
Lawmakers hope grant and loan programs can help small towns keep their markets open.
Estimates increased $1.3 billion from projections released in December. The state also has about $2.9 billion in its rainy-day fund. However, officials warn of a potential $1.5 billion shortfall in the coming years.
Revenues are coming in slower, creating some shortfalls. Following recent boom times, even a bit of belt-tightening is going to come as a shock.
Billions of dollars in tax-sheltered municipal bonds are sold to fund stadiums and arenas that enrich team owners while fueling federal deficits. Local politicians can’t say no, but Congress should.
The 2023 legislation establishing the grant program also includes new equipment for rural sheriffs.
Adams State University, Fort Lewis College and Western Colorado University are hoping for $3 million per institution from the state to ensure access for students from less populous areas.
In 47 states, schools have a higher proportion of students from elsewhere than they did 20 years ago.
The state prison system’s medical provider, Wellpath, backed out of its contract with the Department of Corrections after spending millions in unanticipated costs, mostly due to prison violence.
Thousands of county officials came to Washington, D.C., to make the case with Congress that funding counties directly is the best way to improve lives across the country’s diverse rural and urban communities.