Category: Finance

Is Fiscal Growth Slowing in Cities?

When the Great Recession hit in America, city governments felt the effects acutely. Growth in municipal budgets contracted noticeably as hiring freezes, service changes, and even bankruptcies rolled across the country. Now, that continuous fiscal growth may be slowing, according to a new report. NLC’s 2017 City Fiscal Conditions, a survey of city finance officers, reveals

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10 Tips for Understanding Grants

Applying for a grant—be it federal, state or private—can be a difficult, time consuming process. NLC Grant Access will streamline the process. As an NLC member, you have an entire database dedicated to helping your municipality fund crucial initiatives. Find a grant that fits your city’s next venture, like: building a library, investing in public infrastructure

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An Inside Look at Equitable Economic Development in Minneapolis

Jim Terrell works in community planning and economic development policy for the city of Minneapolis. This week, he talks about the city’s new Access to Capital program and why an equitable approach to economic development is a priority for Mayor Betsy Hodges. This post is part of a series on NLC’s Equitable Economic Development (EED)

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Planning a More Resilient Future: Four Takeaways From the 2017 Resilient Cities Summit

This post was co-authored by Katharine Burgess, Jeremy Sigmon and Cooper Martin. Last week, an inspirational group of mayors, senior city officials, and nationally-recognized experts gathered in Stowe, Vermont, for the 2017 Resilient Cities Summit, hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Against

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Community Development Financing: How Two Cities Are Improving Residents’ Quality of Life

These cities show how the Public Finance Authority can help your municipality finance its own economic development projects. Sixty-six percent of mayoral state of the city speeches this year included significant coverage on economic development, NLC recently reported in its 2017 State of the Cities report. City officials across the U.S. say that job creation,

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Insure Your Bonds: How to Lower Financing Costs for Your City

Local governments leveraged the municipal bond market to raise more than $200 billion for new investments in infrastructure last year alone — and there are tools out there to further lower the cost of municipal bond financing for cities. This post was co-authored by Michael Stanton and Rasheeda Senger. We all know the statistics. The

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How Cities Can Start Participatory Budgeting

Participatory budgeting is a process that allows community members to decide how to spend part of a public budget. Guest author Ginny Browne explains how the city of Seattle incorporated the process and provides a toolkit for local leaders to follow suit. This is a guest post by Ginny Browne. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a better

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Supreme Court: Cities Can Proceed With Claims Against Banks for Discriminatory Lending

The Supreme Court recently ruled local governments have “standing” to bring Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuits against banks alleging discriminatory lending practices. The glass is more than half full after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bank of America v. Miami — but not as full as local governments would like. The Supreme Court could have totally

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Councilmember Jermaine Reed Testifies on Unfunded Mandates in Washington

On Wednesday, National League of Cities (NLC) Board Member and Kansas City, Missouri, Councilmember Jermaine Reed testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs. Appearing on behalf of NLC, Reed described how unfunded mandates place burdens on local governments and communities. In his testimony, Councilmember Reed provided

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Making Informed Choices About Public Sector Pension Plans

NLC’s latest Municipal Action Guide includes a historical look at public sector pension plans, an overview of approaches to pension reforms, and a worksheet to help local officials navigate decision-making regarding their city’s pension plan. Pensions play a critical role in the ability of local governments to attract and retain the workforce needed to meet

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