Municipal finance is about the revenue and expenditure decisions of municipal governments. It covers the sources of revenue that are used by municipal governments – taxes (property, income, sales, excise taxes), user fees, and intergovernmental transfers. It includes ways of financing infrastructure through the use of operating revenues and borrowing as well as charges on developers and public-private partnerships. Municipal finance also addresses issues around expenditures at the local level and the accountability for expenditure and revenue decisions, including the municipal budgetary process and financial management.

Local governments make expenditures on a variety of services including transportation, policing, fire protection, water and sewer, garbage collection and disposal, housing, health, recreation and culture, education, and social expenditures. They fund these services and the infrastructure associated with them from a variety of sources.

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