The RPC is funded through a variety of sources, which vary from year to year. These include municipal dues paid by member municipalities, local contracts for specific planning services, and state and federal funds provided in exchange for specific services provided in the region.
Dues are assessed on a per capita basis up to a population 10,000, currently set at 0.97 cents. Population above 10,000 is assessed at half that rate and above 20,000 at one-quarter of that rate. The total raised in Fiscal Year 2016 will be about $131,000, equivalent to 13% of the agency’s operating budget. Though small in proportion, local dues are the most important source of funding. Local dues represent the RPC’s base funding and pay for the local match required by other federal funding sources, such as transportation planning funds, hazard mitigation and coastal program funds.
Local Contracted Services generate funds from communities by providing services to them such as providing access to a shared (‘circuit rider’) planner working directly in the towns, updating a town master plan, capital improvement plans (CIPs), zoning ordinance, natural resources inventories, GIS maps and so on. The amount of this funding varies from year to year, but averages about $200,000 or roughly 20% of RPC’s funding.
Federal Funding, including funding passed through state agencies like the NHDOT or NHDES provides about 70% of RPC’s funding. The largest source is from the USDOT, which the RPC receives for establishing and maintaining the MPO regional transportation planning program. Other grants vary from year to year and include hazard mitigation planning grants for communities (from FEMA through NHHSEM), coastal program funding (from NOAA through NHDES), and water quality planning grants (from EPA through NHDES and PREP).
State Funding: The only source of direct (general fund) state funding RPC currently receives is the Targeted Block Grant from the Office of Energy and Planning. The annual grant has diminished over the years to about $11,000 per year, representing only 1% of the overall budget.
Other Funding: RPC receives funding from other sources, including occasional charitable foundation grants and service contracts with organizations to whom RPC provides assistance, such as the Regional Economic Development Center of Southern New Hampshire (REDC). In Fiscal Year 2016this accounts for about 4% of the budget.
RPC Funding Sources (FY 2018)
Transportation Planning (US DOT)
Other State & Federal Funding
Pass-through or Contracted
As a non-profit service organization, the RPC’s expenses are dominated by personnel costs. Salary and benefits account for 74% of the budget in Fiscal Year 2016. The next largest expense is for contracted services and pass-through costs, accounting for just over 10%; these are a combination of consultant expenses and pass-through contracts to other entities. Rent, utilities and communications account for 7% of expenses and each of the remaining budget categories account for less than 2% of the total agency budget.