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How Planning Can Contribute to Municipal Fiscal Health
The Municipal Fiscal Health campaign, announced recently by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, focuses on the structural elements of the fiscal stress prohibiting many municipalities from investing in critical infrastructure, like sewers, roads, and levees. A post on the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy website explains more about the campaign, organizing its presentation around six "key areas": 1) Intersection of Planning and Public Finance, 2) Land-Based Municipal Revenues, 3) Multi-Level Governance, 4) Monitoring Fiscal Health and Local Transparency, 5) Capital Accounts and Infrastructure Investment, and 6) Unfunded Obligations.
George W. McCarthy, president and CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, also penned an article for Citiscope that explains the campaign's forthcoming push at the UN-HABITAT global summit, Habitat III, in Quito Ecuador in October 2016. In the article, McCarthy argues that matters of financing should be a more prominent part of the planning and land use conversation—in the United States and around the world.
One specific recommendation, among others, included in the article: "planners need to be trained in public finance so that they can design projects that are financially feasible, in coordination with public finance efforts. This allows for key investments to be better timed and for a full-cost accounting of projects to be carried out, so that maintenance expenses are built in from the beginning."