Budget Planning

The Federal Government Spent Record Amounts of Money on Children Last Year. It Probably Won’t Last.

Spending on children—including tax programs, education, nutrition and social services—by state and local governments also will likely fall back to pre-pandemic levels within several years as Covid-19 relief measures expire, according to an Urban Institute report.

Massive Cash Flow Sparks State Spending Sprees

Thanks to federal aid and rising revenue, state policymakers can afford big investments.

4 Things to Know About Local Government Fiscal Conditions

Despite fiscal challenges over the past 18 months, cities have demonstrated greater resilience than expected through the pandemic, according to a report.

College Towns Challenging Census Results After Pandemic Poses Count Problems

These cities, in particular, said their population estimates seemed low, likely the result of the census being conducted after campuses switched to remote learning.

67% of Cities Plan to Use ARPA for Lost Revenue

Cities are more likely to use money to replace lost tax revenues than to spend on infrastructure, according to a National League of Cities report.

A Free Tool to Help Cities Take Full Advantage of Federal Aid

The collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors lets city leaders search information and ask questions about rules and regulations related to coronavirus relief money.

There’s One Surefire Way to End Big Sewage Spills: End Big Sewage

COMMENTARY | To ‘futureproof’ wastewater treatment against the rising threats of climate change, sewage should go local.

Voters Have No Clue How Much Money State Lawmakers Make

Registered voters overshot their lawmakers’ annual pay by large margins in a recent survey. When given the correct salaries, respondents were more likely to support pay increases for legislators.

One City’s Inventive Plan to Spark Employee Collaboration, Loyalty and Retention

Each of the five analysts hired as a team in San Rafael, California, will be based in a different department, but they’ll train and work together on special projects.

Challenges Ahead for $3.5T Budget Bill After Senate Approval

Disagreements over the cost of the budget bill among Senate Democrats could slow progress on a separate infrastructure package headed to the House.

Using Federal Relief Funds to Ensure Equitable Recovery for Small Businesses

Governments can leverage American Rescue Plan dollars to help local companies impacted by the pandemic, including those owned by women and minorities.

How State Finances Fared During the Covid-19 Crisis

A new survey of budget officials shows that economic activity and tax revenue improved or fully recovered for most states by the end of 2020.

This Week in Federal Funding

In the July 13 edition we talk with Erie County, New York executive Mark Poloncarz about plans there for $124 million in recovery spending. And we have a roundup of ARPA action in Alabama, Virginia, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

Pandemic Growth Led This State to Slash Taxes, Issue Rebates

Tax policy experts and state officials believe Idaho’s rapid economic growth will offset the tax cuts, making them feasible under federal funding rules.  

How Governments Can Leverage Federal Funds to Partner With Local Nonprofits

The American Rescue Plan allows states and localities to funnel federal relief dollars to nonprofit organizations, which the National Council of Nonprofits says could be key to local economic recovery.

How to Fix Skyrocketing Overtime

Overtime is often a necessary cost, but to deploy it effectively, officials need reliable data to track where and how it is being used and who is using it. 

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.

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.