PA 581 Course Discussions

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PA 581 Course Discussions
discuss the principle of home rule in more detail and establish its significance in the budgeting process at the local level…

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PA 581 Course Discussions

PA 581 Course Discussions

All Students Posts 418 Pages 

Government Operations| Budget Deficit| Budget Justification| Benefits-Cost Analysis| Rocky Mountain| Sin Taxes| Property Tax| Tax Expenditure Budget| State Lotteries| Debt Policy| Debt Restrictions…

Week 1- All Students Posts – 55 Pages

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Government Operations – 29 Pages 

Refer to your state’s most recent budget, or that of a state that interests you.

  • What are the budget and finance constraints that the state places on local government?
  • Does Dillion’s rule, as discussed in the text, apply?
  • Do any units of local government have home-rule powers; and, if so, what is the extent of these powers?
  • Determine the process this state follows with its yearly operating budget and also its capital budget.
  • Does the state have written budgeting procedures that are updated regularly and followed? Are the procedures and processes followed? Are the four parts of the budget cycle followed clearly? Please provide examples.

Let us get started by answering the question above. Specifically, let us discuss the principle of home rule in more detail and establish its significance in the budgeting process at the local level. How does the presence/lack of home rule affect the distribution of fiscal powers and fiscal relationships between different levels of governance?

Additionally, please find online and review the latest budget document published by your state. Briefly discuss the specific budgeting procedures and processes your state uses….

Budget Strategies – 26 Pages 

  • What are budget strategies and why are they so important to a governmental unit?
  • What are examples of some very effective strategies?
  • Please share personal experiences you’ve had using budget strategies. How effective were they? Did they achieve your desired outcome?

Based on the budget strategies discussed in the textbook (pp 81-87), let us try and identify the strategy represented in each of the following arguments taken from hypothetical budget discussions. Please be sure to explain the rationale behind your choice.

  1. A bill to increase the number of women eligible for Medicaid-funded prenatal assistance in this state would not only save lives but also cut state costs for care of low-birthweight babies and handicapped children. Studies have shown that every dollar spent on prenatal care reduces long-term healthcare expenditures by $3.38.The change in the Board of Health sanitation position from full time to part time will demolish the inspection program. Rather than accept the weakened program, we would prefer that the program be terminated.3. Faculty salaries at Enormous State University rank seventeenth among eighteen universities with which it competes. Substantial improvements in pay must come in this budget year if major defections are to be prevented…

Week 2 – All Students Posts – 54 Pages

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Budget Deficit – 28 Pages 

Let’s suppose that you are the budget director for the City of Hope. The city has been running budget deficits for the past three years. You have recommended measures to control the budget and eliminate the deficit over the next three years. You are now approaching the end of the second year; it is apparent that the situation hasn’t changed significantly, and you project that the deficit will continue to grow.  What strategy would you develop now to correct the situation? Also, do you believe an amendment to the city charter or constitution prohibiting deficits would be a solution over the next three to five years? Why? Why not?  What do you think about the federal budget deficit and political debates surrounding it? Does your state have an annual or biennial budget? How many appropriation bills are usually passed? How much object-of-expenditure detail appears in these bills? What item veto power, if any, does the governor have?….

Budget Justification – 26 Pages 

In an era of a bad economy, scarce resources, budget cuts, and deficits, how would you justify a new program or increases to an existing program?

The Department of Revenue wants to add more people to the unit that attempts to collect unpaid taxes through telephone contact. What questions would you, as a budget analyst, have after you receive the following request-justification memorandum?  What are the internal controls and why are they important in the budgeting cycle? What specific functions do these controls include? How are these functions different from the annual external audit procedure?…

Week 3 – All Students Posts – 55 Pages

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How do you determine whether a new program should be recommended for creation and funding? Do you approve a program with a favorable rate of return and net present value that exceeds the governmental entity’s internal rate of return? Or, do you approve a program that serves the needs of citizens, but may not create the desired rate of return?  What is a capital budget and how does it differ from an operating budget? What are the main steps/ procedures in preparing the capital budget? Can you find some examples of a capital budget for a governmental entity online and share with us?…

Performance Budgeting – 27 Pages 

If you wanted to start a new government program, what types of outcomes would you expect? Select a program and then describe the outcomes. How would you measure them? What is generally meant by “outcome(s)” of the policy and/or program? More importantly, how do the outcomes differ from outputs? Can you provide some examples?…

PA 581 Course Discussions

Week 4 – All Students Posts – 54 Pages

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Rocky Mountain – 28 Pages 

The Rocky Mountain Wranglers are a professional football team in a large metropolitan city. They have competed on the gridiron in this city for the past 50 years. The people in this city and area of the country are very passionate and supportive of their team. Football is king in this city and it is entrenched in the culture. However, the team and the city are at a crossroads. Team ownership wants to build a new stadium. While the current stadium has served the team and fans well, it is showing many signs of age and deterioration, and it’s a dinosaur when compared to the majority of stadiums throughout the league. The owners want a state-of-the-art stadium with gigantic scoreboards, fine restaurants, shops, concessions, restrooms, pre- and post-game entertainment centers, luxury and corporate booths, etc.

