Award Date

12-1-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Environmental and Public Affairs

First Committee Member

Christopher Stream

Second Committee Member

Jessica Word

Third Committee Member

James Crawford

Fourth Committee Member

Kendal Hartley

Number of Pages

147

Abstract

In 1899 the National Municipal League declared that it was the duty of the Mayor to submit to the Council the annual budget of current expenses of the city, for almost as long, the budgeting process has been researched (Hou, 2006). Researching budgets is important and needed but comparatively little attention has been paid to revenue forecasts or to those responsible for the generation of revenue forecasts. Professional public administrators responsible for generating revenue forecasts have largely been overlooked in research. Judging by the lack of scholarly material available in academic journals, it appears the political process in which budget forecasts are created is of primary concern to researchers.

In 1999 the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) fielded the Revenue Estimation survey. This study revealed, although forecasters have been educated in the fields of public administration and business administration, they overwhelmingly rely on less sophisticated forecasting models comprised of naïve and incremental technical approaches when building revenue forecasts (Bahl et al., 1984; Jung & Kang, 2007; Pinkowski, 2004; Reddick, 2004; Sun, 2005; Zorn, 1982). Compounding this issue of using less sophisticated forecast models, city governments have become increasingly reliant on less stable and less predictable revenue sources(Bland, 2009). In 2009, after the beginning of the most recent recession, media outlets began reporting stories highlighting economic troubles at all levels of government. Local governments in particular have not been immune to the financial stresses of the last six years (Bland, 2009).

The evident lack of scholarly material focused on forecasters and the increased need for more sophisticated forecast models provides a research opportunity that may lead to increased forecast accuracy. This project may also have a positive impact on the financial well-being of governments facing increased revenue uncertainty. Given this lack of scholarly research, permission was granted by ICMA to re-field the 1999 Revenue Estimation survey. Re-fielding the survey in 2011 will provide a complementary dataset to the original 1999 dataset from which comparative analyses can be made. The purpose of this research project is to determine if revenue forecasting competencies of city employees became more sophisticated between 1999 and 2011.

Keywords

Budget; Econometric; Expenditures, Public – Forecasting; Forecast; Method; Revenue; Tax revenue estimating

Disciplines

Finance | Finance and Financial Management | Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

Language

English


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