Regulatory enforcement and fiscal impact in local health agencies

Julia F. Costich, Kristina M. Rabarison, Monika K. Rabarison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: We used a cross-sectional, retrospective study design to analyze the association between local health agency regulatory activities and revenues from nonclinical fees and fines (NFF). Methods: We extracted data from the 2010 National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Profile Survey, the most recent report including NFF information, and used 2-part multivariable regression models to identify relationships between regulatory activities and revenue. We also interviewed LHD directors on access to revenue from fines. Results: NFFs generated substantial revenue for most LHDs, increasing in scope and amount with jurisdiction size for all but the largest municipalities. The greatest proportion of net revenue came from public pools, campgrounds and recreational vehicles, and solid waste disposal. For small and mid-sized LHDs, enforcement activities generated revenue in a dose-response pattern, with higher returns for increased activities. LHDs in decentralized governance states collectedmore NFF revenue than those in centralized states. States vary regarding LHD access to revenue from sanctions. Conclusions: The fiscal impact of changes in regulatory activity needs careful assessment to avoid unanticipated consequences of applicable law.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S323-S329
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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