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Re: SG-W:/ Tax cost of residential development



The studies I have seen comparing costs of providing services to different 
land uses are all for exurban development, albeit some of that might be at a 
higher density.  I've not seen any study that looks at urban development per 
se, but generally speaking residential housing costs more than it pays in 
taxes due to the high service demand.  The opposite is true for commercial 
and industrial uses (and, tangentially, for farmland and open space) since 
those land uses pay a fair bit in taxes and don't require much in services, 
primarily because they don't produce school-aged children.  That statement 
may be less true if taxes are really high and so are property values, such as 
in Ann Arbor, and if the density is very high, say with multi-story 
buildings.  Regardless, commercial and industrial facilities are a net gain 
and housing a net drain.

Try having a look at the Rutgers/MSU/SEMCOG fiscal impact study published a 
couple years ago.  There might be some info there, or at least references.

Doug was probably referring to the infamous Potawatomi Land Trust cost of 
community services study of Scio Township, which indicated residential land 
costs $1.40 in services per dollar of tax paid.  The deciding factor was 
school building and operation.  The land trust is now doing a study in Ann 
Arbor Township comparing the future cost of development v. the cost of land 
preservation.  So far it looks like preservation is cheaper.  More to come on 
that.


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