How can we use municipal finance techniques to improve government efficiency?

The Center for Municipal Finance (CMF) enables students and faculty to engage the major financial issues of the day facing state and local governments in the United States and around the globe. Some of the topical and enduring issues of municipal finance include financing infrastructure, the use of municipal bonds, privatization, pension liabilities and the efficacy of reform, tax base adequacy, and more.

“We need to rethink the practices and techniques of contemporary municipal finance to provide government services more efficiently and to manage pressing problems related to the public sector,” said Harris Professor Christopher Berry, who directs the CMF.

Certificate in Municipal Finance

Prepare for careers in local and state governments, and private-sector financial and consulting firms. 

Gain in-depth expertise in the process, politics and economics of public revenue and expenditure decisions. Learn the practices and techniques of modern financial administration, and the operation of the municipal securities market.

Learn more about the Certificate in Municipal Finance

Center Highlights

CMF Releases Part II of Cook County Scavenger Sale Study

September 6th, 2022 
CMF releases Part II of Cook County Scavenger Sale Study

CMF Releases Comprehensive, Independent Analysis of Cook County Scavenger Sale

March 31st, 2021 
Today the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Center for Municipal Finance released a groundbreaking report that examines the Cook County Scavenger Sale, the last step in the process for properties whose owners have consistently failed to pay their property tax bills. 

CMF Launches Property Tax Fairness Research Page

June 17th, 2020 
CMF Launches research page on Property Tax Fairness. View a summary of the research here, or access the Center's full Property Tax Portal at

Eric Langowski Presents at SatRday

May 30th, 2020  
CMF RA, Eric Langowski presented at SatRday Chicago 2020 virtual conference on transparency, equity in property taxes and an R package for property tax analysis.
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Paula Worthington Addresses COVID-19 Fiscal Pressures

April 17th, 2020 
Paula Worthington addresses COVID-19 Fiscal Pressures in Illinois:
Illinois State Tax Revenues - April 17th 
Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund - April 6th 
State Retirement Systems - April 6th

Relevant Publications

March 24th, 2020 
Crain’s Chicago Business, "This pre-existing condition makes Illinois finances especially vulnerable to COVID". Read More 

March 21st, 2020 
The municipal bond market is experiencing a massive crunch as investors react to the coronavirus pandemic; featuring Michael Belsky. Read More  

March 20th, 2020 
Crain's Chicago Business: "There is no doubt this (virus) is going to have a significant economic impact on Illinois." Read more 

March 10th, 2020 
In the Detroit News, Chris Berry addresses Detroit's property tax methodology continuing to harm its poorest residents. Read More

February 28th, 2020 
The Bond Buyer tribute: Municipal market mourns loss of Jim Spiotto Read More 

Press Coverage

See the latest CMF press coverage.


Christopher Berry

Academic Director, Center for Municipal Finance

Christopher Berry

Christopher Berry is the Academic Director of the Center for Municipal Finance and a Professor at Harris.