Another Nail in the Coffin of the Big Public Sell-Off
**From GOVERNING's Outlook in the States and Localities 2010** If consolidation is the watchword for what cities and counties will do to help manage during ...
**From GOVERNING's Outlook in the States and Localities 2010**
If consolidation is the watchword for what cities and counties will do to help manage during the economic downturn, I was also interested in what local governments won't be doing.
According to Dan Borut, executive director of the National League of Cities, one option municipalities likely won't be exploring is the idea of selling off major public assets to be managed by private companies. Large-scale sell-offs -- like the Chicago Skyway and the Indianapolis Toll Road -- are a thing of the past, he said. "These deals have had a number of problems," he said.
He's right, of course: High-profile deals like the $1.83 billion lease of the Chicago Skyway to a private company in 2004 sparked a lot of interest in other cities. But public outcry over these types of deals has made them increasingly hard to push through. When Chicago tried to find a buyer for Midway airport last April, nobody stepped up. We covered the shifting nature of public-private partnerships in a September story: Still For Sale.
Borut's point, though, is that this is probably a good thing. Or at least it wouldn't really help cities right now to be making these kinds of deals. "If you put that money [from a sale] in a permanent fund, like in Alaska, it will last a long time," he said. But when times are this tough, the temptation to spend is just too great. "There's still interest in [these sorts of deals], but I don't see it growing in any real way."
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
The Week in Public Finance: Several Shades of Bad News2 days ago
Los Angeles Failed to Collect $1.8 Million in Overtime Reimbursements2 days ago
American Wages Might Explain Puerto Rico's Economic Troubles2 days ago
Majority of Americans Say Confederate Flag Isn't a Symbol of Racism2 days ago
5,000 Evacuated Following Tenn. Train Fire2 days ago
Gerrymandering Likely to Get Worse in States2 days ago