REPORT: Cutting the Operating Budget and Instituting an Equitable Decision-Making Environment Amidst a Fiscal Crisis
A new report from the City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery program in partnership with GFOA and the City of Toledo
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an undeniable financial impact on local governments. An often unavoidable response to budget shortfalls, like the ones that cities are facing today, is to cut back on spending. The conventional approach to budget cuts has been the “across-the-board” cut, which applies cuts equally to all areas of service. These kinds of restricting of funds, however, might have an inequitable impact on the different communities that local governments serve. And while recent infusions of funding from the Federal government provide some welcome relief, it does not mean local governments can go back to “business as usual.”
This new resource from the City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery program, in collaboration with the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and the City of Toledo, explores how cities can apply an equity lens to budget cuts. GFOA is one of the expert partners supporting cities on budgeting and revenue for equity strategies through direct technical assistance and capacity building support. Ultimately this report is designed to help cities to make the hard choices around reducing budgets to an affordable amount while minimizing harm to vulnerable members of the community.
Launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, What Works Cities helps local governments improve residents’ lives by using data and evidence effectively to tackle pressing challenges.
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) represents more than 20,000 public finance officers throughout the United States and Canada. GFOA’s mission is to promote excellence in state and local government financial management. GFOA views its role as a resource, educator, facilitator, and advocate for both its members and the governments they serve and provides best practice guidance, leadership, professional development, resources and tools, networking opportunities, award programs, and advisory services.
The City of Toledo is one of 28 cities participating in the City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery program.