Fiscal Health for Local Governments - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123547514, 9780080472782

Fiscal Health for Local Governments

1st Edition

Authors: Beth Honadle Beverly Cigler James Costa
eBook ISBN: 9780080472782
Paperback ISBN: 9780123547514
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 11th December 2003
Page Count: 271
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Description

Fiscal Health for Local Governments offers a how-to approach to identifying and solving financial problems. Its principal selling point lies in its assumptions: instead of using the vocabulary and research agendas of economist, finance scholars, and political scientists, it will appeal to readers who lack sophisticated knowledge in these areas and nevertheless need practical advice.

The book stems from the Fiscal Health Education Program, an applied economics program at the University of Minnesota. It uses three measures of fiscal health — financial condition, trend analysis, and financial trend monitoring system — as the basis for advocating particular fiscal strategies.

The book examines the tools that can be used to assess the condition of a local government's fiscal health and some of the policy causes or remedies for certain situations, as well as some of the strategies governments can pursue to maintain and improve health.

It will serve as a primer for readers interested in understanding financial processes and alternatives, and as a practical guide for those who need access to fiscal measurement tools.

Key Features

*How-to approach will appeal to readers who lack sophisticated knowledge

  • Contains discussion questions and anonymous case studies of actual cities and municipalities
  • Presents practical methods for identifying and solving common fiscal problems

Readership

Academics and students working in budget and finance areas in the fields of public administration, public affairs, government, political science, accounting, planning, and policy analysis; budget managers in small and medium-sized cities and rural municipalities, almost exclusively in the US.

Table of Contents

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1
Introduction and Overview
Scope of the Book and Audience
Why Fiscal Health Matters
Factors Affecting Local Government Fiscal Health The Fiscal Manager's Situation
A Fiscal Capacity Framework
Summary
Discussion Questions
References
CHAPTER 2
Fiscal Health Literature: Drifts and Reflections What is Fiscal Health? A Look at the Terminology Influences on Fiscal Health Revisited
Measuring Fiscal Health
What Governments Do About Fiscal Problems
Conclusion
References
CHAPTER 3
Macro Trends Affecting Local Governments
Demographic and Social Trends
Telecommunications Infrastructure, Technology, and the Global Economy
Institutional and Policy Fragmentation
Increased Problem Complexity
Increased Demand for Services
Increased Citizen, Group, and Elected Official Activism
Increased Interest in Regional Issues
Looming Structural Budget Gaps
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
References
CHAPTER 4
Financing Trends and Options
Fiscal Federalism
Size of Government
Local Response to the Macro Trends
Local Revenue Sources
Regional Sprawl and Local Finances
Intergovernmental Assistance
Changing Patterns of State Assistance
Local Tax Options
Property Tax Revisions and Improved Administration User Charges and Fees 1 Restructuring the System of Local Government
Public Authorities and Special Districts
Tax-Base Sharing
Transfer of Powers and Intergovernmental Agreements Trends Interacting with Revenue Diversification 110 Conclusions
References CHAPTER 5
Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) Options
Types of Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) Options Criteria for Evaluating ASD Options
Perceived Barriers to Intermunicipal Cooperation Assessing Alternative Service Delivery Options
Analysis of Current Operations
Cost Comparisons
Principles of Successful Contracting
Contract Preparation and Negotiation
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
References
CHAPTER 6
Tools for Analyzing Local Fiscal Health
Tool #1: Ten-Point Test of Fiscal Condition
Application of the Ten-Point Test to Pleasant County Tool #2: Fiscal Capacity Analysis
Tool #3: The Financial Trend Monitoring System
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
References
CHAPTER 7
Analysis and Interpretation
Case Study I: Glendon County
Case Study II: Sharpelle County
Case Study III: The City of Meirwood
Discussion Questions
CHAPTER 8
Fiscal Effects of Local Government Boundary Adjustments
Mixed Lessons from Experience
A General Framework
A Case Example
The Prediction
Intergovernmental Aid Impact
Impact of Consolidation on Debt Burden
Property Tax Impact
Impact on North Branch Area School District
Impact on Costs Associated with Detachment and Annexation
Impact of Consolidation on Local Service Costs
Impacts on Farmers
The Reality
Intergovernmental Aid Impact
Debt Burden
Property Tax Impact
Expenditures Since Consolidation
Staffing Changes
Summary and Conclusions of the Case Study
General Considerations
Discussion Questions
References
CHAPTER 9
Practical Strategies for Local Fiscal Health
Be More Efficient
Expand the Tax Base
Reduce the Demand for Services
Shift Costs to Nonresidents
Secure New Sources of Revenue
Increase Spending Flexibility
Improve Management of Existing Resources
Diversify Revenue Sources
Summary and Conclusion
Discussion Questions
References
CHAPTER 10
Conclusion
References
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Details

No. of pages:
271
Language:
English
Copyright:
© Academic Press 2004
Published:
Imprint:
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
9780080472782
Paperback ISBN:
9780123547514

About the Author

Beth Honadle

Affiliations and Expertise

Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA

Beverly Cigler

Affiliations and Expertise

Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, USA

James Costa

Affiliations and Expertise

Suntrust Bank, Atlanta, GA

Reviews

"Honadle, Cigler and Costa have done an excellent job of pulling together a diverse and complex literature on the fiscal health of local governments. This book is a wealth of information for both students of local public finance and local government administrators and elected officials. The methods they outline are rooted on theory, yet have direct practical application." -- Steven Deller, Professor and Community Development Economist, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA "Fiscal Health for Local Government provides a pragmatic approach for analyzing the fiscal health of local governments. It presents several models for assessing expenditures, revenues and debt within the constructs of changing economic, demographic and political conditions, evolving intergovernmental patterns, and specific legal constraints. The book will be a useful guide for a wide audience including government officials, policy analysts and students of public administration and public finance. It will also be a welcome resource for courses in Fiscal Policy and Administration." -- Marilyn Rubin, Professor, Economics and Public Administration, John Jay College, City University of New York