Thursday, March 7, 2013

More Evidence that Priority Based Budgeting Leads to Strong Bond Ratings

From the Record Courier Douglas County, Nevada has further established the link between Priority Based Budgeting and a community's strong bond rating. Congratulations to Douglas County for this tremendous accomplishment, and for successfully implementing Priority Based Budgeting - an ICMA Leading Practice.

As previously reported at the Davenport Institute for Public Policy, the bond rating agencies, which are critical for a community's ability to borrow funds, are placing an increased focus on local government's ability to provide evidence that resource allocation decisions are tied to community values. The City of Chesapeake, Virginia's breakthrough experience, citing their implementation of Priority Based Budgeting as integral to their ability to demonstrate long-term financial sustainability to the bond rating agencies, was inspiration to our work. Douglas County's efforts continue to substantiate this approach, and we couldn't be more excited about the implications.

Read the full press release here

Financial State of County to Highlight Progress, Long-Term Solutions

March 1, 2013. Minden, Nevada. Douglas County officials are hosting a Financial State of the County event on March 11, 2013. The event will highlight challenges and progress over the past several years, kick off the County’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget development process, and focus on long-term solutions to community issues.

“We have made great progress implementing solutions to long-term challenges, including strong financial management, regional partnerships, infrastructure investment and business development,” said County Manager Steve Mokrohisky. “Our local economy is still in a slow recovery and we have a lot of work to do to address critical issues such as road maintenance, main street revitalization and duplication of local services, but we are moving in the right direction and there is reason to be optimistic about the future.”

In 2012, Douglas County began developing 5-year financial forecasts to address long-range financial challenges, rather than short-term fixes. As a result, the County has been successful in closing the $3 million annual shortfall in its General Fund, through long term contracts with employees, elimination of positions and regional partnerships that stabilize expenses. The County has also implemented a new Priority Based Budgeting program that focuses on continuous improvement of local services and providing the greatest value to taxpayers. Standard and Poor’s rating agency gave Douglas County an A+ bond rating in 2012 for its “strong and imbedded financial management practices.”

There are several areas of progress to note, including revitalization of the Minden-Tahoe Airport, construction of a new Community and Senior Center, stabilization of water and sewer rates in the Carson Valley, development of a new vision, regional plan and area plan at Lake Tahoe, and improvements to the historic Town of Genoa.

The event will begin with a reception at 5:30pm on Monday, March 11, 2013 at the Carson Valley Inn, Valley Ballroom. The Financial State of the County will begin at 6:00pm. A strategic planning and priority based budgeting workshop of the Board of Commissioners will also be held from 3:00-5:00pm at the same location. The public is invited to attend.

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