University at Albany

Fossett and Purtell Consider Complexities of Privatizing Public Assets

Contact: Mary Hunt (518) 442-5264

Albany N.Y. (December 5, 2011) -- "Privatizing public assets has become an attractive alternative for cash-strapped American state and local governments," say Rockefeller researchers Jim Fossett and Bob Purtell in a November 2011 article the two prepared for the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

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Robert Purtell, PhD
James Fossett, PhD

The professors note that because of revenue shortfalls caused by the recession, "an increasing number of governments are considering leasing income producing assets such as toll roads and bridges to private operators in exchange for cash as an alternative to raising taxes or cutting services." This very issue made news in New York State recently when it was reported that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo had been looking into a variety of "alternative financing" options to pay for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge, including using money provided by pension funds to help finance the project.

Read more of Fossett's and Purtell's writings on the subject:

Read Fosset and Purtell's comments in the local media: