March 23, 2009

Cities, states look for new cash sources

Local governments are looking at creative ways to raise revenues as traditional cash streams slow to a trickle amid the U.S. economic downturn, observers say.

ABC News reported Monday that among proposals are ones to use surveillance cameras in Chicago to help the city to spot and fine uninsured drivers. Then there is a California plan to tax marijuana sales. In Georgia, there is a call to enact a state strip club surcharge.

A new wave of creativity is sweeping across budget offices these days, said Pat Hagan, national audit partner for state and local governments at Deloitte and Touche LLP.

ABC noted the U.S. recession has cut into local revenues from property and sales taxes, Hagan said.

There are funny stories, although they're quite serious topics, he said of some of the money-raising proposals.