Often, economically challenged cities lack basic fiscal and operational capacity. Budgets are defined by cuts in essential services and higher tax rates on a dwindling tax base. Local government becomes paralyzed, focused just on the year ahead. For these cities, the first step toward recovery requires that they get their house in order.
The Network works with city leaders to find pathways toward fiscal sustainability, often by developing multi-year financial plans and undertaking operational reviews. In partnership with city leaders, the Network identifies challenges, analyzes opportunities for savings and new revenue and provides a blueprint for fiscal health. The goal of our work is more than just a balanced budget, though – any technical assistance to improve financial management must focus on how to achieve a community’s broader goals.
Our work developing multi-year financial plans for cities has been hailed by city leaders (see below), and industry experts. In fact, Governing magazine has said that: “The recommendations by the Network … could serve as a template for action for just about any fiscally struggling local government.”
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