Introduction to Local Government Finance, Fifth Edition

Friday, August 18, 2023
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Finance—the acquisition, management, and expenditure of money and other financial resources—is critical to local government operations.  How a local government approaches finance significantly affects how its officials and employees perform their duties and how it can serve its constituents. But North Carolina’s local governments do not operate with complete independence or at the sole discretion of their officials or employees. Instead, our state’s local governments derive all of their powers from the North Carolina General Assembly—and the General Assembly, through a variety of laws, has delineated the manner in which local governments may acquire, manage, and expend public funds.

Now in its fifth edition, this book introduces readers to these key legal rules affecting local government finance and basic principles of revenue forecasting, budgeting, governmental accounting, and financial management. It continues to serve as the textbook for Introduction to Local Government Finance, the foundational course of the UNC School of Government’s local government finance curriculum. Intended for local government officials and employees who manage, supervise, or oversee any aspect of local government finance, the course is particularly recommended for new finance officers and other finance personnel, managers, budget officers, purchasers, tax collectors and other tax office personnel as well as local government attorneys. The course provides a survey of the statutory, strategic, and practical limits of local government finance and financial management. Areas of instruction include the basic legal authority and limitations relating to local government revenues, budgeting processes, cash management, purchasing and contracting, expenditure control, conflicts of interest, fund accounting, and financial reporting. It also covers special public records laws relating to local government finance records and information.

Like the School of Government’s course, this book is a collaborative effort among School faculty members that specialize in local government finance. Unless otherwise specified in a given chapter, it reflects statutory provisions and case law through July 1, 2023.

Publication date: 
Friday, August 18, 2023
Connor Crews
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