With limited fiscal capabilities, effective and efficient budgeting is a necessity for local governments in the United States. Acknowledging the critical (but often overlooked) part that raising enough revenue to fund desirable and mandatory programs plays in the budgetary process, this book offers an exclusive and comprehensive examination of the revenue side of the budget. It provides much-needed and wide-ranging context for examining and understanding local government revenues and local government revenue policy.

Author J. Edwin Benton presents a comprehensive overview of the revenue structure for local governments, in general, and for counties, municipalities, townships, special districts, and school districts, in particular. The bulk of this book meticulously examines the historical patterns and trends in revenue usage by local governments and provides explanations for variations among different units of government, states, and regions of the country. This book enhances our understanding of the most relevant research and aids in refining theories that seek to explain why local governments (or different types of local governments) rely more on certain kinds of revenues. It also offers immediately applicable real-world case studies on revenue-raising capabilities, practicalities, and experiences of local governments around the country. It will be of enormous interest to public budgeting practitioners, students, and scholars.

chapter 1|20 pages

Revenue Side of the Local Government Budget

The Money to Match Expenditures

chapter 3|32 pages

Overview of the Revenue Structure of Local Governments

The Big Picture

chapter 4|31 pages

The Property Tax

The Bountiful but Onerous Tax that Keeps on Giving

chapter 5|36 pages

Other Types of Taxes

Sales, Income, and Other/Miscellaneous

chapter 6|41 pages

Charges for Services

Paying Directly for What One Gets in Services

chapter 7|21 pages

Miscellaneous Revenues

Relatively Small but Still Vital Money for Local Governments

chapter 8|37 pages

Intergovernmental Revenue

“Outside” Money to Stretch the Budget

chapter 9|28 pages


The Means to Finance Capital Improvements

chapter 10|32 pages

The Ever-Present Challenge to Fund Local Government Operations

The 21st Century and Beyond