Measuring the Strength of Illinois’ Municipal Reserves: Do Communities have the Flexibility to Wrestle with Unforeseen Events?
Sohl, Shannon N.
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This study explores the fiscal condition of Illinois communities by evaluating levels of unrestricted net assets for municipalities with 10,000 to 50,000 residents that issue financial reports using generally-accepted accounting principles. Recognizing that reserves available for discretionary use are critical to dealing with unforeseen events and responding to unmet needs, it uses multivariate analysis to identify relationships between poverty rates, Home Rule status, the structure of government, and other variables on reserve levels. The report also outlines important steps communities can take to bring reserves to more financially healthy levels.