City Fiscal Conditions In 2004

Cities are responding to the deteriorating fiscal conditions in a variety of ways. The most common response has been to raise or institute new fees and charges for services.
October 26, 2004, 11am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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City Fiscal Conditions in 2004 is a new report from the National League of Cities. Based upon a survey of finance directors from 288 US cities with populations greater than 10,000, this report examines city fiscal conditions; factors influencing municipal budgets; and revenue and expenditure trends.

22 charts present data on the composition of city income (federal, state, local, property tax, sales tax, income tax); the ability of small, medium and large cities to meet program and service needs; and actions cities have taken to balance their budgets.

Selected findings include:

  • Property tax represents 23% of the average city's general fund; other taxes - 36%; fees - 13%; state aid - 12%; federal aid - 2%; and other revenue - 14%.
  • Human services spending increased in 36% of the cities and decreased in 14%.
  • 54% of the cities increased their fees and charges, including 70% of the largest cities, and less than 1% of all cities reduced them.
  • Nearly 2/3's of all cities were less able to meet their financial needs in 2004 than in 2003.
  • When asked about negative impacts on city budgets, 91% cited employee health benefits; 89% - employee wages; 78% - public safety needs; 74% - infrastructure; 74% - employee benefits and 73% - prices/inflation/cost of living.

    [Editor's note: The link below is to a 1MB PDF document.]

    Thanks to Weingart Center's Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty

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    Published on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 in National League Of Cities
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