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PADM612 - Public Finance

Course Details

Course Code: PADM612 Course ID: 2724 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course covers public budgeting from the public manager’s perspective. Whether you are currently or hope to be a manager for federal, state or local government or a local or national nonprofit, this course will give you a good overview of budgeting, and how it relates to you. Topics include budgetary history, revenue and expenditure management, budgeting processes and operating techniques.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/28/19 - 04/03/20 04/06/20 - 05/31/20 Spring 2020 Session B 8 Week session
11/25/19 - 05/01/20 05/04/20 - 06/28/20 Spring 2020 Session I 8 Week session
12/30/19 - 05/29/20 06/01/20 - 07/26/20 Spring 2020 Session D 8 Week session
01/27/20 - 07/03/20 07/06/20 - 08/30/20 Summer 2020 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • CO1 - Evaluate the effectiveness of the principles in public finance programs dealing with current and projected funding needs of federal, state, and local governments.
  • CO2 - Appraise the effectiveness of fiscal administration policies in current use.
  • CO3 - Judge the logic of the budget process.
  • CO4 - Assess the Federal tax structure and determine problems with tax reform.
  • CO5 - Interpret the major sources of tax revenue and methods of revenue forecasting.
  • CO6 - Construct, through interaction with the professor and other students, an analysis of procedures used in fiscal administration.

Forums: Initial post is due on Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and subsequent replies by Sunday at 11:55 pm ET. Postings should demonstrate that you have reflected on the assigned readings, and synthesized the material with your previous knowledge and experience. Post at least three replies to student posts during the week. This means that they add to the discussion, carry it forward, and contribute new and meaningful content to the direction of the conversation. Do not simply restate the thoughts of another student, or just say that you agree with what has been said. Replies must be substantive.

Assignments: There are three short assignments over the course of this session. You are expected to respond to the prompts in each assignment in narrative form, to include an introductory paragraph, a body, and a conclusion. Each assignment should be 3-5 double-spaced pages with one-inch margins in any normal font. You are required to incorporate at least three SCHOLARLY secondary sources in your response.

Final Project: The first part of this final 2-part assignment is to write a clear, concise executive summary that will argue for the increase or decrease in one (1) expenditure line from either your local county or city budget.

Prepare this final project for the either the county administrator or the city mayor (please identify real-world name of the person you are preparing this project for - besides the class)."

The decision maker has only a limited time to make a decision so your brief should be no more than 5 pages long. Your analysis should include a summary of the line item you are addressing, your assessment of the current budget for it, your case for its increase/decrease, and finally, the action you recommend. Remember to consider the impact not only on the decision maker, but other stakeholders as well.

You should support your executive summary with at least two scholarly secondary sources.

The second part is to prepare and attach a three (3) minute video to sell your position in your executive summary. This assignment is to create one (1) slide that exemplifies your position on your selected issue and use it to present your issue, analysis, recommendations, and conclusion – all just in three minutes!

NameGrade %
Assignments 40.00 %
Assignment Week Two - Census Impact on Budgets 13.33 %
Assignment Week Six - State Revenue 13.33 %
Assignment Week Seven - State Expenditures 13.33 %
Forums 40.00 %
Forum Week One 5.00 %
Forum Week Two 5.00 %
Forum Week Three 5.00 %
Forum Week Four 5.00 %
Forum Week Five 5.00 %
Forum Week Six 5.00 %
Forum Week Seven 5.00 %
Forum Week Eight 5.00 %
Week Five - Media project 20.00 %
Assignment Week Five - Media Project 20.00 %

Journal Articles

Your readings, outside of the Denhardt text, will come from open journal and online resources. The journal articles can be found in the APUS library by copying the title and searching it under the article database search. They are all full text and free to you. You have to be logged into the library to get them. We will soon have them available via a straight link from the lessons but until then, this is the way to find them.

Week One - Overview of the Public Budgeting Process

Helpap, D. J. (2015). explaining the use of recommended practices and guidelines: The case of public budgeting. Public Administration Quarterly, 39(2), 259 - 294.

“Policy Basics: Introduction to the Federal Budget”. (2016) Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from .

US Senate Committee on the Budget. Retrieved from . Please review the site, tabs and links.

House Budget Committee. Retrieved from .

The Federal Budget Process. National Conference of State Legislators. Retrieved from

Farmer, Liz (2014) “The Difference Between a Sustainable Budget and a Balanced Budget.” Governing. Retrieved from .

Maciag, Mike (2017) “How much do States Rely on Federal Funding?” Governing. Retrieved from

Finance 101. Governing. Retrieved from . Please take the quiz and read all articles listed on the page.

Week Two - Historical development of public budgeting

Kelly, J. M. (2005). A CENTURY OF PUBLIC BUDGETING REFORM: The "key" question. Administration & Society, 37(1), 89-109. Retrieved from

Ross, J., Yan, W., & Johnson, C. (2015). THE PUBLIC FINANCING OF AMERICA'S LARGEST CITIES: A STUDY OF CITY FINANCIAL RECORDS IN THE WAKE OF THE GREAT RECESSION. Journal of Regional Science, 55(1), 113-138. doi:10.1111/jors.12117

Smith, R. W. (2003). Ethical norms in public budgeting: Evolution or devolution? Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, 15(2), 205 - 227. Retrieved from

Posner, P. L. (2007). The continuity of change: Public budgeting and finance reforms over 70 years. Public Administration Review, 67(6), 1018-1029. Retrieved from

Week Three - Public Budgeting Process - Federal Government

Meyers, R. T. (2014). The implosion of the federal budget process: Triggers, commissions, cliffs, sequesters, debt ceilings, and shutdown. Public Budgeting & Finance, 34(4), 1-23. doi:10.1111/pbaf.12049

Bhatti, I., & Phaup, M. (2015). Budgeting for Fiscal Uncertainty and Bias: A Federal Process Proposal. Public Budgeting & Finance, 35(2), 89-105. doi:10.1111/pbaf.12065

PASACHOFF, E. (2016). The President's Budget as a Source of Agency Policy Control. Yale Law Journal, 125(8), 2182-2290.

ELMENDORF, D. (2015). "Dynamic Scoring": Why and How to Include Macroeconomic Effects in Budget Estimates for Legislative Proposals. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 91-133. Retrieved from

“Policy Basics: Introduction to the Federal Budget”. (2016) Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from .

“Reimagining the Federal Budget Process”. Brookings. Retrieved from . Please review all articles in the series to include:





Week Four - Public Budgeting Process - State and Local Government

Tang, S., Callahan, R. F., & Pisano, M. (2014). Using Common‐Pool resource principles to design local government fiscal sustainability. Public Administration Review, 74(6), 791-803. doi:10.1111/puar.12273

Wright, G., & McBeath, J. (2016). Uncharted waters: Alaska's 2015 budget process. California Journal of Politics and Policy, 8(1), 0_1,1-19. doi:

Kemp, R. L. (2015). America's local governments: Their annual budget process. National Civic Review, 104(4), 55-56. doi:10.1002/ncr.21248

Parikh, S. D., & He, Z. (2017). failing cities and the red queen phenomenon. Boston College. Law School. Boston College Law Review, 58(2), 600 - 638.

Dove, J. A. (2016). Do fiscal constraints prevent default? historical evidence from U.S. municipalities. Economics of Governance, 17(2), 185-209. doi:

Finance and Budgeting. ICMA. Retrieved from

Please explore all topics and blog posts.

State of Indiana Budget Process. Retrieved from .

Week Five - Politics in Public Budgeting


Kirkpatrick, L. O. (2016). The new urban fiscal crisis: Finance, democracy, and municipal debt. Politics & Society, 44(1), 45-80. doi:10.1177/0032329215617464

Hill, S. A., & Kiewiet, D. R. (2015). The impact of state supreme court decisions on public school finance. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 31(1), 61-92. doi:10.1093/jleo/ewu001

Oyakojo, Michael. (2015) “The Political Dynamics Behind Government Budgeting Process.” PA Times. Retrieved from .

Week Six - Sources and Methods in the Revenue Process

Pierson, K., Hand, M. L., & Thompson, F. (2015). The government finance database: A common resource for quantitative research in public financial analysis: E0130119. PLoS One, 10 - 22(6) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130119

Lang, B. J., & Sonstelie, J. (2015). THE PARCEL TAX AS A SOURCE OF LOCAL REVENUE FOR CALIFORNIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS. National Tax Journal, 68(3), 545-571. doi:

Oates, W. E., & Fischel, W. A. (2016). ARE LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES REGRESSIVE, PROGRESSIVE, OR WHAT? National Tax Journal, 69(2), 415-433. doi:

Burman, L. E., Gale, W. G., Gault, S., Kim, B., Nunns, J., & Rosenthal, S. (2016). FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAXES IN THEORY AND PRACTICE. National Tax Journal, 69(1), 171-216. doi:

Week Seven - Approaches to Expenditure

Lee, S., Lee, D., & Borcherding, T. E. (2016). Ethnic diversity and public goods provision: Evidence from U.S. municipalities and school districts. Urban Affairs Review, 52(5), 685-713. doi:10.1177/1078087415587055

Gale, W. G., Krupkin, A., & Rueben, K. (2015). The relationship between taxes and growth at the state level: New evidence. National Tax Journal, 68(4), 919-942. doi:10.17310/ntj.2015.4.02

Srithongrung, A., & Kriz, K. A. (2014). The Impact of Subnational Fiscal Policies on Economic Growth: A Dynamic Analysis Approach. Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, 33(4), 912-928. doi:10.1002/pam.21784

Johnson, A. P. (2016). THE IMPACT OF CORPORATE TAX POLICY ON STATE TRADE FLOWS. Cato Journal, 36(3), 611-624. Retrieved from

Brooks, L., Halberstam, Y., & Phillips, J. (2016). SPENDING WITHIN LIMITS: EVIDENCE FROM MUNICIPAL FISCAL RESTRAINTS. National Tax Journal, 69(2), 315-351,255. doi:

Week Eight - Effectiveness of current budgetary process

Maher, C. S., Deller, S. C., Stallmann, J. I., & Park, S. (2016). The impact of tax and expenditure limits on municipal credit ratings. The American Review of Public Administration, 46(5), 592-613. doi:10.1177/0275074016657180

CORMAN, J., HARRIS, K., LEVIN, D., SCHULTE, J., & SHANKS, B. (2015). SUPPORT FOR DEFENSE AND MILITARY SPENDING. Public Opinion Quarterly, 79(1), 166-180. doi:10.1093/poq/nfu091

Keating, E. G., & Arena, M. V. (2016). Defense inflation: What has happened, why has it happened, and what can be done about it? Defence and Peace Economics, 27(2), 176-183. doi:10.1080/10242694.2015.1093760


Snow, D., & Williamson, A. (2015). ACCOUNTABILITY AND MICROMANAGEMENT: DECENTRALIZED BUDGETING IN MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL DISTRICTS. Public Administration Quarterly, 39(2), 220-258. Retrieved from

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.