Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri on Monday announced that Susanne Greschner will head up the Division of Municipal Finance. The unit is a part of the Department of Revenue.

Greschner, 46, is currently director of policy and research at the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, an independent public policy research organization.

“As a well-respected and seasoned economic analyst, Susanne understands the fiscal challenges of our cities and towns, the economic complexities of operating local government, and the complex relationship between our municipalities and the state,” Carcieri said in a press release.

Greschner’s title will be assistant director of special projects. She replaces Peder Schaefer, who left last month.

The division reviews state legislation affecting local governments, calculates the amount of certain state aid and taxes that go to municipalities, monitors compliance with state property tax laws, and analyzes assessed and market property values.

Last month, Carcieri proposed a $7.5 billion fiscal 2011 all-funds budget that would reduce aid to municipalities to $838.7 million from $1 billion in order to help close a $405 million budget deficit.

“The big challenge will be the ­reduction in state aid that the municipalities are ­facing,” Greschner said. “They all have to look at how they can balance their ­budgets.”

Rosemary Booth Gallogly, director of the Department of Revenue, said Greschner was chosen for her analytical ability and experience writing reports at RIPEC.

Greschner worked on a council report released earlier this month that called for a reexamination and reform of the state’s pension system, which is the fastest-growing portion of personnel expenditures in the budget.

Greschner came to RIPEC after earning a master’s in public administration at the University of Rhode Island in 2001.

She earned her undergraduate degree in political science at the University of Applied Science in her native Germany in 1986.

Greschner served in the office of the mayor of Bietighiem-Bissingen for 10 years.

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