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Own Source Revenues: What to include?

In calculating budget solvency of local governments one common index is the own-source ratio: to what extent a government is relying on revenues that are generated from its own source rather than intergovernmental transfers, which in general are associated with a high level of uncertainty.

The question from many students is where to look for own-source revenues or what to include. These are my suggestions:

In the Statement of Activities, you will see program revenues, program expenses, and general revenues. Most general revenues are own-source ones expect for items that are called "grants" or "transfers." Things can be more complicated for program revenues, because some of the local services (such as health care) are funded by higher levels of governments, and so part of program revenues that are associated would be intergovernmental in nature.

A better idea is to look for information elsewhere in the financial report or in the budget. Ideally the government would report it somewhere clearly how much it has received from other governments during the fiscal year. These transfers are mostly from the federal government or the state government as general-revenue sharing or restricted grants, but there may also be revenues form other local governments, for instance, due to interlocal service contracts.


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Can you give more examples on what are considered own source revenues?

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