Designing Infrastructure User Charge Strategies

by Graham S. Toft, Purdue Univ, West Lafayette, IN, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Infrastructure for Urban Growth

Abstract: The changing environment of public finance is such that greater use of self-funding and financial independence will be required of public facilities and municipal services. Traditionally, the design of user fees has been approached from the viewpoint of cost recovery. The very rigor and cost of this method impedes its use in state and local governments which comprise a multitude of small systems. An alternative approach, a market orientation, is proposed. Rates and rate structures can be set from comparative data and citizen input through a public/private partnership. The market approach also affects management philosophy and organization--driving the public works function toward a consumer rather than ward orientation, toward modern billing and debt collection methods, and toward the revenue center as an innovative structure.

Subject Headings: Public buildings | Local government | Public private partnership | Management methods | Infrastructure | Fees

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