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Award Applications Due
Next Tuesday, June 30th!

Nominations are being accepted until June 30th for three annual awards presented by ABFM for member accomplishments in the field of public finance. Applications for each award will be reviewed by select committees, with presentations scheduled for Friday, October 2nd, during the 2015 ABFM Conference in Washington, DC.

Members are encouraged to nominate individuals they believe are deserving of recognition for one of the following awards:


Graduate students who have written outstanding papers in the field as part of a course, independent study, or other faculty supervised projects are eligible. The paper must be nominated by a faculty supervisor and must have been written between June 2014 and June 2015. It may not have been previously presented at a professional conference. Papers written by more than one student are not eligible. The papers can represent a variety of formats and topics within the broader interests of ABFM. In the past, they have included traditional research efforts, critical literature comparisons, or analyses of financial documents. The topics have ranged across the discipline to include papers on federal budgeting, local government financing, state revenue sources, capital planning, trends in debt issuance, financial and accounting practices, and financing of specific policy functions.

Papers will be judged by both academic and practitioner members of ABFM and will be evaluated according to general criteria: contribution to the field, the appropriateness of the methodology, the quality of the research analysis, clarity of writing, logic of presentation, and originality and creativity. Faculty members responsible for nominating students should send a letter of nomination that includes the student’s name, the degree the student is pursuing, the school name, when the paper was written, and the thesis or purpose of the paper. If the paper was written for a class, please include the name of the course and when the course was offered. If the paper was part of the student’s extracurricular duties, please describe these duties. A financial award and commemorative plaque will be presented to the winner. Authors of other top papers not selected will be encouraged to present their papers in appropriate ABFM panels. Conference registration will also be waived for the winner.

Nomination letters and copies of student papers should be sent as e-mail (.doc file or PDF) attachments by June 30th to Committee Chair, Robert Bifulco,


This award is presented to honor the lifetime accomplishments of S. Kenneth Howard. It granted annually to a distinguished practitioner in the field of public budgeting and financial management for lifetime achievement. The award recipient should be an outstanding practitioner as judged by his or her record of service over a sustained period of time.

Nominations should include a 1-2 page letter outlining the significant accomplishments of the nominee, the nominee’s vitae, and no more than two additional letters of recommendation.

Howard award nominations should be sent by June 30th to Committee Chair, Charles Menifield,


This award is conferred to honor the lifetime scholarly accomplishments of Aaron B. Wildavsky.  It is granted annually to a distinguished scholar in the field of public budgeting and financial management for lifetime achievement.  The award recipient should be an outstanding scholar as judged by his or her record of publication and service to the field over a sustained period of time.

Nominations should include a 1-2 page letter outlining the significant accomplishments of the nominee, the nominee’s vitae, and no more than two additional letters of recommendation.

Nominations should be sent by June 30th to Robert Kravchuk,

All award nominations are due to Committee Chairs by June 30th. Click here for more information on these awards and lists of past winners.

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Conference Chair Offers
ABFM 2015 Update

By Carolyn Bourdeaux, 2015 ABFM Conference Chair

The 27th annual ABFM conference is shaping up to be a great one. With many excellent papers covering a wide range of budget and finance topics, this conference will be one not to miss.

All three days are filled with interesting topics and discussions, including the two scheduled plenaries. On Thursday afternoon there will be a panel featuring Len Burman Executive Director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center with the topic tentatively set as “Income Inequality in the Modern Economy”. Then on Friday morning, we will host a special plenary, “Reflecting on CBO’s 40th Anniversary,” looking back at the history, accomplishments and importance of the Congressional Budget Office. Several former CBO directors, including Alice Rivlin, Doug Elmendorf, and Rudy Penner will be on hand for this special session.

Other highlights for this year’s panels include topics such as the Federal DATA Act, Social Impact Bonds, and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s 40th Anniversary. There will also be a series of high profile panels around fiscal stress at the state, local and nonprofit levels.

     Click Here for Conference Information

     Click Here to Register

     Click Here to Reserve Hotel ($219/Night+Tax)

     Click Here for Sponsorship Information

Please make plans to attend! The conference will kick off at 8:30 on Thursday October 1st and will run through noon on Saturday October 3rd.

We hope to see everyone in DC!


