Guide to Local Government and Finance

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  • Local governments in the United States spend over $1.6 trillion per year—more than ten percent of national GDP. This guide will help you learn more about how local governments operate, manage, and communicate their finances.

  • By reading this finance primer, you will learn:

    • The organizational structure and repsonsibilities of local governments in the United States

    • How local governments use multi-fund accounting to manage revenue and expenses

    • Various approaches to government budgeting, including performance and participatory budgeting

    Whether you're a veteran of government or an interested citizen, this primer provides context and understanding around government finance, the budgeting process, and how local governments work to serve their constituents.