This course will focus on introducing public administrators to the basic principles of public finance and the rigors of public budgeting. This course will familiarize students with capital and operating budgets, public borrowing and bonding, the typical public budgeting process, and the relationship between policy-making and resource allocation. (3 credits)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Understand the role of government in the economy including the provision of certain goods and services due to market failure, externalities, and public goods.
- Develop an understanding of the political context of government budgeting and finance.
- Explain the typical budget process, cycle, and institutions.
- Understand general spending patterns of the federal government and state and local governments.
- Describe different budget formats such as traditional, performance, program, and zero-based budgets.
- Understand capital budgets and capital project funding options.
- Differentiate between the major sources of government revenue including income, consumption, and property taxes.
- Examine alternate sources of government revenue such as user fees, user charges, and sales by public monopolies.
- Understand the administrative aspects of public revenue systems (collection costs, audit, appeal, enforcement).
- Identify issues surrounding and various techniques used to develop revenue forecasts, revenue estimates, and tax expenditure budgets.
- Understand the complex relationship between the federal, state, and local governments to provide and fund goods and services both independently and cooperatively.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Weeks 1-8)
Written Papers (Weeks 3 & 7)
(Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore)
- Mikesell, John L. Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Applications for the Public Sector. 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2014. ISBN-10: 1-133-59480-8 or ISBN-13: 978-1-133-59480-2
- The budget and other related documents of a municipality of your choice (for the Municipal Budget Project).
Readings and Exercises
Topic: Introduction to Public Finance
Topic: Budget Process, Structures, and Institutions
Topic: Budget Methods, Classifications, and Reform
Topic: Capital Budgets and Debt Administration
Topic: Introduction to Revenue Sources:Income Taxes
Topic: Revenue Sources, Cont.: Taxes on Goods and Services and Property Taxes
Topic: Other Revenue Sources
Topic: Revenue Forecasts and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.