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Creating a Digital Bridge for Municipal Fiscal Health

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Many cities have implemented a digital bridge to create transparency between the leadership and citizens. These bridges help citizens interact with government fiscal data in a meaningful way. This transparency enables the citizens to identify red flags, challenges, and potential opportunities for positive growth in society. In this article, you will learn about creating a digital bridge for municipal fiscal health, digital bridge private equity, digital bridge colony capital, etc.

Why is Municipal Fiscal Health Important?

A municipality is an important part of all the cities in the world and thus its fiscal health is also a strategic priority. The cases of fiscal distress are evident in Detroit, Greece, and Puerto Rico’s public declarations of impending insolvency. Whenever a government is unable to fund its operations or pay it depends, the consequences go far beyond bankruptcy filing. Often, the cost of bankruptcy is humanitarian. This happens because of the government’s incompetence to deliver lifeline services and invest in infrastructure. This gradually ends the trust between the leaders and their citizens. Many municipalities around the world struggle with the early phases of fiscal decline. This is why creating a digital bridge for municipal fiscal health. The digital bridge creates transparency which enhances the capacity of leaders to understand, identify, and evaluate key data points important to fiscal health.

What are Some Examples of Struggling Fiscal Health?

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After learning why creating a digital bridge for municipal fiscal health, let’s see some examples that indicate struggling fiscal health-

  • The cash flow is barely able to cover the costs required to fund basic operations and services of the government.
  • The strength and diversity of the tax base are eroding. This cause an over-reliance on unsustainable and unpredictable fees to meet expenditures.
  • There is an inability to make the annual required contributions necessary to honor multi-year promises made to vulnerable retirees populations.
  • When debt is incurred at unsustainable levels to pay for schools, roads, bridges, etc.

Also Read: Silicon Valley is Incorporating Health into Green Building Design – Energy Theory

What are the Components of the Municipal Fiscal Health Dashboard?

The Municipal Fiscal Health Dashboard is an electronic tool that helps the leader of a municipality answer a very essential question-is my community fiscally strong enough? This tool presents data from all the US states. It visualizes local data across more than 120 categories of debt, revenues, expenditures, and assets.

The Municipal Fiscal Health Dashboard has a liquidity calculator that uses Comprehensive Annual Financial Report data and other Census data to visualize derived ratios and facilitates fiscal and demographic trend analyses. The tool provides leaders with several diagnostic options. With just by few clicks, they can change how data is visualized, either as a stand-alone analysis for their municipality, or in comparative views against other cities, and the nation. It enables the leaders to answer things like the measure of the per capita spending on public services over time in their municipality, if the most important source of their tax revenue is enough in view of the overall revenue profile of their municipality and if the levels of federal and state intergovernmental aid changed over time in view of the ebbs and flows of their expenditure needs and liabilities.

Lourdes German currently serves as a Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy where she is advancing the Institute’s municipal fiscal health campaign. Lourdes also serves as founder and director of the Civic Innovation Project. Outside of work, Lourdes advises the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a gubernatorial appointee to the State Finance and Governance Board, and is an appointee of the Mayor of Boston to the committee focused on the City of Boston’s audit and finance matters

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