In order to implement the Greenprint, community leaders must consider what revenues are available or could be available to fund the acquisition and development of parks and greenways. The ability to access substantial public and private investments will foster program development and aid in realizing a long-term vision.
This page provides a summary of potential funding sources at all levels of government, as well as philanthropic sources. For more detailed information on funding options, download the complete Funding Guide for Green Space Connectivity. Leveraging both public and private funding has and can play a valuable role in building parks and greenways in the Mid-South. These programs and public funding options are currently being utilized or may be used by communities in the region for the purposes of acquiring land by easement or fee title for conservation and park space. Research at the local level of government is focused on broad-based tax and bond mechanisms that are practical and have been proven capable of generating significant funding.
While public investments will likely provide the backbone funding for the regional Greenprint network, private businesses and philanthropy will certainly be needed to assist in the effort. Based on the experience of other park and greenway programs across the country, private funds will do everything from educating the public about green space benefits, providing seed money, paying for out-ofthe- ordinary amenities, and undertaking special studies and programs. Ideally, the Greenprint network will benefit from the large-scale philanthropy of foundations and corporations as well as grassroots gift-giving of small businesses and individual donors.
Local Revenue Options
There are significant opportunities to raise local revenue through general obligation bonds, property taxes, or sales taxes to fund acquisition and development of the Greenprint network. In many cases, leveraging funds needed to develop and complete the network comes at a minimal annual cost to the average household. Cities and counties may issue general obligation bonds to finance land, building, and equipment, increase local property taxes, or increase local sales taxes to raise money to fund the Greenprint.
The graphic to the right illustrates three scenarios to raise capital to develop the regional network over the next 20 years. The first scenario of issuing bonds in amounts roughly proportional to population could raise $158 million over 20 years at an annual cost of $19.26 to the average household. The second scenario of raising property taxes at varying rates could raise $268 million over 20 years at an annual cost of $18.17 to the average household. The third scenario involves raising sales taxes by 1/8 of one-cent in all four counties. This scenario provides the greatest return at an estimated $421 million over 20 years at an annual cost of $18.49 to the average household, a cost roughly equivalent to two movie tickets. Based on potential costs, the scenario three suggests the region could effectively pay to develop the Greenprint network in the 25 year horizon of the plan.
Download the complete Funding Guide for Green Space Connectivity: