24. outlaw subsidized sprawl
Since suburban developments cost $1.25 in services for every $1.00 generated in tax revenue, outlaw any private subdivision or development project that would cost more in taxes than it generates in revenue.
- “Understanding Smart Growth Savings” by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Institute
- From the Ohio State University Fact Sheet on Cost of Community Services, “Many of the early studies providing estimates of [Cost Of Community Services] ratios were either sponsored or conducted by the American Farmland Trust. But in recent years a great number of other researchers from a variety of backgrounds have undertaken such studies. The results seem to corroborate each other. Virtually all of the studies show that for residential land, the COCS ratio is substantially above 1. That is, residential land is a net drain on local government budgets. The average estimate ranges from about 1.15 to 1.50, which means that for every dollar collected in taxes and non-tax revenue, between $1.15 and $1.50 gets returned in the form of services by the local government and school district.“
- From SmartGrowth America, “…sprawling development rarely brings about the economic benefits anticipated. While it is true that an acre of land with a new house generates more total revenue than an acre of hay or corn, the cost of providing infrastructure and services to that property is greater for residential development than for commercial, farm, or forest land. Cost of Community Services (COCS) studies conducted in more than 83 communities show that owners of farm, forest and open lands pay more in local tax revenues than it costs local government to provide services to their properties. Residential land uses, in contrast, are a net drain on municipal coffers: It costs local governments more to provide services to homeowners than residential landowners pay in property taxes.”