Capital Budgeting and Improvement Process

  • Aman KhanEmail author


Capital budgeting plays a vitally important role in the overall budgetary activities of a government. In some ways, it can be considered much more important than the routine operations of a government; because of the impact, these activities have on long-term economic growth and development of an economy. The activities, commonly referred to as improvement activities, involve investments in capital assets such as roads, bridges, highways, land, buildings, vehicles, equipment, physical plants, and so forth. The level and the quality of capital assets in a government and how well they are maintained indicate how well an economy is performing. In general, the better the condition of capital assets the stronger is the economy. Understanding the characteristics of a capital budget and, more important, the process that underlies these activities is important to understand what makes capital budgeting so unique and different from the operating budget and why it is necessary to have a separate capital budget, as most state and local governments do. The chapter has twofold objectives: One, to provide a brief discussion of the characteristics of a capital budget, types of capital assets a government maintains, and the relationship between a capital budget and long-term planning; two, to provide an at length discussion of the capital budgeting process which, like an operating budget, is complex, detailed, and often time-consuming. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the impact a capital budget has on the operating budget.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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