Cruising for a Bruising: City Revenues Slowing, Expenditures Speeding

A report on the fiscal conditions of cities sounds alarms about potential challenges ahead.
September 22, 2018, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Eunika Sopotnicka

The National League of Cities (NLC) released the City Fiscal Conditions report earlier this month, reports Mike Maciag. According Maciag's description of the reports findings, "city revenues grew by an inflation-adjusted average of only 1.25 percent in fiscal year 2017 and are expected to further slow over the current fiscal year. At the same time, spending pressures aren’t subsiding, climbing at a steeper 2.16 percent last fiscal year."

"Historically, fluctuations in cities’ revenues have generally mirrored changes in expenditures," according to Maciag. "But the latest data from the City Fiscal Conditions report suggests spending growth is exceeding revenue growth. Annual revenue growth peaked in 2015 after declining in the aftermath of the Great Recession and has since started to decelerate, as has spending growth, but to a lesser extent."

Maciag digs into the causes of divergent revenue and expenditures in more detail in the article.

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Published on Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Governing
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