Local Road Funding History

Principal Investigator(s):

Tom Stinson, Former Associate Professor, Applied Economics

Project summary:

This research developed an eight-year history of local road funding from audit reports and compared the revenues, expenditures, and debt for roads and other services over time. The study objective was to provide empirical facts to better inform the local road funding debate. The analysis identified local road funding trends and estimate long-run spending in Minnesota counties and cities. Between 1993 and 2003, per capita city and county spending for streets and roads in Minnesota increased by about 0.9 percent per year after adjusting for inflation. Local expenditures for the construction of new roads and the expansion of existing road increased by 17 percent during that period, but local operating spending on roads, which includes expenditures for road maintenance, fell by three percent. Per capita county and city receipts from state highway aid declined 5 percent during that 10-year period on an inflation adjusted basis. Although the ratio of local government spending to personal income fell by 0.5 percentage points between 1993 and 2004, the proportion of Minnesota personal income going for local streets and roads fell by less than 0.1 percentage points. The project culminated in a written report detailing all findings and recommended outreach activities.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2006038
  • Start date: 11/2005
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Economics

Reports or Products: