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Thread: Fiscal impact models

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Fiscal impact models

    Does anyone have, or know where I can find, a good land use fiscal impact model? I'm working on a zoning case (commercial land they want to turn to single family residential) and I want to include in my report some forecast of loss of revenue and increase of costs for city and school district if approved.
    Your suggestions are welcome.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    I'd like to see one of those myself. I just got caught in the crossfire at a meeting and said that residential had a 1.50/1.00 services demanded to taxes paid ratio, while commercial and industrial/professional land uses were at about .75/1.00 ratio.

    I have nothing to back that up other than a couple reports I read of studies in Georgia and Florida. I don't have the studies anymore, and those figures would obviously swing based on policies.

  3. #3

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    There is a huge literature out there, including a large number of the costs of community services studies that feature the ratios Linden is referring to (see the American Farmland Trust website for examples of these). Each fiscal impact analysis is different (because it has different goals), each state is different (because the legislature sets different parameters on local government's ability to raise revenues), and each locality is different (because of the history of how facilities have been financed and services have been provided). You have to build your own local model if you want accurate & useful results. There are "canned' models out there, but the odds that they fit your community are slender. I have done or supervised several of these studies, with different goals. Cost of community services studies are relatively simple, but still require tearing apart and re-arranging the local budget, as well as interviews with almost all local service providers. (And WILL virtually always show that low density residential development is a bad deal for taxpayers). A more sophisticated, but more useful model, which is what Joe wants, is a multi-month task.The best reference still is a relatively old text titled Fiscal Impact Analysis, by Burchell and Listokin.

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