finance

A Quick Look at a Few New Statutes

In 2005, the New Hampshire legislature enacted two bills that alter public notice requirements for governing body acceptance of unanticipated revenue and sale/acquisition of town-owned land. Another bill changes the appeal period for decisions of the zoning board of adjustment and planning board. Also, legislation was enacted establishing a new revolving fund option, and a new exception was added to RSA 674:41 , which governs building on lots that lack frontage on a Class V or better road.

Customized Wage, Salary and Benefits Reports Offer Resource to Aid in Decision Making

Setting competitive wages and benefits is challenging, especially in the present economic climate. How do your municipality’s benefits compare to those of similar-sized municipalities? Are you concerned that your municipality is paying employees too much—or not enough?

Better Understanding the Financial Statement Audit

For most local governments, the annual financial statement audit is as much a part of the yearly round of public finance as the approval of the operating budget. Despite its routine character, however, the financial statement audit appears to remain something of mystery to most outside the auditing profession. This article will attempt to dispel the cloud of mystery by first briefly reviewing the nature and purpose of the financial statement audit and then examining ten specific points of misunderstanding commonly encountered in practice.

Nature and Purpose

Special Municipal Budgeting Legislation for the 2009 Budget Year

Two special laws passed by the New Hampshire Legislature this summer will allow municipalities to take immediate action in response to federal stimulus programs and reduced revenue from the State. These laws, which apply only to the 2009 budget year, permit special meetings with streamlined procedures in certain circumstances.

Municipal Action Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funding Highlights

From new, red firehouses to old, red-listed bridges, funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is on its way to dozens of New Hampshire towns and cities to assist in designing, repairing, replacing, remodeling, modernizing, hiring, retaining, cleaning up and building out municipal infrastructure, personnel, programs and departments.

Financial Risk Assessments Help Target Areas in Need of Internal Control Reviews

As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This is obviously true in the case of healthcare, where regular exercise and healthy dietary choices may help to reduce the risk of developing serious maladies. Periodic battery replacement in home smoke detectors, a very simple preventive measure, can help save lives. And, routine oil changes can help avoid costly car repairs and keep a vehicle running for more than 200,000 miles. The same adage applies to establishing internal controls over municipal financial operations.

The Price of Healthcare in New Hampshire Affects Us All

In the past two years, New Hampshire Local Government Center’s (LGC) HealthTrust has partnered with several other large public purchasers, including the State of New Hampshire Employee Health Benefits Program, the University System of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire School Health Care Coalition to determine ways to lower the cost of healthcare while improving quality and the health and wellness of all employees.

Cost Variations

Local Governments Respond to Fiscal Challenges

This article was originally published in Municipal Advocate, a publication of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. Reprinted with permission.

The economic struggles of local governments mirror those of the nation, according to a survey conducted by International City/County Management Association in September. Decreasing revenue from property taxes, sales taxes and new construction permits, along with sluggish sales of new and older homes, are all contributing to local government anxiety.

New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank Celebrates 30 Years

The New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank has provided loans to Granite State local governments for three decades. Turning 30 is a good time to look back and reflect, so we turned to the archives to learn how the Bond Bank first got its start. Fortunately, minutes from the early years noted the frequent presence of one local government figure in particular: John B. Andrews. And, as it turns out, John was able to fill in many of the details and help us share our story.

Enacting a User Fee Policy to Establish Cost Recovery Goals

The following is an excerpt from the 2009 edition of the LGC publication Basic Financial Policies: A Guide for New Hampshire Cities and Towns.

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