Finance

'Woke Bond Rating’? The Muni Finance Fight Over ESG Scores

Utah officials recently lashed out at a rating agency's use of environmental, social, governance rankings. Investors have an appetite for the metrics, but critics say they're too subjective.

Treasury Department Opens Investigation Into Texas Governor's Use of Federal Funds for Border Mission

Texas has been employing coronavirus relief money to help pay for the multibillion-dollar deployment.

How Rethinking Land Use Can Boost Local Government Revenue

Governments looking to make revenue streams more dependable should consider revisiting land-use regulations, incentives and taking other steps, says a recent report.

Katrina Survivors Were Told They Could Use Grant Money To Rebuild. Now They’re Being Sued

After Hurricane Katrina, struggling homeowners said they were told not to worry about the fine print when they received grants to elevate their homes. Now the state is going after them because they did exactly that.

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Eliminate Manual Processes Route and Approve Invoices from Anywhere

Today’s finance teams carry a heavy burden, supporting everything from growth strategies to long-term planning – all while continuously delivering monthly and quarterly numbers and keeping cash flowing. But even as demands on finance departments grow, many still spend excessive time using paper, spreadsheets, and e-mails to process vendor invoices, approvals, and payments.

The States That Could be Headed for a ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Three of them, in particular, may see difficulties in the years ahead as federal aid runs dry, according to a good government group.

Austin Becomes First Texas City To Test a Taxpayer-funded “Guaranteed Income” Program

Austin joins at least 28 U.S. cities, like Los Angeles, Chicago and Pittsburgh, that have tried out some form of “guaranteed income” — financial assistance targeted at needy households.

New York’s Once-booming Oil Industry and the Risky Wells It Left Behind

Western New York towns were built around oil production. Now, they’re grappling with the remnants of a declining industry.

The US Cities Most Attractive to Renters

There was a 10% increase in rental applications nationwide last year, and millennials were the generational group that moved around the most, a new report shows.

US Cities Where Housing Prices Are Falling

Home prices reached record highs during the pandemic, but they are declining in some localities across the country, according to a recent report.

Can New York Court and Regulate the Crypto Industry at the Same Time?

Some state lawmakers are making enemies in the cryptocurrency industry as New York City Mayor Eric Adams tries to woo it.

The New Digital Products and Services Proving Difficult to Tax

States and localities may have to update policies if they don't want to miss out on revenue.

Black Homeownership Declines as Overall Rate Rises

Homeownership rates for White, Asian and Hispanic Americans reached all-time highs in 2020, but fell to 43% for Black families, according to one report.

Biden Wants to Move Faster Sending Disaster Aid to States

It can take upwards of a year to make funding available under a Department of Housing and Urban Development grant program that the president wants to rework. There's at least some bipartisan support for reforms in Congress.

The States Where Motorists Pay the Most for Auto Insurance

A new report also looks at the places where rates are the highest compared to income.

Covid Woes Prompt More States to Require Financial Literacy Classes

The pandemic has underscored how few Americans are prepared for financial emergencies.

Agriculture Department Offers Grants To Improve SNAP

The USDA says that the grants fall in line with administration priorities around equity and inclusion, as well as improving the customer experience of Americans interacting with government programs.

Local Governments Vie for New Round of Congressional Earmarks

The revival of what critics deride as "pork" yielded $2.7 billion for localities this year. Now they're looking to secure even more of the federal cash. “We've had dozens of communities across our district submit requests,” says one House lawmaker.

Rising Construction Costs Stall Affordable Housing Projects

High lumber and labor prices can mean fewer homes built—or an entire project quashed.

Marijuana 'Sin Tax' Collections Show Signs of Outpacing Alcohol

In states where cannabis is legal, a new analysis finds excise tax collections from pot leading booze. But the money is a small share of state budgets and changes to the industry could affect revenues.

Affordable Housing Can Lift Nearby Home Values

A new Urban Institute study shows that for one city, property values in above- and below-median-income areas rose slightly when affordable housing was built nearby.