Local Government, Bureaucracy and the Budget Process
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The paper explores the research on the budgeting process used by local governments and discusses how municipalities will utilize a broad identification of priorities weighed against a wide range of policy agenda items from all quarters, including of course the municipality's constituents. The paper finds that the budgeting process is frequently a complex enterprise and local officials will seek to use it to their best advantage whenever possible. In the final analysis, the paper concludes that a system of checks and balances is needed at the local level, just as it is required at the state and federal levels, to ensure that all views are considered during the budget formulation process, and that a few bureaucrats and politicians are not allowed to unilaterally dictate where a community's resources will be allocated.
Review and Discussion
Review and Discussion
From the Paper:"When it comes to the budgeting process used by local governments in the United States, generalizations are difficult to make because of the sheer numbers and diversity of the municipalities involved. According to Shafritz, "The subject of local government budgeting is a broad topic. In the United States alone, there are over 80,000 local governments, including school districts. Furthermore, the budget process and the budget itself are affected by the different organizational and legal structures of local governments" (1998: 1300). Although each of these communities is unique in some ways, they all share the need a plan that will help them direct where their resources should be allocated and to keep track of where these resources are derived. In this regard, Shim and Siegel report that, "A budget is a tool for both planning and control. At the beginning of a period, the budget is a plan or standard, at the end of the period it serves as a control device to help measure its performance against the plan so that future performance may be improved" (1990:60). In addition, Shafritz defines local government budgeting as "The process and documents pertaining to the financial plans of towns, cities, counties, school districts, and special districts. An annual budget cycle is common to all local governments in the United States largely due to their heavy revenue reliance on the property tax base, which is assessed annually to allow property tax levies to be adjusted according to current needs by the local governments" (1998: 1300)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Berner, Maureen. 2003. "Current Practices for Involving Citizens in Local Government Budgeting: Moving beyond Method." Public Administration Quarterly 27(3/4): 410-412.
- Frankin, Aimee L. and Joseph C. N Raadschelders. 2003. "Ethics in Local Government Budgeting: Is There a Gap between Theory and Practice?" Public Administration Quarterly 27(3/4): 456-458.
- Glaser, Mark A. and Robert B. Denhardt. 2000. "Local Government Performance through the Eyes of Citizens." Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management 12(1): 49-50.
- Morgan, David R. and Robert E. England. Managing Urban America. New York: Chatham House Publishers, 1999.
- Raimondo, Henry J. The Economics of State and Local Government. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1990.
Cite this Research Paper:
Local Government, Bureaucracy and the Budget Process (2013, May 01) Retrieved July 20, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/local-government-bureaucracy-and-the-budget-process-152984/
"Local Government, Bureaucracy and the Budget Process" 01 May 2013. Web. 20 July. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/local-government-bureaucracy-and-the-budget-process-152984/>