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:
- Explain 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.
- Explain and describe the 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.
- Describe the structure of 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.
- Identify issues surrounding and various techniques used to develop revenue forecasts, revenue estimates, and tax expenditure budgets.
- Describe the complex relationships between the federal, state, and local governments that work to provide and fund goods and services, both independently and cooperatively.
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Weeks 1-8)
Midterm Exam (Week 4)
Municipal Budgeting Project (Week 8)
Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore
- Menifield, Charles E. Basics of Public Budgeting and Financial Management. 4th ed. Hamilton Books, 2021. ISBN-10: 0-7618-7211-6 or ISBN-13: 978-0-7618-7211-5
- Rubin, Irene S. Politics of Public Budgeting; Getting and Spending, Borrowing and Balancing. 9th ed. Congressional Quarterly, 2020. ISBN-10: 1-5443-2505-3 or ISBN-13: 978-1-5443-2505-7
The course will make use of web sites referenced in the Rubin textbook. For the Municipal Budget Project, students will also have to obtain and utilize the budget and related documents for a municipality of their choice.
Readings and Exercises
Topic: The Contexts of Public Budgeting
Topic: Budget Process and Structures
Topic: Budget Methods and Reforms
Topic: Capital Budgets, Debts and Balanced Budgets
Topic: Expenditure Dynamics
Topic: Revenue Dynamics
Topic: Budget Execution and Implementation
Topic: Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and Budget Decision-Making
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.