Preventing Local Government Fiscal Crises: The North Carolina Approach

Source: Charles K. Coe, Public Budgeting & Finance, Vol. 27 no. 3, Fall 2007
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Some local governments face fiscal challenges due to mismanagement and declining economies. In particular, manufacturing states like Michigan and Ohio have been hard hit by the effects of international competition. To prevent fiscal distress from becoming a crisis, states exercise oversight over local government fiscal management. The three bond rating agencies consider the North Carolina oversight system a model. This paper discusses the North Carolina oversight system, including audit review, technical assistance, debt issuance, and power to take over the financial operations of distressed local units.

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