Local governments are essential to the nation’s prosperity—central to the quality of life, jobs, and long-term prospects of most Americans. However, research from Pew finds that even as many cities and towns struggle to recover from the Great Recession, new challenges are emerging. Local governments face costly infrastructure needs, reduced state and federal aid, and growing long-term liabilities.
Both state and local policymakers have a critical stake in ensuring that localities remain fiscally sound. Strong local economies, in turn, generate revenue for governments at all levels.
By working together, state and local decision-makers can strengthen cities’ long-term fiscal and economic well-being and generate opportunities for economic development. To inform these critical conversations, Pew conducts research on the fiscal landscape of cities, best practices for proactively assessing local governments’ financial condition, and promising policy options that can improve localities’ fiscal outcomes.