An Examination of Municipal Mergers

Municipal mergers are the combining of local government entities in order to increase efficiencies and reduce expenditures. A recent article from Capital IQ examines municipal consolidations, concluding that, though they face a multitude of challenges and a low success rate, these mergers are beneficial in the long run.

The article first examines some real-world examples of municipal mergers (or attempts to do so) in Nashville, St. Louis, and New York State, concluding that they are, indeed, cost effective. The benefits realized via municipal mergers vary, but can include increased administrative efficiencies, operational cost savings, and an improved approach to regional infrastructure, among others.

So why is there often great opposition to the idea of municipal mergers? The article cites the following difficulties:

  • Politics – Disagreement over who will take on the merged leadership role(s), concerns over lack of equality among merging jurisdictions, etc.
  • Complex Logistics – How to consolidate things like financial statements, outstanding debt, and funding for projects that are already in process.
  • Cultural Change – Fear of the loss of particular civic identifiers, such as high school sports. 

For more details, read the article in full at Capital IQ.