Category: Finance

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

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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

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Money Direct to Residents: Making Sense of CARES Act Payments

The federal government will be sending money directly to people as part of the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act. Local leaders can take action now to make sure their residents keep more of those dollars in their pockets that can be spent in the local economy.  What is Coming  The funds being

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Is Your City Playing by the (New) Rules to Support a Pandemic Economy?

We’re approximately one month in to taking Coronavirus seriously as a society. As more and more states and localities issue stay-at-home orders to keep us safe and healthy, businesses are shuttering, and unemployment is skyrocketing. Although protecting the U.S. from even graver and more rampant cases is priority number one, cities are also trying to

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Preventing COVID-19 Generated Family Financial Instability

Social distancing has caused businesses to close or curtail their services to slow the spread of COVID-19. Employees of non-essential services, such as restaurants and retail stores, in turn are losing their jobs or experiencing a drastic reduction in pay. These employees are already straining to make ends meet because they are more likely to earn hourly wages and lack benefits such as healthcare or paid sick leave.   Before this pandemic,

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How to Navigate the Pension Landscape

Solvent pensions are crucial to local governments and the employees who serve them because they reduce financial instability. And the first step in reducing that instability is becoming informed. But navigating pension plans for your municipal workforce is no easy task. As several states have reformed their retirement systems since the Great Recession, it is

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For First Time in Seven Years, Cities Anticipate Revenue Decline

By Liz Farmer, fiscal policy expert and journalist In the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower, California, officials are getting the city budget ready for a slowdown by tightening spending and beefing up reserves. For the past five months, the state’s fiscal health index has been trending downward, a shift that Mayor Pro Tem Juan Garza

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Congress to Move on Cannabis Banking

The House plans to hold a vote this Wednesday on the NLC-backed SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595), a bill that would better allow financial institutions to provide banking and insurance services to cannabis related businesses. It is expected to pass the House under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote, limits time

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Top Local Workforce Challenges: Recruitment, Retention, Compensation

Having a stable job, and being able to retire comfortably, are part of the American dream. But because of complicating factors, such as a changing economic landscape and automation, these previously stalwart aspects of many careers have started to disappear. Unfortunately, local government jobs aren’t immune to these changes. But what exactly is happening, and

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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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