Finance

The Troubling Decline in City Revenue Growth

COMMENTARY | The economy continues to grow, yet cities anticipate revenue problems. How can both be true?

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.

Half of Americans Dealing With Civil Law Problems, Survey Finds

A quarter of respondents described two or more circumstances that had the potential to land them in court over a year's time, for issues like overdue debts, child custody disputes and evictions.

States Hold Onto Federal Dollars Meant for Needy Families

One state has $732 million not being spent to help needy families.

A State Braces for Major Transportation Funding Cuts As Ballot Measure Nears Passage

Seattle area officials are vowing to sue over the Washington state initiative, which seeks to limit vehicle registration fees to $30 and impose new restrictions on taxes.

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.

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.

California Local Governments Gain a Pathway to Establish Public Banks

Cities and counties would be able to create up to 10 public banks where governments could deposit money under a bill the state's governor signed into law this week.

Legal Challenge Over $14 Billion in State Debt Is Sidelined For Now

A judge has blocked the Illinois case from proceeding, but the think tank CEO who brought it says he plans to appeal.

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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.

Gap Grows Between Well-Off and Troubled State Public Pension Plans

The findings from The Pew Charitable Trusts come as the U.S. enters a record phase of economic expansion.

Report: State Expenditures Now Growing at Greatest Clip Since Before the Recession

A new report estimates state expenditures will grow to $883 billion and rainy day funds will reach $68.2 billion in fiscal 2019.

Years Later, the Recession’s Sting is Still Tough to Shake for Many States

New research takes a look at the lingering mark the downturn left on state budgets.

Congress Must Give States The Tools To Rebuild America’s Infrastructure

COMMENTARY | The federal government hurt state and local governments’ ability to invest in our failing infrastructure last year; now they have a chance to correct that mistake.

Poll: Despite Struggles, Rural Americans Feel Connected to Communities

Civic engagement is high among rural residents, which may offset negative feelings about financial insecurity and access to health care.