Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Small town problems

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    DeLand Il
    Posts
    1

    Small town problems

    I live in a very small town in Illinois. I was just asked on to the City Council, and am very excited about getting involved. The one problem I would like to tackle is how to attract any type of business to this town. Any help would be so helpful, I am just getting started.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    When you say small you aren't kidding. To make matters worse, Deland is close enough to Bloomington and Decatur for residents to easily work and shop there, and far enough from those cities not to enjoy the benefits of their growth. I wish I could tell you to hire a consultant like me, but you would be wasting your money. The truth, I am sorry to say, is that there is almost nothing you can do to attract industry. All of the most critical site selection factors (work force, accessibility, utility services, etc.) are stacked against you. The best thing you can do is to ensure that you remain an attractive residential community. This will help to keep property values stable and maybe attract new or replacement residents.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    9,014
    Blog entries
    2
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    The truth, I am sorry to say, is that there is almost nothing you can do to attract industry. All of the most critical site selection factors (work force, accessibility, utility services, etc.) are stacked against you. The best thing you can do is to ensure that you remain an attractive residential community. This will help to keep property values stable and maybe attract new or replacement residents.
    I worry that this is the same thing with us. We're a bedroom community surrounded by larger town in which our residents have a short trip to shop. I think at best, we'll be attracting small retail, restaurant and specialty shops. I'd really like (both as a resident and a town official) to have a small grocery/general store in town. We just need someone with capital and gumption to begin one.

    However, me telling a business owner that he will do well here anecdotially will not ease his mind when reaching into his wallet.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2009
    Location
    Seabrook, New Hampshire
    Posts
    59
    The Cato Institute has done quite a few studies on economic development, and they've found that simply lowering a town's tax rate can have a huge impact on development. Developers also like simple, straight forward zoning and approval. Variances are nice, but a good set of Form Based Codes tell developers exactly what they need to build to ahead of time.

    Finally, there are a lot of types of business that have a hard time getting approvals for things. Microbrews, casinos, strip clubs, poker joints, fireworks shops, storage facilities, and other types of stores often have a hard time with approvals. If locals are willing to accept these kinds of stores, then you might find yourself with a market for those things somewhere.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Promoting synergies...
    Posts
    3,558
    Quote Originally posted by maxxoccupancy View post
    The Cato Institute has done quite a few studies on economic development, and they've found that simply lowering a town's tax rate can have a huge impact on development.
    If this were the case then Nevada, Wyoming, and Alaska would be the economic engines of the US. While these states are doing well in mineral extraction they have seen little job creation from other base industries. Somalia has no taxes or regulation at all and yet no one is setting up factories

    Economic development is a complex beast and suggesting tax cuts are always the answer is silly unless you consider the entire economy as a whole. If little infrastructure is in place a tax cut might put your community at a further competitive disadvantage since they can not develop put in the roads, water and sewer system necessary to support future development. Do companies like lower taxes? Sure, but they also like shovel ready sites, quality schools and infrastructure, and a skilled workforce.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  6. #6
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,130

    YES!

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    If this were the case then Nevada, Wyoming, and Alaska would be the economic engines of the US. While these states are doing well in mineral extraction they have seen little job creation from other base industries. Somalia has no taxes or regulation at all and yet no one is setting up factories

    Economic development is a complex beast and suggesting tax cuts are always the answer is silly unless you consider the entire economy as a whole. If little infrastructure is in place a tax cut might put your community at a further competitive disadvantage since they can not develop put in the roads, water and sewer system necessary to support future development. Do companies like lower taxes? Sure, but they also like shovel ready sites, quality schools and infrastructure, and a skilled workforce.
    Here Here! (insert golf clap here)
    Skilled Adoxographer

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    The Cato Institute is not exactly an impartial organization. There is a considerable body of scholarly, quantitative, peer reviewed literature concerning the influence of tax rates and other variables in terms of their impact on community development. The overwhelming results show that taxes have little, and certainly not a significant impact on economic development outcomes. There is likely very good reasons behind this. For one, most activity is local. A grocery store serves a neighborhood market. It will not be moving from Massachusetts to Alabama because the taxes are lower. Another reason is the relative value of inputs. Yes, taxes may be lower in North Dakota, but is an information technology company going to move there if the highly educated workers they must have are all located around San Francisco?

    No, unless your taxes are drastically out of line with communities in the region, they really should not be in the top ten, or perhaps even top 20 issues to address in promoting economic development.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2009
    Location
    Seabrook, New Hampshire
    Posts
    59
    Brocktoon, RRP.

    The tax advantage is a huge advantage, and one that can easily been seen in states like New Hampshire, Nevada, and Idaho. All three offer strong infrastructure and other goodies, but most businesses migrating there do so for the tax and regulatory advantages. Trying to build a town that offers little or no benefits to business is a mistake.

