Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Michael Ahn

Second Advisor

Hsin-Ching Wu


While municipal bankruptcy as a whole is rare in the United States, since the Great Recession, fiscal distress in municipalities is common. This is due to the compounding of decreased state aid, declining property values and increased need of services. In these fiscally and administratively challenging times, where the U.S. government is ripe and saddled with political discord, high debt/legacy costs, and decreased economic stability, can cities walk the stringent financial tightrope without falling head first? This research paper addresses the causations leading to municipal fiscal stress, role of the state as it relates to municipal financial health and best practices leading towards stabilization and recovery.