1st Edition

Revenue Sources of Local Governments Persisting Challenges and Emerging Opportunities

By J. Edwin Benton Copyright 2024
    354 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    354 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    1. Revenue Side of the Local Government Budget:  The Money to Match Expenditures  2. Context for Understanding/Explaining and Studying Local Government Revenues  3. Overview of the Revenue Structure of Local Governments:  The Big Picture  4. The Property Tax: The Bountiful but Onerous Tax That Keeps on Giving  5. Other Types of Taxes—Sales, Income, and Other/Miscellaneous  6. Charges for Services: Paying Directly for What One Gets in Services  7. Miscellaneous Revenues—Relatively Small, But Still Vital Money for Local Governments  8. Intergovernmental Revenue: “Outside” Money to Stretch the Budget  9. Borrowing: The Means to Finance Capital Improvements  10. The Ever-Present Challenge to Fund Local Government Operations: The 21st Century and Beyond


    J. Edwin Benton is a Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of South Florida. He has written extensively about county government, state-local relations, urban government and politics, intergovernmental fiscal behavior, and city-county consolidation. His articles have appeared in top-ranking journals, and he is the author or co-author of nearly 40 technical/grant reports/white papers for state and local governments, local government associations, and non-profit organizations.

    "Revenue Sources of Local Governments is a timely and important treatise on the oft-overlooked revenue side of local government ledgers. J. Edwin Benton's discussion and analysis of the various resources available to local governments, as well as those proscribed to them, enhance our understanding of budgeting and provide insight into what might be considered by elected and appointed city officials. A must read."

    Michael A. Pagano, Dean Emeritus, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy, Management, and Analytics, University of Illinois Chicago, USA

    "J. Edwin Benton’s study of local government revenue sources provides an extensive analysis of the complex world of taxation, fees, intergovernmental transfers, and borrowed funds. Through engaging description and meticulous evaluation of various revenue streams, this volume builds a solid foundation for scholars and students alike."

    Ann O’M. Bowman, Professor and Hazel Davis and Robert Kennedy Endowed Chair, George Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, USA

    "Local governments have experienced fluctuations in their financial stability in recent years, often due to changes in their revenue streams. Revenue Sources of Local Governments helps the reader understand the fundamentals of these streams while also providing guidance on opportunities for revenue improvements.  This book will be useful to practitioners and students in the classroom, and it is certain to be a classic in the field."

    Bruce D. McDonald, III, Professor, North Carolina State University, USA