The owners want to enter into a partnership with the city to build the new stadium. The city would be a major player in this effort, and it would receive major revenues from various stadium activities. The city’s share of the costs would come from a 0.5% increase in the local sales tax. This tax increase will be placed on the November ballot for approval.

While it appears that this measure will pass overwhelmingly in a football-crazy city, that isn’t necessarily the case. The city has a variety of professional sports teams and, in fact, is one of the nation’s best sports towns. Also, music, art, tourism, and skiing are a big part of the area’s landscape. So, there are many factors to consider.

Please pick one of the criteria listed below, define it, and indicate how it applies to this proposal. Value-added comments, experiences, and a lot of interaction are highly encouraged.

  • horizontal equity
    • vertical equity
    • adequacy
    • collectability
    • transparency
    • economic effects….

Federal Income Tax Issues – 26 Pages 

There are varying opinions and studies on which segment of the US population bears the largest burden for paying federal income taxes.  Let’s identify the major groups of taxpayers and discuss the percent of total income taxes each pays. Also, indicate whether the tax for each group is regressive, progressive, or proportional. Is the federal income tax system equitable and efficient? Why? Why not? Finally, is the situation the same today as in the past?  How has the current administration’s tax policies changed the situation? What is your overall conclusion?…

Week 5 – All Students Posts – 70 Pages

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Sin Taxes – 36 Pages 

Sumptuary excise taxes are often called “sin taxes.” Why? Why are the sumptuary tax rates on the purchase of alcohol and tobacco products so exorbitantly high? Why not just ban the use of alcohol and tobacco altogether? Are sumptuary taxes regressive? What are the sumptuary tax rates on alcohol and tobacco products in your area? Also, states and localities around the country are faced with regulating and taxing marijuana use. Federal law prohibits using marijuana; however, some states and local governments are legalizing its use for medical purposes. Pick a state or local government that has this situation. What steps has it taken to regulate and tax marijuana? Is such a tax regressive?…

Property Tax Breaks – 34 Pages 

City governments are notorious for giving property tax breaks to businesses of all types in order to induce these companies to locate in their jurisdictions. Tax increment financing is one of these lures, and there are others. Find a city, municipality, township, etc., that has or will be offering such an inducement. Describe the situation, and say whether you think these kinds of enticements are a good or a bad idea.  Also, for the local government and state you selected, report on the type of property tax relief that is available for disabled and elderly citizens….

Week 6 – All Students Posts – 68 Pages

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Tax Expenditure Budget – 34 Pages 

Does your state develop a tax expenditure budget? Does it prepare impact statements? What are some of the issues/challenges that can arise in forecasting government revenue (local, state, and/or federal)? Which of them would you consider the most difficult to address/circumvent?

Additionally, how is the baseline revenue forecast prepared? If the present tax structure is the normal tax baseline, what is the level of tax expenditures?

Finally, please select one of the alternative methods of revenue forecasting as discussed in the textbook (Chapter 12) and briefly describe what it involves and where/when it can be best employed (and why)…

PA 581 Course Discussions

State Lotteries – 34 Pages

State lotteries exist in 37 states and the District of Columbia. What are the upsides and downsides of state lotteries from the following perspectives?

Provide just one comment per response.

  • Citizens?
  • State government?
  • Local government?
  • The private sector?

What really is a state lottery? An ingenious, voluntary contribution-based mechanism of generating revenue for important causes? A tax on people who are short on money but long on aspirations? A perfect example of a state monopoly with legitimate yet morally questionable means of generating public funds? All of the above?…

Week 7 – All Students Posts – 62 Pages

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Debt Policy Statement – 35 Pages 

You are the chief fiscal officer for a municipality and have been directed by the mayor’s office to lead the development of a written debt policy statement. You are aware of the risks of borrowing money and the grave importance of strong internal controls. What must be included in this policy if it is to be effective?…

Debt Restrictions – 27 Pages 

What restrictions are placed on state and local government debt in your neck of the woods? What methods are used to avoid those limits? Is there a state bond bank?….

PA 581 Course Discussions

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