This is a reminder that ABFM elections are in July.  The ballot will be distributed electronically to the email addresses of current members. The ballot will not be distributed to the ABFM listserv or Line Item.  Therefore, you must have a current membership in order to vote.


FOR 2015!

Next GASB/GASAC Meetings July 20th-21st

From Dan Smith
ABFM Representative

As your representative to the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC), I write to inform you of the topics on which GASB will seek GASAC member feedback at the next meeting. It will be in Nashville, TN July 20-21.

The topics to be discussed are:

  • Asset retirement obligations
  • Debt extinguishments, including debt refundings
  • Fiduciary responsibilities
  • Leases
  • Tax abatement disclosures

If you would like me to provide any input on your behalf, please write me directly at

Click here to download the first set of discussion papers on the meeting's agenda

If you would like me to provide any input on your behalf, please write me directly at
New ASPA Partnership provides Online Teaching Resources

Republished from PA Times

The Public Administration Gateway (the Gateway) is a free, comprehensive resource portal for public administration, public policy, and public affairs established by the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Through the PAGateway, users are able to access thousands of case studies, simulations, publications and other pedagogical resources, such as the Third Edition of NASPAA’s Teaching Resources Guide for Public Affairs and Administration. Users can also access hundreds of up-to-date statistical datasets covering a dozen core topics in public administration and public policy areas, as well as extensive collections of library resources, research portals, archives, historical documents, journals, books, etc.

Sign into the Gateway at or simply search “Public Administration Gateway” to explore and employ thousands of resources for research and careers in public affairs and administration.

State & Local Tax Revenues Continue Growth

By Kenneth Hunter, Line Item Editor

State and local government tax revenues continue an ongoing trend of overall growth, according to the latest release of quarterly collections from the Census Bureau.Their summary of revenues for the first quarter of 2015 show combined collections of more than $306.7 Billion, up 4% compared to the same period last year. Individual income (+6.4%) and sales taxes (+4.5%) drove growth during the period, outpacing property tax (+2.4%) and making up for losses in corporate income tax (-0.2%)Quarterly performance is consistent with growth over the past 12 months. Overall revenues during this time were $1.27 Trillion, up 3.1% compared to the same period 12 months earlier. Sales tax (+4.3%) has outpaced property (+2.9%), individual income (+2.4%) and corporate income (+2.6%) during this period.

Several states have taken actions redirecting their taxes away from income basis and towards sales basis, broadening the sales tax base to include more services. In addition, more Internet-based sales are now subject to state sales tax due to expansion of their physical facilities, especially major distributors like Amazon. Implementation of local sales tax referendums, often for designated services such as public transportation, also have an impact.

On the income tax side, states like North Carolina have reduced personal and corporate income tax rates. Since these adjustments are aligned with increasing share of revenues generated from sales tax, lower or reduced collection performance is predictable. At the same time, increases across all classes in the past year reflect the value of economic development happening in many, but not all, parts of the country.

The Census Bureau's summary of First Quarter 2015 data reports property and corporate income tax levels have changed little since the start of the recession in 2008. Most of the growth in state tax revenue for local and state governments during the same timeframe comes from individual income and sales taxes. Local governments, the primary recipients of property tax revenue, continue dealing with reduced property assessments as result of the recessionary housing bubble and other local factors. At the same time, local elected officials are reluctant to increase tax rates, unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

Click Here to Access Data

Click Here for Information Sheet

The Quarterly Summary of State and Local Government Tax Revenue provides quarterly estimates of state and local government tax revenue at a national level, as well as detailed tax revenue data for individual states.  This quarterly survey has been conducted continuously since 1962. The information contained in this survey is the most current information available on a nationwide basis for government tax collections.

Study shows Public Pension Plans better funded

Republished from Pension & Investments

Most public pension plans improved their funded status in 2014 and are likely to be more than 80% funded by 2018, according to a report released Friday by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence in Washington.

Authors Alicia Munnell and Jean-Pierre Aubry, director and assistant director of State and Local Research, respectively, at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, looked at 150 plans whose $3.2 trillion in assets represent 90% of public plan assets, and found their funded status improved to 74% from 72% the previous year.

