Finance

Shiny new things and public priorities

COMMENTARY | The economic growth and civic pride benefits of new stadiums are not enough to compensate for the required public financial commitment.

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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.

California is about to tax guns more like alcohol and tobacco—and that could put a dent in gun violence

COMMENTARY | Gun deaths and injuries aren’t just tragic—they’re expensive, too.

How ‘kitty cats’ are wrecking the home insurance industry

Supercharged thunderstorms and tornadoes are ravaging the Midwest, driving insurance costs to record highs.

State Medicaid costs poised to surge from pandemic lows

State costs rose by 13% in fiscal 2023 and are expected to increase by an additional 17.2% in fiscal 2024 thanks to the phaseout of enhanced federal aid, provider rate increases and slowing but still elevated enrollment levels.

Why income discrimination laws hurt poor renters

COMMENTARY| Laws that ban discrimination against voucher holders can push smaller landlords out of the low-income housing market, decreasing the amount of affordable housing.

Connect with state & local government leaders

Neediest areas are being shortchanged on government funds

COMMENTARY | A recent study of the Community Development Block Grant program showed that neighborhoods with the largest share of low- to moderate-income families were less likely to receive CDBG funds than communities that were closer to the 51% threshold.

State, local govs crack down on menthol cigarettes by pumping prices up

Setting minimum retail prices and increasing taxes can help officials address public health concerns surrounding menthol cigarettes.

As property tax bills rise, states look for long-term solutions

Lawmakers in the Mountain West seek to provide permanent tax relief without harming local revenue.

New Maryland law enables local jurisdictions to impose higher taxes on vacant properties

The legislation aims to reduce the number of lots and houses that sit vacant for years on end in an effort to solve the state's affordable housing shortage.

Measuring and managing risk in the quest for resilience

COMMENTARY | Incidents like the Baltimore bridge collapse should motivate local leaders to think carefully about risk management, prevention and mitigation.

Virginia's 'tech tax' ignites debate on business taxes

Many states are extending sales tax to digital services, but the Virginia Senate’s attempt to expand it to cover business-to-business transactions raised eyebrows.

US long-term care costs are sky-high, but one state's plan to help pay for them could be nixed

COMMENTARY | Washington state's WA Cares Fund collects a 0.58% tax out of residents’ paychecks to fund a new long-term care social insurance program. It’s not clear, however, whether the state’s strategy is going to work out.

States take aim at local basic income programs

The no-string-attached cash assistance initiatives have become the target of some state policymakers who claim the programs are a misuse of public funds.

A range of emerging fiscal risks could disrupt state budgets

Tomorrow’s demographic, environmental, and technological trends require planning and action today.

Lawmakers hope to use this emerging climate science to charge oil companies for disasters

Under their proposals, state agencies would use computer models to tally up the damages caused by climate change and identify the companies responsible. Then, they would send each company a bill for its portion of the destruction.

Half of new state spending on preschool was backed by COVID aid last year, new report finds

That money helped improve access — preschool enrollment was up in nearly every state — but it also raises real questions about whether states will be able to sustain their investments after that federal funding runs out this fall.

Can the snarky ‘Save Our Yachts’ campaign save Washington’s capital gains tax?

The long-fought-for and hard-won tax has survived its legal challenges. Now it must survive the ballot.

Marijuana tax revenues fall short of projections in many states, including Colorado

COMMENTARY | As the market matures both the price of marijuana and tax revenues associated with its sale will likely drop further in the future.

Can compromise be reached in two state budget debates?

Taxes and affordable housing are holding up budgets in Virginia and New York. Instead of threats, the governors in each state appear to be trying to find common ground—for now.

How a common election integrity law is keeping Idaho from fixing its crumbling schools

An influential conservative group is targeting local bond and levy elections, which districts rely on heavily to build and repair schools.