Following the recent disastrous rains and floods in South Carolina, the role of local government in dam safety has belatedly become a major issue in the state, which spends approximately $200,000 annually on the maintenance of more than 2,300 dams, mostly privately owned.
"It's privatization of public infrastructure at its most insane," says Evan McKenzie, professor and head of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "They (South Carolina state government) keep taxes low by not spending much public money on maintaining infrastructure such as dams. Instead they trust developers to build them, and homeowners' associations to maintain them."
McKenzie, a licensed attorney and expert on the privatization of municipal services and governance, is available to discuss issues surrounding the privatization of public infrastructure and “tax-phobic methods” such as TIFs and other tax breaks, borrowing, and selling/leasing income-producing public assets for short-term cash.