State and local government officials also did a better job of making their annual required contributions, increasing to 88% of the ARC, up from 82% in 2013. “I think that's encouraging on a lot of levels,” Elizabeth Kellar, SLGE president and CEO, said in an interview. “Plan sponsors recognize that the only way to get on top of it is to pay their required contributions, and revenues are improving.''

It's encouraging, she said, that most plans are moving in a positive direction.

Mr. Aubry noted in an interview that plans have made many reforms in recent years. “The really big question is investment returns,” he said. The report's 2018 projections were based on baseline scenarios of the plans reaching their respective assumed rate of return, which averaged 7.6% among plans.

The report is available on the Center for State and Local Government Excellence's website.

State & Local Hirings, Retirements Increase
Health Benefits, Recruitment, Retention
Remain Challenges

Reprinted from Center for State & Local Government Excellence

For the second year in a row, state and local governments are hiring. In a survey of state and local government human resources managers, 73 percent reported hiring employees in the past year (up from 66 percent in last year’s survey), and 54 percent hired more people than they did in 2013. At the same time, 47 percent of respondents noted that the number of retirements was higher than in 2013.

Click Here to Download Survey Results

For the sixth year in a row, a majority of respondents (53 percent in this survey) reported making changes to health care benefits. Shifting costs to employees, such as higher premiums, copayments, and deductibles, was reported by 43 percent of respondents. Changes to retirement benefit plans slowed in the past year, with 29 percent making changes compared to 35 percent in the previous year.

For many governments, there is a sense of urgency about recruitment, retention, and succession planning. As one respondent wrote, “Between now and 2020, we are looking at 40 percent of the workforce being able to retire.” Other top-ranked workforce concerns were staff development, competitive compensation packages, and being able to retain the staff needed for core services.

This report reflects the survey responses of members of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources ( and National Association of State Personnel Executives ( The online survey was conducted from March 30 to April 20, 2015 by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence ( with 336 members submitting responses.

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ABFM is a research section of the American Society for Public Administration

About ABFM
We aim to promote the professional development of budgeting and financial management in the public and non-profit sectors. Embracing both theorectical and operational concerns, ABFM addresses issues in budgeting processes and practice in financial management.

Click here for membership information.
ABFM Board of Directors
2015 Chair
Robert Kravchuk
Indiana University

2016 Chair

Carolyn Bourdeaux
Georgia State University

Vice Chair
2017 Chair

Dan Smith
New York University

Immediate Past Chair
2014 Chair

Charles Menifield
University of Missouri-Columbia

Secretary & Archivist
Meagan Jordan
Old Dominion University

Deborah Carroll
University of Georgia

Newsletter Editor

Kenneth Hunter
City of Rocky Mount, NC

Executive Committee

2013-2015 Term
Ben Clark, Cleveland State University

John Gilmour, William & Mary
Kenneth Hunter, City of Rocky Mount, NC

2014-2016 Term
Christine Martell, Colorado-Boulder

David Matkin, University of Albana-SUNY
Zhirong "Jerry" Zhao, University of Minnesota

2015-2017 Term
Hai (David) Guo, Florida International University
Olga Smirnova, East Carolina University
Bryan Sullivan, State of Delaware OMB
Career Opportunities
Click Here for Job Postings

Sr. Budget Analyst, Tufts University

MPA Director, University of Delaware

Postdoctoral/Visiting Scholar, Maxwell School, Syracuse University

Policy Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Economist, NYC Independent Budget Office

Federal Internship & Position Opportunities

Members with announcements can have them posted for free. Email them to

Call for Papers

Forum for Economists International (Due 10/15/15)

Contributions for Teaching Database Accepted

Our Teaching Database is once again available online, and we are now accepting submissions for new material we will add to the database over the summer.  This project serves as a collection of teaching materials from graduate level courses related to Public Budgeting and Financial Management. The database will be updated in March.

Items that will be considered include: course syllabi, reading and textbook lists, assignments, student project ideas, lectures, handouts and reading assignments.

Submissions should be made electronically to
Kenneth Hunter, kenneth.hunter@ The subject of the email should include "ABFM Teaching Database Submission," and the message should include a brief description of the submitted items (attached files).

Open source data sets will also be considered.

Click Here for the Teaching Database

ABFM's website is made possible by a grant from Public Financial Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation & publisher of Public Budgeting & Finance
Copyright © 2015 ABFM Secretariat, All rights reserved.
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