Rea, Louis M.; Sparrow, Glen W.; Gupta, Dipak K.
March 1984
Public Administration Quarterly;Spring84, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p29
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the use of direct-benefit financing in the U.S. for administering and funding public improvements or urban services that benefit specific property within the jurisdiction. It is evident that taxpayers are seeking ways to minimize the adverse effects which the sagging economy is having on their own fiscal plight. They are adamant that governments, especially at the local level, cut back expenditures and at the same time use revenues more sparingly and prudently. Underlying this philosophy is a current of fairness in the distribution of the municipal burden. That is, taxpayers find quite appealing to pay for improvements and services in accordance with the benefit and enjoyment which they derive from them. Subsidization of the general public in an era of fiscal constraint is much less appealing. Direct-benefit financing is a mechanism utilized by local jurisdictions to fund the acquisition of land, the making of a capital improvement, or the provision of an urban service through the assessment of property owners who directly benefit. The purpose of this article is to review the theoretical and legal underpinnings of the direct-benefit approach to financing municipal improvements and services through a critical evaluation of the special assessment district.


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