Budgeting and Forecasting

Bridging Political Divides in Local Government

Image of report cover.

Political polarization is the leading social rift of our time. Perhaps the clearest example is the U.S. federal government. Cross-party collaboration is currently at an all-time low. Political conflict is not limited to federal government officials. It also affects the general public. As one group of social scientists put it, "the most significant fault line in the second decade of the twenty-first century [in America] is not race, religion, or economic status but political party affiliation." This political conflict is felt in local government too. Because the budget is one of the most important political processes in local government, political polarization may present challenges to reaching good budget decisions.  This report presents a proven method for bridging political divides, based on the latest scientific research.

This report is part of GFOA's Rethinking Budgeting initiative.

  • Publication date: May 2022