Assignment: Evaluating Expenditures
The goal of public organizations is to provide public services. This is done through expenditures ranging from salary for law enforcement personal to maintenance of public parks. Governments provide a wide range of public goods and often there is more demand for services than revenue to pay for those services. Determining annual expenditures is one of the primary functions of any governing body and trade-off typically have to be made.
In this assignment, you will review the expenditure priorities of the city or county government in which you live. Next, you will make recommendation of how to reduce future year expenditures when faced with a revenue short-fall. Finally, you will offer strategies on how to increase funding for a need you have identified in your community.
Be sure to first review your readings from this week and prior weeks that will help support this assignment and then research additional resources to assist in your evaluation. For example, it is helpful to examine available data and other public documents for the city or county. These resources are useful and should be incorporated into your paper, but remember that those resources do not count as the needed three scholarly articles (peer-reviewed, academic articles and texts). Also be sure to incorporate the Mikesell text to support your analysis.
Write a 6- to 8-page paper (not including title page and reference page) that addresses the following:
- Introduction: Describe your local city or county entity. This does not need to be extensive as you will likely be using the same entity as in the Week 5 and Week 7 assignments.
- Expenditure Drivers: Identify the 3 departments which get the most general fund resources. What inputs to the production process are the primary drivers of the budget? In other words, what expenditure categories are most important in the total spending by each of the departments? Assess if the expenditures support the stated mission of the government and the needs of the community. (2 pages).
- Recommendations for Reducing Expenditures: Consider how the city or county selected should adjust expenditures if faced with a revenue shortfall. If the government was faced with a 2% reduction in general fund resources in the next fiscal year, what would the dollar amount of the needed expenditure reductions be assuming there was no other offsetting revenue? Based on your review of the budget, what are 3 specific expenditure reductions you would recommend to close at least half of this shortfall? In your recommendation, describe what considerations you used in making these recommendations. They could include strategies from the Mikesell text or academic literature about how other governments prioritize expenditures. (2 – 2 ½ pages)
- Recommendations for Funding New Needs: Find a documented unmet need in your city or county that would be appropriate for the local government to address. This documentation can come from government documents or local news media. Justify why the city or county government should provide funding to address this need. As part of your analysis, provide the community benefits of funding such a need as well as specific recommendation on how the need should be funded. This can be through reduction in other expenditures, increases in revenue sources, or a combination of both. (2 pages)
- Conclusion: In your conclusion, assess the challenge of determining how to best allocate expenditures to serve the needs of the community given limited resources.
Use proper APA formatting and include the following:
- A title page and running head
- An introduction that states the purpose of the paper
- Level 1 headings to define each part (bullet) of the paper
- A conclusion to synthesize the entire paper
- The learning resources need to be cited
- A minimum of three additional scholarly sources to support your paper
- In-text citations as appropriate
- A reference list