The Opportunities and Challenges of Benchmarking Indiana's Local Governments

Research Area: Tax & Finance

As part of the Fiscal Benchmarking for Indiana's Local Governments project, the Institute and the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs explores the challenges of efforts to monitor the fiscal health of local governments. SB 106, enacted in 2014, places this responsibility with the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF). This issue brief explores the challenges to the process and insight gained from producing similar indicators of fiscal condition through the Fiscal Benchmarking project, including the following:

  1. Using cash accounting for financial reporting instead of accrual accounting
  2. An inconsistent and incomplete system of fund codes and transaction coding
  3. A lack of complete budget reporting
  4. A varied treatment of enterprise operations
  5. The unique structure and treatment of Indianapolis
  6. Debt reporting issues


Expert Team

Thomas Luke Spreen
  • Thomas Luke Spreen
  • Doctoral Student; School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IU Bloomington
Jamie Palmer
Craig Johnson
  • Craig Johnson
  • Associate Professor of Public Finance; School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IU Bloomington
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