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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1973. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1973, the author. Used by permission.


This study was initiated in an attempt to determine to what extent the funds available to local government meet the demand for capital investment to provide public services in a sample of rural Nebraska municipalities.This study focused on municipalities in two multi-county regions of the state which have exhibited differing economic growth patterns.These regions are: the Southeast region where economic growth has remained relatively stagnant; and, the North Central region where the adaptation of the center pivot irrigation system to local conditions has recently caused an increase in economic activity.

The objectives of this study are:

The identification of presently utilized sources of funding for capital investment to provide public services in municipalities of the study regions.

The determination of the sources and amounts of credit used by local government in financing that capital improvement.

The determination of the ways in which borrowed funds for capital investment are used by local governments.

The estimation of the incidence and magnitude of opportunities foregone due to the unavailability of credit.

The estimation of the negative impact, if any, on the ability of local government to supply services which is due to the existing credit situation.

The research revealed that municipal governments provided the bulk of the services in the municipalities.The unavailability of county services in the small towns had a substantial effect on the number of services located in these municipalities.The sources of funding capital investment in the sample municipalities consisted primarily of long-term indebtedness.The use of funds in the study regions revealed that the Southeast utilized the largest portion of its funds for public utilities and the North Central concentrates its resources on public facilities and streets.The use of credit was the primary source of financing capital expenditures in the two study regions.The primary use of credit in the small towns is education. The unavailability of credit was not a factor in the availability of services in the sample municipalities.The lack of progressive leadership and a general aversion to increased taxes were the primary reasons for inadequate public services.

Advisor: Paul H. Gessaman