Finance

Wish You Were Here: States to Use Federal Funds to Boost Tourism

Governments can appropriate American Rescue Plan dollars to help the travel and hospitality industries rebound from economic devastation brought by the pandemic.

Rental Prices are Booming in Mid-Sized Cities

New estimates show how places like Boise, Idaho and Spokane, Washington have seen housing rents rise sharply during the pandemic. And the trend isn’t easing up.

State and Local Officials Push Back Against Calls to Redirect Federal Aid

Republican lawmakers and others have suggested that money from coronavirus relief measures could be shifted to pay for infrastructure.

Ohio Lawmakers Approve Bill to Allow Teleworkers to Seek Commuter Tax Refunds

The issue of how to tax remote workers has been debated in several states, including New Hampshire, which filed a federal lawsuit against Massachusetts over the practice.

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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.

Will This State’s Workers be Forced to Pay Back Mistaken Unemployment Aid?

Missouri lawmakers failed to pass legislation that would have allowed the Department of Labor to forgive unemployment benefit overpayments. Officials are trying to determine what happens next.

How Cities Are Using Citizen Feedback to Guide Federal Relief Spending

There’s a wide range of possibilities for how the $350 billion in funding can be used. “We really wanted to understand how the community was thinking in terms of investment versus recovery,” says one city official.

Is the New Markets Tax Credit Program Helping Low-Income Neighborhoods?

COMMENTARY | NMTC investments generate significant economic activity and new jobs, but there are opportunities for policymakers to adapt the program to expand its benefits for residents.

Questions Loom for States, Localities About How to Spend Billions in Covid Relief Funds

Federal and policy experts told city officials Thursday that governments that lost revenue during the pandemic have greater flexibility for using the American Rescue Plan money.

The States and Cities With the Strongest and Weakest Levels of Capital Investment

A new data tool offers a detailed look at how real estate and business loans and other investments vary widely across the country and sheds light on the inequities poorer and minority neighborhoods face.

Billions of Federal Funds are Coming to Schools. How Should They Spend Them?

COMMENTARY | For decades, schools have added new staff at the expense of other investments. With the new federal relief dollars, district leaders should invest in targeted approaches to address the Covid-19 slide and maximize student learning opportunities.

Yellen Gets Icy Reception Making Infrastructure Tax Pitch to Chamber

The business group is not onboard with a White House plan to raise taxes on corporations to help pay for public works upgrades.

Report: Black Americans Continue to Face Economic Hardship due to Covid-19

Better educated and older Black adults are faring better than younger, less educated ones who have lost jobs and faced wage cuts at higher rates, making it harder for them to achieve their long-term financial goals, according to the Pew Research Center.

Most States Held Off Draining Savings in Response to Pandemic

Only 15 tapped rainy day funds in fiscal 2020 and reserves remained near record levels. Now, better-than-expected tax revenues and federal aid could limit the need for further withdrawals.

What it Takes to Feel 'Financially Comfortable' in Major US Cities

A survey asked residents in 12 metro regions about the net worth people need to feel financially comfortable or wealthy. It's a lot.

It’s Raining Federal Relief Dollars. Here's How State and Local Governments Can Effectively Use Them.

COMMENTARY | Funds flowing from the American Rescue Plan will create challenges for states and municipalities. Here are considerations for successfully managing the influx.

Paying With Cash? Retailers Must Take Your Dollars in These States

For many, requiring the option to use cash is a race and economic equity issue.

The Cities and Counties Getting the Biggest Sums of Federal Aid

The Treasury Department will begin distributing $350 billion in state and local pandemic recovery money this month. Funding for individual localities ranges widely between places, from thousands of dollars up into the billions.

Treasury to Begin Distribution of $350 Billion for State, Local Governments

The guidance released Monday gives governments wide latitude in spending American Rescue Plan funds.

GOP Governors Move to End Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

The state-level action mirrors a national debate over whether expanded jobless benefits are driving a workforce shortage.

Getting the 'Bosses of Procurement' to Understand its Strategic Value

State procurement departments have been front and center during the pandemic. Once the crisis wanes, focus on procurement may diminish, but officials say it needs ongoing high-level attention.