City building
City building

Finance

Public finance is fundamental to the activities of cities and towns and to the health of the national economy. It's how cities pay for the services, invest in infrastructure and support the municipal workforce. Our work features survey and other research reports on the structure, health, and factors affecting city finances, as well as resources for city officials to use in making better decisions. 

Finance subtopics include:

Recent

  • Research Report

Pensions play a critical role in the ability of local governments to attract and retain the workforce needed to meet citizen demands. The costs associated with this employee benefit, however, can be substantial. A recent National League of Cities…

  • Research Report

Despite our nation’s relative wealth, many Americans are financially insecure, lacking the financial means to pay all of their monthly bills or the necessary savings to cover unexpected expenses. Inadequate household incomes, coupled with a lack…

  • CitiesSpeak

"When cities are given the directive and the resources, projects just get done faster, more efficiently and with better end results."

Every week leading up to the 2017 Congressional City Conference we'll feature…

photo - Meet Your Municipal Finance Advocate
photo - Meet Your Municipal Finance Advocate

The National League of Cities (NLC) recently announced its Public Sector Retirement Initiative sponsored by ICMA-RC, a resource for elected officials to help navigate the complexities of retirement and healthcare planning and funding for the…

  • CitiesSpeak

Launched by NLC President Matt Zone, the task force will pursue a three-pronged strategy over the next year that will include municipal engagement and peer learning, documentation of promising and emerging city approaches,…

playground
playground
  • Fact Sheet

The entire sector of municipal government debt is under $2 trillion according to Census Bureau figures from 2013[1]. This debt issuance comes from all 50 states comprising over 19,000 cities and towns, 3000 counties, 15,000 school districts and…

  • Research Report

In 2014, the nation's city finance officers report that fiscal conditions are improving as the Great Recession recedes.1 However, local fiscal health has not yet fully returned to pre-recession levels as economic activity clambers back from the…

  • CitiesSpeak

The online sales tax loophole isn’t just an unfair disadvantage for local businesses – it also prevents cities from collecting the taxes already owed to them on remote online purchases.

As we enter the season of gift-…

retail store
retail store
  • CitiesSpeak

Incorporating an active policy discussion about pension funding into the budget process – even in well-funded cities – is important, because the earlier pension funding problems are confronted, the less costly they will be overall, and the less…

stocks
stocks
  • CitiesSpeak

Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) are emerging in as a way cities can help even the most low-income children and families save for college and potentially disrupt cycles of multi-generational poverty.

When higher…

Money
Money