Category: Finance

Local Governments Report Progress on Coronavirus Relief Funds, But Few Unobligated Dollars Remain for Cities and Towns Waiting for Aid

70 percent of relief funds have already been obligated, only 10 percent to local governments, leaving small communities behind. Despite recent assertions to the contrary, information provided by the Treasury Department coupled with the latest data from national organizations representing state and local governments show that an overwhelming majority of CARES Act funds allocated for

Continue reading

Three Measures in the House’s Infrastructure Package Most Fiscally Important to Cities and Towns

Through NLC’s Rebuild With Us campaign, local leaders are asking Congress to pass a comprehensive infrastructure package that steps up federal support for transportation, water, broadband, workforce, and more. On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Moving Forward Act (H.R.2), which makes significant investments to support cities’ infrastructure requests, but Senate action will be needed. This is

Continue reading

How Equitable Access to Banking Improves Economic Conditions for Everyone

As cities across the country consider ways that they can address the growing inequities throughout their communities, an important element is where a municipality’s money is located and how it is leveraged for greater social impact. As cities begin to set a path for economic recovery post-COVID-19, local leaders should consider their municipality’s relationship with

Continue reading

Graduating Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Celebrities came together several weeks ago to honor the graduating high school class of 2020 virtually amid COVID-19. With graduation ceremonies around the country canceled or postponed, cities have found their own unique ways to celebrate the achievements of graduating seniors. The cities of Williamson, West Virginia and Lawrence, Massachusetts hosted parades to celebrate graduating

Continue reading

Supporting Small Businesses During COVID-19 in Columbia, SC

Columbia, South Carolina moved quickly to respond when COVID-19 was declared a health pandemic. Mayor Stephen Benjamin declared a state of emergency in March and Columbia’s City Council approved a stay-at-home order weeks before a similar order was issued statewide. Hear from Mayor Benjamin why it was important to move with speed to support local

Continue reading

Three Things that the Fed and Congress Can Do Now to Help Small Cities Reopen and Recover

While more than 63% of Americans live in cities, the vast majority of city residents live in communities with populations of 300,000 or less[i]. Cities large and small face financial risks from COVID-19 and the challenge of mitigating its spread. They face extra and increasing costs for essential public safety and health and lost tax

Continue reading

Cities Prepared for Rainy Days, but Not a Fiscal Tsunami

As the pandemic-induced economic downturn continues, cities are facing immediate, significant and irreplaceable losses to major revenue streams. NLC estimates that cities will experience a $360 billion budget shortfall over the next three years. The question, of course, quickly turns to are cities prepared to weather a fiscal storm this severe? One critical way to

Continue reading

Local Budget Pressures are Real. So Why Don’t Cities Just Raise Taxes?

The toll of the current public health crisis continues to unfold on municipal budgets with revenue shortfalls anticipated to near $360 billion over the next three years. These shortfalls are impacting families and local economies nationwide as cities respond with tough decisions to furlough or even lay off dedicated staff and cut investments in critical

Continue reading

Cities Anticipate $360 Billion Revenue Shortfall

In Charleston, WV, the city approved a $98.9 million budget in fiscal year 2019 but is on track to end with a $2 million deficit. The city of Boulder, CO, projects a shortfall of approximately $21 million in the general fund and a $41 million overall budget deficit. In New Orleans, LA, city officials estimate

Continue reading

Essential Municipal Employees Vulnerable to Severe Cuts

Cities, towns and villages across the nation are preparing for significant budget cuts and the difficult decisions that accompany them. The fiscal impacts of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 are not just numbers on a page. They include massive layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts that affect the lives of thousands of municipal employees, their

Continue reading