Financing Parks in Indiana

FINANCING PARKS IN INDIANA 7

FinancingParks in Indiana

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FinancingParks in Indiana

Summary

Parksare essential social facilities in states. They provide venues thatbreak the urban environment by providing a serene place for people torelax in and children to play in. These parks are funded by the localgovernment with funds supplied by the federal government. They areincluded in the state budget and grouped in the housing andenvironment developments. The parks are established in and that isowned by the government or bought from residents by the government.Agreements have to be made on its location and purpose. People whohave access to these kinds of parks are not limited to the residentsof that particular jurisdiction. They are open to locals andforeigners and act as social grounds in which people from differentareas meet. The size of land set aside for them is determined byplanning experts selected by the government. These parks aredocumented, and the local governments involved are responsible fortheir maintenance, security and development.

TheIndiana Local government provides for the creation and maintenance ofparks within its jurisdiction. The local government is quite big interms of the services it provides. It has allocations for safety interms of police personnel, fire protection, and correction safeties.It also has an allocation for housing and sewerage management. Thesetwo are in the same budget provision as the provision of parks. Thelocal government has residents who get health benefits from itsbudget. More than half of Indiana’s local government goes toeducation, and this is due to the need to increase the number ofschools and maintain the existing ones. The concentration in theeducation sector is created by the increasing population of residentsof Indiana. Another big portion of the budget goes to roads andrailway transport systems management and maintenance (Budget formsand classifications for civil towns, 1962).

Thelocal government of Indiana provides 7% of its budget to housing,sewerage management, and parks. The parks take a portion of thisbudget. The revenue is generated from four primary sources of tax.The two main taxes are the individual income and the sales tax. Theother two taxes are gaming taxes and corporate income taxes. Theprimary sources of gaming tax are the riverboat casino admission andbetting taxes and the revenues from the racetrack casinos. Thecasinos provide a reliable source of income and are well controlledto avoid any illegality in them. The revenue is well channeled andaudited to ensure that they are well utilized. Legal drugs, namelyalcohol and cigarettes, provide taxes that can be used by the localgovernment. These taxes are calculated from the production and salesof these items. According to the local government of Indiana, therevenue from these taxes is directed to the maintenance of the socialamenities, among them parks and the facilities provided in them.

Themain challenge that comes with funding of parks is the determinationof the specific parks to maintain on a particular part of the year.Distributing the funds requires experts in the area of budgeting. Thefunds have to be distributed in a manner that the public is satisfiedwith the services offered. The park service creates a sense ofbelonging to the local government, hence the need to maintain eachappropriately. The end product of the well maintained parks is areduced loss in terms of misplaced funds within the local government.Appropriations have to be applied to ensure proper spending as perthe budget provisions.

Anotherproblem in the provision of parks within Indiana local government isthe determination of the location of the land to use. The land is noprovided for in the budget and ha to be bought in rare cases.Sometimes, donors give the land to the local government. Thesedonations are forms of grants in which the local administration doesnot spend any amount in acquiring this land. A park could be modifiedfrom it and add the required components of a general park. On otheroccasions, the local government has to set aside some portion of itsbudget in the purchasing of land. The land is a form of expenditurefor the local government and has to be included at the end of thefinancial year in which it was acquired. If not fully paid for, itsbalance must be added in the years that follow (Gamkhar, 2002).

Displacementof residents and businesses due to the creation of parks is acritical issue in the local government of Indiana. The movementinvolves extra expenditure in relocation and compensation, which aremostly not provided for in the local government budget. The situationis usually rescued by the current year surplus. If this excess isrecognized, it balances off the extra amount spent on unplannedprojects such as relocation of residents and reclamation of land. Theoccurrence is frequent in the initial creation of parks and requiresutmost care when managing the yearly budget. The 7% portion of thebudget provided for housing and managing of parks is usually notadequate. Therefore, to avoid deficits, the local government relieson grants from the federal government (Honadle, 2004).

Increasedfunding is an option the local government of Indiana should rely uponin the financing of recreational parks. These sources of funding cancome from other local governments through intergovernmental contractsand agreements. These agreements involve the exchange of resources,workforce, and grants. Intergovernmental grants mostly come into playwhen neighboring jurisdictions have a surplus in their budget.Instead of saving this money or investing it in projects that theyhad not previously budgeted for, they can give grants to thegovernments that need it. The local government receives manyintergovernmental grants from states and other local governments.These grants are well audited and distributed effectively, and can beused for the development of social parks. The biggest constraintassociated with grants is that they cannot be planned or budgetedfor. The problem occurs because the local government cannot determinewhether it will get any grant or not. However, upon receiving it, itcan be included in the budget or be channeled towards the project forwhich it was granted (Dahlberg, 2008).

Othersources of external funding for Indiana’s local government includeinvestors. These business people come in to take up projects, such asthose of park development. They buy suitable pieces of land under thelocal government’s authority and develop it into parks. These parksgenerate revenue through the many businesses set up in them, and theinvestors get their cut from it. Through such investments, the localgovernment of Indiana manages to minimize the amount of their budgetspent on maintaining existing parks and creating new ones. They getto take over already developed parks through agreements between themand the investors.

Thefiscal health of Indiana local government allows it to manageundertaking projects such as the creation of new parks. It also givesthis local government the ability to carry out a routine check andmaintenance of the parks within it, eliminating the probability ofhaving dilapidated parks. The parks in Indiana serve everyone, fromthe districts to the states.

Understandingthe sources of revenue in terms of taxes and grants, and the budgetaccompanying them enables one know how the Indiana local governmentoperates. The grants taxes availed per financial year, and theexpenditure accompanying them determine the fiscal health of thisjurisdiction. An eventual surplus in the budget means good financialhealth. A shortage indicates poor financial health for the localgovernment. The budget of this local government is as shown in thepie chart below, as per Governor`s Fiscal Policy Advisory Councilreport (2011).

Figure1: Indiana State Budget for the year 2011

Thebudget allocation and distribution indicates the priority projectsfor the Indiana government. Parks fall in the 7% that takes care ofthe expenditure termed as others. The definition does not mean thatthey are not important. It merely indicates that they do not consumea big part of the budget. They are feasible projects within thisjurisdiction and are essential to the social lives of the peoplewithin this region. The federal government carries out a census onall the financial records of its states and their budgets, ensuringthat funds are well utilized in the intended projects. Audits arerecorded and analyzed strategically. They intend to analyze thefiscal health of the local governments and provide grants wherenecessary. These grants are derived from income tax money as paid tothe government by its citizens.

References

Budgetforms and classifications for civil towns. (Rev. 1962. ed.). (1962).Indianapolis?: The Board.

Dahlberg,M., &amp Lundqvist, H. (2008). Intergovernmental Grants andBureaucratic Power. München: CESifo, Center for Economic Studies &ampIfo Institute for Economic research.

Gamkhar,S. (2002). Federal intergovernmental grants and the states: Managingdevolution. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Pub.

Governor`sFiscal Policy Advisory Council report. (2011). Indianapolis?Governor`s Fiscal Policy Advisory Council.

Honadle,B., &amp Cigler, B. (2004). Fiscal health for local governments anintroduction to concepts, practical analysis, and strategies.Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.

Reportto the General Assembly: An analysis of the costs of the water andsewage laboratory of the Indiana State Board of Health. (1976).Indianapolis: Indiana Legislative Council, Fiscal and ManagementAnalysis Division.

Statebudget law of Indiana and instructions for use of prescribed forms.(1930). Indianapolis?: [State Board of Accounts].