Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Public Administration

First Reader/Committee Chair

Fudge, Marc


Finding revenue is a challenge that faces many municipalities in the United States. As the tax base continues to decline and demand for government services increases, local governments are forced to make hard choices. Low on the list of priorities for local governments is the maintenance, and construction of infrastructure. Traditionally there have been several ways for local governments to fund long-term infrastructure projects including, federal-aid through the process of earmarking. The practice of earmarking has been around since the first congress, but hit its peak between 2003 and 2007. The earmarking process is controversial for several reasons; earmarking bypasses traditional merit procedures for distribution of federal-aid, earmarking is said to add costs to the agency awarded the funding, and earmarking has been linked to Congressional scandals and wasteful spending. In this paper I explore how an earmark, designated to local governments to fund long-term infrastructure projects, contributes to the costs of the project.