    There are many different factors to be examined, but higher taxed states do not always offer better roads and schools. To the contrary, the interests groups that benefit from tax monies have powerful political lobbies and huge voting blocks to lobby for even more tax money. They work aggressively to get their preferred politicians elected, and many (public sector unions and school superintendents) are none too honest about how they go about doing this.

    I'm actually going to the polls this morning, and you'd better believe that the state employees are union officials are going to have people standing at the polls holding signs for their candidates (mostly Dems). The vacation pay, travel benefits, cushy retirements, large offices, new furniture, staffs, etc, are little more than political rewards for putting their pols back into office each year.

    Public funds CAN be used for public benefit, but I've never in my life seen any correlation between increased tax rates and improved infrastructure or test results. I live right on the border with Massachusetts, and no one around here believes that they're getting a better deal down there. Retirees, consumers, businesses, investors, and developers are coming up here to escape the high taxes, litigation, regulation, and outright corruption in Mass.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Promoting synergies...
    Posts
    3,558
    Quote Originally posted by maxxoccupancy View post
    Brocktoon, RRP.

    The tax advantage is a huge advantage, and one that can easily been seen in states like New Hampshire, Nevada, and Idaho. All three offer strong infrastructure and other goodies, but most businesses migrating there do so for the tax and regulatory advantages. Trying to build a town that offers little or no benefits to business is a mistake.

    .
    Yes, Nevada, New Hampshire and Idaho are economic development juggernuats .

    Lets first look at Nevada. They have low taxes and a low regulatory environment, great weather, good transportation and decent infrastructure since its new. They also have have high unemployment, few corporate locates and an economy that is heavily reliant on gaming, retail and construction. California has high taxes and huge amount of regulation, crumpling infrastructure and state budget that has been troubled for 30 years. Lets Compare Fortune 500 and 1000 companies for each. Nevada has 2 Fortune 500 and 7 Fortune 1000 companies. California has 51 Fortune 500 companies and 47 Fortune 1000.

    Lets look at your home state of New Hampshire. High corporate income tax and low personal taxes which creates an overall low tax environment. Lets compare New Hampshire to Massachusetts. Mass has moderate to high taxes on both corporations and people. They have a strong regulatory environment as well. Who has more Fortune 500 companies, Fortune 1000 companies? Mass has 12 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state. NH has 0. Mass has 10 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered there while NH has 1. Why would 21 of the countries largest companies chose Mass over NH if NH was a better place to locate? You live NH you know how many people commute to work in Mass, why wouldn't a company just pick up and move across the state line if taxes were the only issue?

    If taxes were the only economic driver then why are so many of the nations largest companies located in California and Massachusetts when they have low tax options of Nevada and New Hampshire right next door?
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2009
    Location
    Seabrook, New Hampshire
    Posts
    59
    RRP means Re Read Post.

    Lower taxed states historically have lower unemployment rates. Taxes and regulation are just two issues. Overall, New Hampshire is only slightly more probusiness than Mass, despite lower personal taxes. I believe that there are actually slightly more medical insurance mandates in New Hampshire (44) than Mass. The Business Profits Tax in New Hampshire is 8.5%, versus 6.5% for Mass.

    My actual point was that lowering the overall tax burdens helps bring business in. Spending more per student on public schools does not, because more spending tends to lead to more bureaucracy, rather than higher standards. More spending on infrastructure sometimes leads to improved infrastructure, but often simply leads to increased costs and redesigns that make traffic worse.

    Tale of Two Towns: Both towns are identical in all ways but one. One has property tax rate of $9 per thousand, while the other charges $15 per thousand. Where will intelligent people and businesses tend to go?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    Quote Originally posted by maxxoccupancy View post
    ...Tale of Two Towns: Both towns are identical in all ways but one. One has property tax rate of $9 per thousand, while the other charges $15 per thousand. Where will intelligent people and businesses tend to go?
    Perhaps if the are alike in all ways except taxes, businesses may favor the lower-taxed locale. The problem is tht two communities are never alike in all ways but taxes, and overwhelmingly, other tangible and intangible factors have more of an influence on business location decisions than taxes.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2009
    Location
    Seabrook, New Hampshire
    Posts
    59
    RRP. Reduce spending and taxes. I did not say that this will result in a flood of new development, but that this is one issue that is very important to a lot of businesses. There are many issues, of course, as everyone over the age of five is aware.

    There is one example of a town that is exactly like your own, but where tax rates are lower: the same town where you've lowered your tax rates in order to bring in more businesses.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Is a town of 25,000 considered small?
    Rural and Small Town Planning
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 10 Oct 2011, 2:12 AM
  2. A small town that isn't a town
    Rural and Small Town Planning
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 04 Aug 2010, 9:20 AM
  3. Big Town versus Small Town
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 30 Oct 2007, 12:57 AM
  4. Replies: 18
    Last post: 21 Mar 2005, 2:12 PM
  5. Small town planning
    Rural and Small Town Planning
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 22 Jul 2004, 10:46 PM