Category: Finance

Congress, It’s Time to Bring Back Advance Refunding Bonds

What can help local governments finance critical new infrastructure, help cities better-weather a recession and save local taxpayer money? It’s not a miracle, nor is it a novel concept. Up until the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, municipalities were able to use a tool known as advance refunding bonds to

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Three Things You Can Do to Help Your Residents Save for College

The rising cost of education and the impact student loan debt has on youth and families can stunt a person’s buying power significantly over time. Financial insecurity delays the purchasing of homes and pushes more parents to take on their children’s education debt—increasing their own financial instability further. But local leaders can help residents within

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Why the 2020 Budget Debate Indicates More Challenges for Cities

“The Budget devolves responsibility to State and local governments, which are better positioned to assess local community needs and address unique market challenges.” – The President’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, explaining the proposed elimination of the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership programs for the third straight year. The administration’s budget proposal

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Bipartisan Work Needed to Address Aging Infrastructure

This is a guest post by Bill Eller, Vice President, Business Development at HomeServe. He is responsible for working with municipalities to educate and develop the best program options for their residents. America’s aging infrastructure systems are in need of repair and restoration. President Trump issued a call for a bipartisan effort to address our

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Don’t Run Out of Money: Why Annuities Matter

Running out of money in retirement is a major concern for many American workers. The phenomenon is dubbed longevity risk because of the potential danger of exhausting one’s assets before death. A core objective of any retirement plan should be to provide lifetime income insurance in the form of an annuity, which provides pension benefit

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Retirement Plans Use Too Much Jargon, Say Employees

City governments, in their roles as employers, are striving to attract talent that can support the critical work of serving communities. However, the wages of state and local government employees tend to be lower than for private sector employees with similar backgrounds. So, how can municipal employers provide a more competitive alternative? One way is

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Federal Shutdown Ends, but Damage to Cities Remains

Update: On Friday, January 25, President Trump and Congressional leaders announced a short-term agreement to reopen the federal government, ending the longest government shutdown in American history. Local leaders are encouraged that our federal partners are ready to put forward a bipartisan bill to end the government shutdown, but the damage has been done —

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What a Lapse in Appropriations Could Mean for Cities

As a partial government shutdown continues into its third week, the impacts of a funding lapse for affected agencies are beginning to become more visible. Among the seven federal spending bills that lapsed in December is the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. While the name indicates that it provides funding for the Department

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How Cutting Printing Costs Helped Restore a Park

I recently met with a councilman from SeaTac, a small city in the inner-ring suburb of Seattle that boasts about 30,000 residents. As a new councilman in the middle of his first term, Peter Kwon initially asked a lot of questions. And like many of our city leaders and their staff, Councilman Kwon was already

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How One City Uses a Trust to Control Pension Costs

Pensions are consuming local governments’ budgets, and many are struggling to make their payments. In Walnut Creek, California, as in a lot of cities around the nation, revenues are flattening, while expenses for employee benefits and basic services are rising. Not to mention, as our cities continue to age, infrastructure needs are ever present. Even

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