Report: Cities Not Yet out of the Fiscal Woods

A report by the National League of Cities finds that although fiscal conditions are improving for most cities, they have a long way to go to achieve full recovery amid a sluggish economy.

1 minute read

October 22, 2014, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Liz Farmer shares the findings of a recent report on the fiscal conditions of cities by the National League of Cities. According to Farmer, the "City Fiscal Conditions 2014" report finds that "American cities' finances remained stable this year after noteable revenue improvemenments [sic] in 2013, but cities still can't claim a full recovery from the recession."

Farmer summarizes the good news: "[cities] have started to make up for areas where there were spending cutbacks during the downturn and they are increasing their reserve funds. And the overall positive figures are widespread – 80 percent of city finance officers reported improved fiscal conditions this year, the highest such number in the 29-year history of the survey."

As for the not-so-good news: "After reporting much-improved revenue totals in 2013, this year’s numbers are expected to mark slower growth as cities close out the books on their 2014 fiscal year that ended on June 30. Last year, general fund revenues increased by an average of 2.8 percent – the first positive growth since 2006. But this year's revenues are expected to dip slightly in comparison."

The article provides more details on the report's findings as well as the implications for city leaders, who must persist in adhering to a balancing act between caution and optimism.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 in Governing

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