Funding & Financing: Why Choices Matter

Funding and Financing to Sustain Public Infrastructure: Why Choices Matter

By: Dr. Janice Beecher, Michigan State University, Center for Community and Economic Development

Investment in public infrastructure, including the provision of essential services through capital-intensive networks, is critical to supporting economic development and, more so, the quality of places and lives. The sustainability of public utilities and other infrastructure systems depends on spending to an optimal compliant service level and raising revenues that fully cover the cost of service. Sustaining infrastructure relies on both funding and financing mechanisms, which should not be confused. This primer provides a framework for understanding the difference between funding and financing and why policy choices for these functions matter. Funding choices affect the distribution of burdens on service consumers; financing choices affect the cost of capital for service providers. These implications tend to receive less attention than behavioral incentives for economic efficiency. The portfolio of alternative funding and financing methods and instruments is described along with how they relate to structural and governance models for service delivery. The report provides key statistics and trends across U.S. infrastructure sectors, with highlights for Michigan.

Click the link below to read the full report.


Tap into Resilience

A WaterNow Alliance Initiative

Have a project that needs support? Our team of experts is here to help

Ask an expert

Whether you have a project that needs support or are just dipping your toe in, our team of experts is here to help.

Ask an expert