Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Municipal Action Guides Present Options for Providing Public Services and Affordable Housing

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Municipal Action Guides Present Options for Providing Public Services and Affordable Housing

Article excerpt

In the face of constrained budgets and limited resources, citizens still expect their municipalities to provide adequate public services, infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, and sufficient affordable housing. In order to meet these needs, local leaders must expand their repertoire of tools for providing residents with these services. NLC's Center for Research and Innovation has released two new Municipal Action Guides that discuss options for infusing innovation in the provision of municipal services and affordable housing.

Privatizing Municipal Services

Many local governments are using Privatization--the provision of goods or services by private businesses under contract by the public sector--to provide services in a more efficient and cost effective way.

Following its incorporation in 2005, the City of Sandy Springs, Ga., contracted out all but one of its government services to the private sector. In the first year alone, this model reduced taxes by 30 percent over the tax rate paid prior to incorporation. While few cities choose the complete privatization option, the National Council of Public-Private Partnerships reports that the average American city currently works with private partners to perform 23 out of 65 basic municipal services.

Because it can take on many forms--from complete privatization to individual service outsourcing and public-private partnerships--privatization allows flexibility in how much the private sector is involved in the design, building, operation, financing and ownership of public facilities and services.

To read more about privatizing municipal services, including its benefits and action steps for implementation, download the Municipal Action Guide from the Finance and Economic Development topics page of the NLC website, www. …

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