Warner Receives $500,000 Grant to Examine Local Government Response to Fiscal Stress

July 11, 2017

CRP's Mildred Warner has received a $500,000, three-year research grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The grant, which was awarded in April, will fund a study titled State Policy and Local Fiscal Stress: Implications for Rural Governments.

The study will investigate local government responses to fiscal stress by creating a nationwide database assessing the role of state policy on local government fiscal stress, and by conducting a survey of county and municipal service provision, delivery, and revenue strategies after the Great Recession. The study will provide the first 50-state assessment of local governments' responses to the Great Recession.

"Local government services are the key to economic growth and quality of life," Warner says. "The Great Recession of 2008 created a 'Great Recession 2.0' among local governments. Flat property tax revenues and increased citizen demand for services, coupled with aging infrastructure and states shifting service responsibilities to local governments, have resulted in increased fiscal stress at the local level."

Warner's research team includes Yuanshuo Xu, Ph.D. candidate in CRP; Yunji Kim (Ph.D. CRP '17) of the University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Linda Lobao and Mark Partridge of Ohio State University. The team is collaborating with the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities and the International City/County Management Association to conduct this research.

Warner has received several grants previously from the USDA for topics that include local government sustainability practices, economic development policy, and planning strategies to address the needs of children and seniors.

By Patti Witten

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