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Why Do Capital Planning?

Why Do Capital Planning?

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Why Do Capital Planning?

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  1. Financial Management Series Number 6An Introduction toCAPITAL PLANNINGAlan ProbstLocal Government SpecialistLocal Government CenterUniversity of Wisconsin - Extension

  2. Why Do Capital Planning? Failure to plan virtually assures that scarce resources will be consumed in reacting to crises and that critical facilities, infrastructure, and equipment will continue to deteriorate

  3. Why Do Capital Planning? • Helps local officials think through complex infrastructure development and financial decisions • May avert some of the expensive mistakes that frequently result from crisis management

  4. Why Do Capital Planning? • Lenders and bond raters expect it • Ensures assets inherited from prior administrations are preserved

  5. Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) • Most capital planning is done as part of a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) • Capital Improvement Plans commonly cover a five year period starting with the next budget year and are updated annually

  6. Major Elements • An inventory of present physical assets • A maintenance and replacement schedule • A time-table and estimate of future needs

  7. Considerations • A complete financial analysis of historical revenues and expenditures is strongly recommended • Correlates to pre-approved documents and ordinances, i.e. doesn’t conflict with approved Comprehensive Plan

  8. Where to Start? Step One Establish a process • Local officials need to establish the process by which they will do their capital planning • May plan with officials and internal staff • May appoint a Planning Advisory Committee

  9. Step Two Ensure someone is appointed to coordinate the effort • If there is a County Administrator, Administrative Coordinator, City Manager, Village Administrator appointed, that person is the logical choice • If none available, a professional planner is a good alternative

  10. Step Three Identify what is and is not a capital project or purpose • This can differ based on the type of local government, population, budget size, or other unique factors

  11. Criteria • Capital expenditures are relatively expensive • The expense does not normally recur annually • They have a useful life expectancy of more than one year • May want to set a minimum life expectancy to be considered “capital”

  12. Criteria • Governments commonly set a number, such as $10,000, for a threshold as to what constitutes a capital purchase or project • Some purchases, such as IT equipment, may not reach the dollar threshold but are still commonly managed under capital projects for ease of tracking

  13. Common Capital Assets • Infrastructure (roads, sewers. storm sewers, sidewalks, bridges, curb and gutter, street lights) • Buildings (administration buildings, libraries, museums, treatment plants, civic centers, pools) • Equipment (fire trucks, police cruisers, generators, snow plows, IT equipment) • Land (parks, gardens, tree nurseries, waterfronts, industrial park land)

  14. Step Four Identify the revenue sources to be used to support capital projects. • Capital projects may be funded through general revenue, grants, designated revenue funds, special taxes or fees, or some form of debt.

  15. Common Revenue Sources • General Fund/General Revenue • Grants (remember matching requirements) • General Obligation (GO) Bonds • Local borrowing • Revenue Bonds • Special Assessments • Impact Fees & User Fees • State or Federal “Pass Through Financing” • Partnerships & donations • Tax Incremental Financing

  16. Guiding Principles • Borrowing for operating expenditures is generally considered financially unsound • Borrowing for capital projects is considered essential financial decision-making • Borrowing for capital projects requires effective debt management

  17. Guiding Principles The key is managing debt so you borrow for the right projects at pre-determined borrowing points that maximize the government’s borrowing efficiency

  18. Guiding Principles • Effective debt management can minimize interest cost and even stabilize local government financial positions • Periodic review of debt and re-financing when conditions are favorable are essential to effective debt management and capital planning

  19. Debt Limitation • Article XI, sec. 3(2) and 3(3) of the Wisconsin Constitution limits local government borrowing and other debt to 5% of equalized taxable property • Local financial considerations will commonly hold local government debt to a level lower than the Constitutional limitation

  20. Step Five Inventory current capital assets • Most such base information should be readily available through the government’s insurance carrier • Needed for accountability and usage tracking

  21. Relation to GASB 34 GASB 34 is an inventory of all public works related assets • Values of bridges, roads, facilities • Based on life-cycle costing • Relates directly to asset inventory needed for capital planning.

  22. Step Six Prioritize • It is unlikely in local government that there will ever be enough funds, resources, or staff time available to pursue every capital project which can be justified • Local leaders must prioritize to ensure the right projects are kept when the resources run out

  23. Step Seven Staff input • Verify condition of existing infrastructure and equipment • Identify trends affecting capital issues • Develop a list of needs and suggested projects • Submit to “Coordinator” for consolidation

  24. Step Eight Evaluate Staff Recommendations • Compare staff recommendations with established priorities • Compare with available revenues • Make adjustments for a draft plan

  25. Step Nine Public Input • Comply with Wisconsin Open Meetings Law • Informal involvement or public hearing • When the CIP is part of the Capital Budget or a Comprehensive Plan, the Public Hearing requirement applies

  26. Step Ten Finalize Plan and Adopt • Make Final Adjustments • Can adopt as part of annual budget process • Adopt by resolution

  27. Points to Remember • The capital plan is a flexible document • Can be changed when the situation requires • As a “Plan” it is not “cast in stone”

  28. Steps • Establish a process • Appoint a coordinator • Identify what is and isn’t a Capital Project • Identify supporting revenue sources • Inventory current assets

  29. Steps (cont) 6.Prioritize 7. Collect staff input 8. Evaluate and make adjustments 9. Public input/Public Hearing 10. Finalize and adopt by Resolution

  30. Flowchart of Capital Planning Process • County Department Heads Prepare Project Requests • Project Requests are reviewed and prioritized by Committee of Jurisdiction • Executive/Finance Committee completes first review • Department modifies plan • Proposed projects and interview schedule are published in newspaper • Executive/Finance holds public review and comment session and interviews department heads • Committee of Jurisdiction reviews and recommends plan

  31. Flowchart of Capital Planning Process (cont.) • Proposed projects are published in newspaper • Executive/Finance evaluates and prioritizes projects and forwards to full county board • Public Hearing on Capital Plan as part of the budget process • Full Board approves 5-year Capital Improvement Plan and approves annual Capital Budget as part of Annual Budget • Department Implements • Project Committee of Jurisdiction oversees total project • Executive/Finance secures financing

  32. Sources: • “Capital Budgeting and Finance: A Guide for Local Governments,” A. John Vogt, International City/County Management Association, 2004 • “Management Policies in Local Government Finance,” International City/County Management Association, ICMA University Press, 2004 • “Capital Improvement Planning: A Guidebook for Wisconsin Communities*,” Eilrich, Doeksen, & Frye, 1995 (*adopted extensively from Capital Improvement Guidebook developed for Oklahoma)

  33. Information Source