Budget Planning

Pension Cuts May Pose Special Risks For Public Workers Not Covered by Social Security

About 5 million state and local workers are outside of the federal retirement program.

Cities and States Look to Tap More Tax Revenue From Expensive Real Estate Sales

“It basically allows for luxury housing to pay for affordable housing,” said a Boston city council member describing a "transfer" tax proposal there.

With Healthy Budgets, Dozens of States Give Raises to Their Workers

The number of states bumping up pay for their employees has hit a high not seen since prior to the Great Recession.

This State Found $117,000 in Double Payments Through Data Analytics

Ohio developed a tool to review all state agencies’ payment transactions from January through September and found 56 duplicate payments worth more than $117,000.

In a Booming State, Lawmakers Face a Looming Transportation Cut

“My focus is going to be about doing the best job of spreading the pain,” said one Washington state lawmaker, describing what lies ahead in an upcoming legislative session.

With Overall State Spending Up, Transportation Sees Notable Gains

At least 18 states raised spending on transportation programs by 10% or more in fiscal 2019, based on estimates in a new report.

The Imperfect Art of Tracking Local Government Financial Stress

California is the latest state to launch a program to shed light on the financial conditions in localities. Systems like this can have benefits, but also limitations.

How Residents' Financial Health Can Affect City Budgets

Missed utility bills and services for the homeless can cost cities millions of dollars per year, experts said Thursday at the Urban Institute. One solution: Figure out how to help people improve their financial health.

Report: Georgia Towns Too Reliant on Fines and Fees as a Revenue Generator

A new study analyzes three towns’ reliance on fines and fees for their annual budget, finding they represent between 14% and 25% of revenues.

Big City Finance Officials See Recession on the Horizon

That’s one of the notable findings in a new survey of over 500 city finance officers.

The States Where Public University Tuition Rates Rose the Most After Big Budget Cuts

Tuition rates at four-year public colleges climbed 37% over the last decade as states have slashed education funding.

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When the Savings Don’t Materialize

COMMENTARY | Sometimes, state and local governments don’t end up seeing the results they hoped for. Then what happens?

Federal Spending on Kids Falls, as More Dollars Flow Toward Older Adults and Debt

The findings are included in the latest edition of an annual report. “In a sense in our budget, we’re treating kids worse and worse,” said one of its authors.

Unemployment Uptick May Signal State Recessions

Minnesota and North Carolina may already be in a recession.

Some States Are Seizing Leftover Money on Gift Cards to Boost Their Budgets

Strapped for cash, state governments are plugging holes using unspent gift cards. Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

Voters in One City to Decide On an Unusual Pension Funding Proposal

A pending ballot proposition in Phoenix calls for imposing strict limits on city spending until funding for the city’s retirement programs reaches a certain threshold.

Socking Away Money for the Bad Times Requires Strategic State Practices

The Volcker Alliance report grades states on their reserve fund balances and policies and makes 10 recommendations for how states can control withdrawals from rainy day funds, replenish spent funds, and address revenue volatility.

Key Senators Pledge to Move on Federal Highway Bill This Summer

But lawmakers acknowledge that figuring out a long-term plan to pay for transportation infrastructure remains a major challenge.