Recently I participated in a webinar for Kenan Flagler’s Tax Center. It covers state responses to the pandemic and policies being considered. While it is not focused on North Carolina or local governments, I think there is still much in there that is likely of interest to you all. Especially because we all know that what happens at the state level impacts the local level.
And my co-presenters (their bios are at the bottom) were amazing! One was named “The Most Influential Person on the Planet in State and Local Tax” by State Tax Notes and the other was identified by State Tax Notes as the “single most influential person in state taxation” and named as the publication’s inaugural Person of the Year.
The webinar is available here.
I have been having a great deal of conversations with folks across the state about what is going on with their sales taxes (and occupancy and food and beverage taxes). What has happened versus what was expected for FY21 and what they are thinking about for FY22 now that local governments are starting to begin their budget processes. I thought it might be useful to share some of the questions I have been getting and my answers to them and some of my broader thoughts about sales taxes and the pandemic, though it is no crystal ball. I am going to structure it like a q&a. I am not covering everything here and please reach out if there is more than I can help with.
- Q: Our sales taxes are recovering quickly, what are you seeing other places in the state?
- A: We are seeing that sales taxes have recovered more quickly than most people anticipated. That is great news, but I think a dose of caution should accompany it. First, we see a bump starting in in the June collections (so sales for the month of May) where it went from down 13.3% year-over-year to down 4% year-over-year and then by July (so June sales) it was up year-over-year by 10.75%. So that is all really promising, but we have to keep a few things in mind. 1) That is right when the state moved into Phase 2 and there may have been pent up demand. 2) That is when we have more generous unemployment benefits and federal stimulus, so people had more disposable income than they might otherwise have had. 3) Some people were deferring payments on rent and/or utilities, so they had less income than it looked like from their spending in that period. Also, that trend is not universal. Some areas are doing much better and others are having a slower recovery.
In a previous blog post, The COVID-19 Crisis and How North Carolina Local Governments are Budgeting for It, I laid out the results of a survey that the NCLM and the NCLGBA had conducted to counties and municipalities across the state in April. In this week’s blog post I am going to provide an overview of an updated survey that was send out in May. This survey had fewer respondents, but also provides more up-to-date information about the strategies and plans that local governments in North Carolina have, with another full months of information and better understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting their jurisdiction.
As governments are nearing the end of budget season in these uncertain times we want to make sure you all are aware of some of the resources available from the School of Government and our partners. There are many COVID-19 resources at the UNC SOG dedicated Microsite.
Recently the North Carolina League of Municipalities (NCLM) and the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) partnered on a survey of county and municipal governments across the state to better understand how local governments are budgeting for FY21. There are 142 responses. 29 are from counties and 113 are from municipalities. See the map below to see the number of jurisdictions from each county area (total of the county and municipal responses).
Where is the windfall promised by the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc ruling? This is the first blog post in a short series about economic nexus, local sales and use taxes, and your revenue!
Well, first let’s all get on the same page. What is the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc (Wayfair) ruling, and why do we care about it?
Have you heard about social impact bonds (SIBs) yet? If not there are a lot of resources and discussion out there regarding this magical fix of financial woes of government. While many have viewed these as too good of an opportunity to pass up (for example, see here and here), others have been slightly more skeptical.
Budgeting in Local Government
November 6-9, 2018, School of Government
This four-day course covers the legal and management framework of budget preparation and enactment in North Carolina local government. Participants will discuss the numerous processes and techniques used to produce an annual operating budget and capital budget.
In the wake of the Wayfair ruling and our changes happening in North Carolina I am excited to share a virtual issue of Public Budgeting & Finance that I edited. It compiles articles published in the journal and presents questions and concerns regarding the future of sales tax policy. It also makes access to the articles open (i.e., FREE!) for the next six months. So please take a look, there are a mix of studies that examine state and local issues.
Also, in addition to editing the virtual issue, I will be moderating a virtual roundtable next Thursday (Sept 6th) on the topic. Please tune in! The presenters are: Donald Bruce from the University of Tennessee, Cynthia Rogers from the University of Oklahoma, and Barry Boardman is the Chief Economist for the NC General Assembly. The presenters are very knowledgeable and experts on different aspects of sales taxes and are sure to share important insights, suggestions, and considerations. See the flier for the event!
Good morning! I wanted to make people aware that there will be a free workshop on 12/13 from 11-12 as a pre-conference event for the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association’s Winter Conference (NCLGBA). This year’s NCLGBA conference is in Durham at the Washington Duke Inn.
Implementing Field Experiments for Innovation and Success
Is your service delivery not as effective as it should be? Could your department streamline current processes? Do you see problems in your organization but lack ideas on how to address it? If so, this is the pre-conference workshop for you.