I know we typically only talk taxes and finances here on Death & Taxes, but I wanted to take the opportunity and let you all know about a dynamic and engaging leadership development opportunity through the School of Government. The Local Government Leadership Credit Fellows program focuses on personal and organizational leadership skills and aims to develop the next generation of local government leaders.
Congratulations to our Tar Heels! Why is this on Death & Taxes you ask? Well…
There has been a great deal of interest in the distribution of local sales tax revenue in North Carolina in the past few years. I will admit that as a scholar of local sales tax policy and effects, it has been an interesting time to be in the state (and made me much more popular!). Not surprisingly, I have been having a lot of conversations with people across the state about SB 126, so I thought I would put some of my thoughts down on proverbial paper.
Yup, you guessed it, today’s blog post is on revenue forecasting! My current blog series is about some of the non-legal finance issues that are out there and revenue forecasting, while required by law, is a really important one! There are many people that are involved with revenue forecasting in local governments. While many outside of government may just assume that there is some accountant or budget wonk sitting in a back room who is somehow magically able (or has some very scientific formula) to predict how much money is going to be coming in next year, we know better.
There is always room on the wall for a new shiny credential and on your resume for that matter.
The mission of the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) is to promote the budgeting profession through education, networking, and advocacy. As a strategy to promote the educational component of this mission, the NCLGBA created a certification program in July 2008 for members of the association to become Certified Budget & Evaluation Officers. Individuals seeking to become a Certified Budget & Evaluation Officer must possess a certain level of professional experience, must take four courses, and must pass three exams. I am writing this blog to respond to some of the most common questions associated with the certification, with the goal of promoting the certification program among budget and evaluation professionals.
In my last blog I talked about the limitations that we all have on decision making and how we satisfice and make decisions based on incomplete information. That is all true, but it does not mean that we should not strive to have a more robust understanding of the landscape we are working in. To that end, I am going to be devoting some of my blogs to topics that are both interesting and important to understand for those working in government, especially those in budget and finance positions. This week: tax incidence!
So I joke that when I get calls it is almost always someone wanting to see what the law says about the implementation of some revenue related issue. To which I respond you need to talk to Chris, Kara, or Frayda. The legality of government’s actions and the scope of the law are critical, but that is not what I am going to be able to help you with. Continue reading
Previously on Death &Taxes, we learned that LOSTs and North Carolina’s local governments have a complicated relationship and that LOSTs favor some counties more than others.
There are many important characters in the story of LOSTs and North Carolina. There are the earmarks, the revenue that goes to the municipalities, the revenue that is distributed on a per capita basis, and the tax on food. I will let you decide which is Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Locke. However, I am going to just come out and say, the black smoke monster is the issue of equity across the counties. Continue reading
Previously on Death &Taxes, we learned that LOSTs and North Carolina’s local governments are important to each other, but dare I say it, have a complicated relationship.
LOSTs are an important source of revenue and some of that revenue is earmarked, but that is not why they have been receiving so much attention. The reason they have suddenly been a part of the tax reform discussion is the perceived inequity of the revenue raising capacity of different counties across the state. Continue reading
Registration is open for the School of Government’s Budgeting in Local Government course!
This is a great course that is designed for anyone who has responsibilities regarding local government budget preparation. It also counts towards the Local Government Finance Officers Certification Program and the North Carolina Budget & Evaluation Officer Certification Program.
I am always excited to teach in this course, but I am particularly excited this year because Bill Rivenbark and I are co-directing it (before I take the reins next year).
Some of the topics include: economic development, tax efficiency and equity, financial condition analysis, revenue forecasting, citizen engagement, budgeting for schools, budgeting for enterprises, and the revenue-neutral property tax rate.
I hope to see some of you there this November!
Here is the link to register: https://www.sog.unc.edu/courses/budgeting-local-government