Debt Management

Why Public Debt Management Matters

Page from GFR

It’s helpful to occasionally step back from the daily grind of local public finance and ask: why does what we do matter? Some obvious answers come to mind right away. A well-managed financial operation saves taxpayer dollars. An effective budget process ensures that local government spending reflects local values and priorities. Revisiting policies and practices can also help address past wrongs, like the way in which property tax assessment practices can lead to chronic overtaxing of properties owned by people of color. GFOA’s own Code of Ethics reminds us that effective administration of public finances can bolster trust in government by making people feel that their government is reliable and working in their best interests.

In public debt management, though, we tend to ask this question less often.