Regionalization of Selected Government Services Across New Hampshire

PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1415-14
Sunday, August 30, 2015

This report was commissioned by Representative Tracey Emerick to provide a broad overview of local government services with potential for consolidation in New Hampshire. From 50 potential services, we selected eight services that are candidates for regionalization. We carefully considered whether or not these services would be shareable, politically feasible, and cost-efficient. We drew upon past regionalization case studies in New England to determine these categories. Within each service, we identified specific town clusters in which services could be consolidated. We looked at spending discrepancies between towns of similar population that were in geographic proximity to each other, and we looked at towns of disparate population sizes where a smaller sized town spent more on a service than a larger sized town. Regionalization would increase cost efficiency within towns as they are able to realize economies of scale and decrease unnecessary spending. When undertaking this report, we drew heavily on the data resource provided by the New Hampshire Public Finance Consortium (NHPFC). The NHPFC provided us a comparable and comprehensive data set for all towns within New Hampshire; thus, this report is the first in many to be undertaken to analyze New Hampshire government services spending. With this data, we believe we have provided a solid foundation of areas for further inquiry into service consolidation across New Hampshire.