Budget-Balancing Tactics in Local Government

Source: David Ammons, Trevor Fleck, University of North Carolina’s School of Government, February 2010

From the summary:
City and county government officials searching for strategies to cope with the growing budget crisis in local government will benefit from Budget-Balancing Tactics in Local Government. This new publication from the University of North Carolina’s School of Government draws on news reports from across the country and survey findings in North Carolina to identify a broad array of cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing approaches currently used by local governments. Cost-cutting methods discussed include hiring freezes, delayed facility and infrastructure maintenance, across-the-board cuts in departmental budgets, service cutbacks, purchasing and travel restrictions, equipment cutbacks, employee position reductions, furloughs, retirement incentives, and more. Examples of revenue-enhancing ideas addressed in the book are fee increases, tax increases, asset sales, increased reliance on grants, the leasing of government assets to outside parties, and greater reliance on reserve funds, among others. With the end of budget problems nowhere in sight, local government officials will return to these tactics repeatedly in the years ahead.

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