During an unprecedented pandemic, local governments are facing unplanned budgetary pressures. Revenue forecasts constantly change, services are being reviewed, employees are being furloughed, and localities are looking for ways to save money.
“Doing more with less,” has gone from a goal to a necessity. Constituents continue to have heightened customer service expectations and want an up-to-date experience when interacting with their governments. What “was” an acceptable customer service experience for taxpayers 10 years ago is no longer adequate and governments across the country will be forced to consider ways to automate processes to keep up with constituent demand.
The challenge for local government leaders is that while the pressure to maximize revenue has increased, the resources to do so have not. Often, local government revenue leaders are spread thin with expanded responsibilities and decreased budgets and headcounts.
So, what is a local government revenue leader to do?
A partner who can utilize external expertise and experience is key to maximizing revenue. Finding a qualified partner is usually the best option for local governments because it is by far the most efficient and cost-effective way to get the job done. The ideal partner will be able to hit the ground running and DO much or most of the work for a local government.
Our recent guide enables jurisdictions to understand what to look for in a revenue enhancement partner:
During this challenging time, Avenu is here to support you and help your jurisdiction continue to provide exceptional services to your community!
Key takeaways regarding budgeting and how to approach the unknown amid the current COVID-19 crisis
Cities across the country are deep into the preparation of their FY2021 budgets, a job that is difficult in the best of circumstances for both City Managers and Finance professionals. However, under the current pandemic conditions, it is seriously daunting and looks almost impossible. This is particularly true for those jurisdictions preparing multi-year projections. The first challenge is doing the projections at all. The second challenge is working with your elected officials, bargaining groups, and community to accept them!
So how do cities prepare budgets in these radically uncertain times?
The key is the assumptions underlying the numbers. In any crisis management challenge, accurate information is critical. However, the more turbulent and uncertain the environment in which the budget has to be developed, the greater the importance of collecting broad data to support grounding assumptions; and the more critical it becomes for staff to share that supporting data and their related analysis with their elected officials.
That brings us to COVID-19 and the unknowns of the rapidly evolving economic landscape. While all cities currently share the same general uncertainty, each community is, in fact, unique. They are different in size. Their business community mix may be very different than the adjacent communities. Their social priorities may vary widely. Their ability to deliver services, and the type of services they deliver, may differ. Their population may be younger or older than other communities. So, while certain assumptions may apply across all of them, others are going to be unique to each community.
With this in mind, how does each city approach budget development?
There are four areas that any city must now consider when building their FY2021 budgets (particularly when building Year One of a multi-year budget), although how they gather information and the resulting assumptions they make may vary widely:
Download our recent White Paper: Budgeting in a Sea of Unknowns to read more as we outline ways to approach budgeting in these uncertain times.
Jurisdictions face ever increasing demands for services from the community. Whether it is additional police officers, teachers, mental health services, new schools, or other local demands, funding these priorities is a challenge. Avenu’s Discovery Recovery program supports localities in generating additional revenue without raising taxes. Our budget-neutral approach means no fees are charged until we discover and recover revenue for your local government.
Most cities and counties lack the resources and tools to identify non-compliant citizens and businesses, yet they require the tax and fee revenue more than ever to pay for essential programs and services.
Partnering with a firm that leverages data and analytics to identify areas on noncompliance can help local jurisdictions discover and recover uncollected revenue.
Discovery & Recovery: Finding Uncollected Revenue walks your jurisdiction through our proven three-step process to help recover additional revenue. We also share recent case study examples from some of our successful customer experiences. Examples include:
Learn how your jurisdiction can discover additional revenue without raising taxes and provide additional services for the community.
Contact us today for a complimentary review to learn how much revenue your jurisdiction is missing.