Finance

Inflation Is Cutting Into States’ Big Infrastructure Windfall

The costs of road and bridge projects have increased by as much as 40%.

Wildfires are Burning an Ever-larger Hole in State Budgets

New research looks at the fiscal pressure states are under dealing with the blazes and makes suggestions for funding improvements.

Many Applications for $1B Economic Development Program Had a Missing Element

New research finds a notable gap in proposals from the 60 finalists for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

Federal Watchdog Calls for National Online Sales Tax Standards

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have shown interest in the idea. But any plan along these lines is sure to draw skepticism from states and localities worried about ceding their power over tax policy.

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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.

How Your State Can Reduce Fraud With Marijuana Tax Payments

COMMENTARY | Governments can be unaware of whether they are receiving the correct revenues from cannabis sales. But there are options available to help agencies root out noncompliance, improve forecasts, and potentially up collections.

This Midwestern City Plans to Wipe Out Residents’ Medical Debt

The new program follows a similar one launched in Cook County, Illinois earlier this year.

How Tax Credits Could Help States Reduce Child Poverty by 25%

A well-designed plan would collectively cost 2.6% of total state and local revenue and complement existing federal policies, according to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy.

The House Republican Plan to Slash One of Democrats’ Signature Laws

Lawmakers set to lead key committees when the GOP takes control of the chamber say they are looking at ways to drain funding from climate initiatives and other Inflation Reduction Act programs.

Latest Round of Grant Funding Opens for Public Arts Projects

The Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative will offer awards of up to $1 million. Cities with over 30,000 people are eligible to apply.

Borrowing to Backfill Public Pensions Makes a Comeback

Low interest rates made the potentially risky and often criticized practice more attractive. But then the stock market plummeted, complicating the outlook for some places that took on the debt.

Voters in One State Approve a Tax on Millionaires

And in another they eliminated tax breaks for higher earners. But national trends with ballot initiatives to tax the wealthy are mixed overall this year and hard to interpret.

West Virginia Ballot Measure Has Local Officials ‘Very, Very Nervous’

A proposal before voters would eliminate a key source of revenue for the state’s local governments and end a tax on people’s cars.

2 Practical Approaches to More Equitable Government Spending

It's been over two years since policy-makers began to redouble equity efforts with state and local budgets and programs. Here's a look at where things stand with some of that work.

A Fight Over How Tax Hikes are Passed at the Ballot Box

A proposal before Arizona voters would change the threshold for approving tax initiatives from a simple majority to 60%. Is it a check on outside groups funding tax-and-spend measures? Or a hit to citizens' power to approve new funding for their priorities?

A City Asks Residents to Vote on Which Infrastructure Projects to Fund

Denver is turning to “participatory budgeting” to decide how it will use a small slice of its budget for public works projects.

The US Cities With the Highest Rents

An East Coast metro scooted by San Francisco to become the second-most expensive for a one-bedroom apartment this month. As nationally, growth in rent prices showed signs of slowing.

Rent Going Up? One Company’s Algorithm Could Be Why

Texas-based RealPage’s YieldStar software helps landlords set prices for apartments across the U.S. With rents soaring, critics are concerned that the company’s proprietary algorithm is hurting competition.

The States That Still Owe Billions in Federal Unemployment Loans

They took on the debt after Covid hit. If they don’t repay it soon, it will mean tax hikes for businesses. Republicans are knocking Democratic governors who’ve let the balances linger.

Can a State Erase Property Taxes Without Wiping out Education?

The long, difficult and ongoing quest to reduce property taxes in Pennsylvania.

What the Housing Market Slowdown Will Mean for Property Taxes

Red hot home sales during the pandemic have cooled and that could have consequences for one of the main revenues local governments rely on. But the outlook varies place to place.