Smart growth produces 10 times more tax revenue

Finally, evidence of what we all knew: Walkable communities save/create significant $ for municipalities.

Produced by Smart Growth America, Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development surveys 17 studies that compare different development scenarios.

Here are their key findings:

“1. Smart growth development costs one-third less for upfront infrastructure. Smart growth development saves an average of 38% on upfront costs for new construction of roads, sewers, water lines and other infrastructure. Many studies have concluded that this number is as high as 50%.

2. Smart growth development saves an average of 10% on ongoing delivery of services. Smart growth development saves municipalities an average of 10% on police, ambulance and fire service costs.

3. Smart growth development generates 10 times more tax revenue per acre than conventional suburban development.
On an average per-acre basis, smart growth development produces 10 times more tax revenue than conventional suburban development.

A study for Raleigh, NC, concluded that a six-story building downtown produces 50 times as much property tax revenue per acre as an average Walmart store (see below). Even a three-story residential building produces more property tax revenue per-acre
than a major shopping mall.

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