City Fiscal conditions nearing pre-recession levels.

Position:City Fiscal Conditions 2016

City finance officers are confident that cities are in a better fiscal position in 2016 than in 2015, with 81 percent reporting that their cities are better able to meet the financial needs of their communities, according to the National League of Cities (NLC) annual survey. This level of optimism among finance officers is similar to 2015 and seems to indicate continuing fiscal recovery in cities. As of 2016, revenues have recovered to about 96 percent of pre-recession (2006) levels.

This year's City Fiscal Conditions survey found that general fund revenues grew 3.73 percent in 2015 and are expected to grow 0.54 percent as cities close the books on 2016. Expenditures grew 3.57 percent in 2015 and are budgeted to increase 3.71 percent in 2016. Property tax revenue growth is returning to pre-recession levels, with a sizable increase of 3.77 percent in 2015 and anticipated growth of 2.60 percent in 2016. Sales tax revenues continue to post strong growth, with 5.49 percent in 2015 and 1.99 percent expected in 2016. Despite post-recession volatility, income tax revenues grew 5.82 percent in 2015 and are expected to grow 3.47 percent in 2016. Ending balances are returning to...

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