Participatory Budgeting: not just for regular budgets

The┬áParticipatory Budgeting Project has a guide for communities that want to participate in decisions about the use of funds from Tax Increment Financing districts. The governance structure associated with Tax Increment Financing varies by state (and not all states have TIF), but there are potentially significant amounts of funding at …

The federal budget, battleground

So much to say about Obama’s budget, the geek in me actually wants to read the entire plan, but I have this pesky dissertation to finish instead. Budgets are inherently redistributive documents, in one direction or another. Obama’s proposal is being characterized as a bold effort to redistribute the benefits …

Informal Economy Budget Analysis

I just stumbled across this concept today (during the San Francisco Bay Area superstorm!): Informal Economy Budget Analysis. Pioneered by Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). In their words: Informal Economy Budget Analysis (IEBA) examines how government budgets address the needs and interests of different groups of informal …

Peter Marcuse on Participatory Budgeting

I’ve just discovered Peter Marcuse’s blog on critical planning, and the post at the top is on participatory budgeting. Marcuse’s 1981 article “The targeted crisis: on the ideology of the urban fiscal crisis and its uses” has been instrumental in framing my dissertation, so I’m excited to see that he’s …

States budget cuts leave poor in a fix – SFGate

California has apparently “fixed” its budget deficit, but at what cost? One of the fallouts from the unfolding budget crises in cities and states has of course been cuts to social programs. But the scale of those cuts often gets masked by the noise of political fighting. One could be …

Devolving the Budget Crisis

An important piece in the NYT from back in March about state efforts to balance their budgets by cutting aid to cities. The article talks about the “balloon” effect: states reduce spending and sometimes taxes by reducing (or eliminating) aid to cities. Cities may respond by raising local taxes in …