A shortage of accountants and auditors has left dozens of municipalities without credit ratings, and new financial reporting requirements are likely to make things worse. There are ways to tackle this skill set supply chain problem.
A debt-ceiling breach would cost states in terms of revenue, pension investment losses and increased borrowing costs. Even a fix at this point will likely lead to cuts in federal grants.
State lawmakers are considering legislation that would reallocate hundreds of millions of dollars from K-12 and higher education into a new savings account and would cap future education budget increases to no more than 5 percent.
Revenues are slowing but lawmakers, at least in red states, have continued to enact major tax cuts this year.
Income tax and sales tax revenue projections are slipping. State and local policymakers need to avoid fiscal giveaways and gimmicks, and they need to beware of potential federal aid clawbacks.
State and local financiers now face interest rate markets that anticipate decelerating inflation and a weaker economy. Public treasurers and debt managers need fresh ideas, agility and prudent strategies.
The program that provides state-funded health insurance to adult undocumented immigrants was first estimated to cost $220 million. But three months later, that price tag has ballooned, complicating the state’s budget debates.
The state’s attorney general is pressing lawmakers to pass legislation that reduces potential conflicts of interest, requires more public reporting and improves protections for investors within the cryptocurrency industry.
The state's public transit systems want $5.15 billion to avoid budget deficits and service cuts over the next half-decade. They’re expecting a tough fight.
Mayor Sheng Thao hopes that her proposed two-year budget will help fund the programs she promised to voters during her campaign while also merging city departments to eliminate redundancy and reduce overhead.
The New York governor’s budget proposal includes changes to the state’s bail laws and a continued effort to crack down on gun violence, but her previous housing plan was left out.
The last two state budgets included full payments to the pension fund of roughly $7 billion each year, the first time that’s been done in a quarter century. The Democratic governor’s latest budget proposal includes another full payment of $7.1 billion.
Big-box retailers are using a controversial legal argument in their assessment appeals. As the courts sort it out and some legislatures step up, there’s a role for government associations to help strengthen the hands of local tax authorities.
Most of the people who buy lottery tickets are the very ones who can ill afford to squander their money in such a manner. Yet lotteries are likely to continue to expand, given how effective they are in generating revenue for states.
MyEListing allows Texans to list commercial and residential properties in either cash or cryptocurrency. One property is available for $500,000 cash, 17.5 bitcoin or 256 etherium.
Between 2019 and 2022 the state’s GDP grew by 5.7 percent, which is just slightly above the nation’s growth of 5.1 percent. Idaho, by contrast, saw its business output grow by 13.3 percent; Utah’s rose 11.6 percent.
The persistently low salaries of state legislators often discourage citizens from serving in public office, especially as lawmakers face heavier workloads and greater demands on their time than in the past.
A four-bill package will renew the Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama Act and will increase the caps on benefits that can go to companies. The package will also require the state to publicize the benefits paid to companies.
The L.A. school district implemented four “acceleration days” for their students that aimed to fill the gaps in student learning, exacerbated by the pandemic. But less than 8 percent attended and the overall cost of these sessions remains unclear.
The city’s Board of Ethics alleges that mayoral candidate Jeff Brown illegally coordinated donation solicitations. But about half of the cash behind Brown’s campaign comes from a political action committee whose backers are undisclosed.
Culture wars over environmental, social and governance factors used by pension fiduciaries are in the spotlight, but it’s the municipal bond arena where long-term analysis must trump short-term symbolic politics. Sustainability actually matters to investors.
A charter amendment that was approved by voters in 2020 will restore financial control to the 15-member council, allowing them to reallocate funds without mayoral approval. The last time the council had this power was in 1898.
The amount that fire victims receive after taxes and attorney fees is sometimes as little as just 25 percent of the original award. A state bill would allow victims to subtract wildfire settlements from their taxable income.
The state Senate passed a bill that will make it a felony for county election offices to receive money from nonprofit organizations after complaints that donations disproportionately benefited Democrats.
The state-run company Citizens has warned it may impose a “hurricane tax” this year if another big, expensive storm, or a series of little ones, hit the state. The company now insures 1.2 million homeowners, a 50 percent increase.
Letting all depositors off the hook creates a moral hazard, but taxpayer money should be protected. If Congress won’t extend full insurance to states and localities, banks should be required to protect those deposits with their own collateral.
The state’s latest proposal would create a flat income tax rate of 2.75 percent and would cut corporate property taxes and increase residential/agricultural property taxes. But experts say benefits of Ohio’s tax cuts are unclear.
State and local leaders will face implementation challenges of scale, complexity and accountability. To mitigate those and maximize the benefits of new federal programs, they need to have the right strategies in place.
The 2022 stock market plunge has taken a toll on some of the nation’s largest state and municipal pension funds, making it harder to pay for future retirement benefits to millions of K-12 teachers and other public employees.
State lawmakers would spend some of The Education Trust Fund’s money on the Mobile Airport Authority, the Port of Alabama, hydroelectric and EV workforce training and more.
To combat the problem, “sign rangers” are trained by the county attorney’s office to spot and remove illegal signage. State lawmakers are considering increasing penalties against sign bandits to as much as $5,000.