Fiscal Policy and Land Use Interaction

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You’ll learn about:

  • The ways in which fiscal policy decisions can affect land use outcomes
  • The ways in which land use decisions can affect fiscal outcomes
  • The foundation for active cooperation between city planners and public finance experts


This session seeks to create a dialogue between planning and fiscal goals. It addresses the fiscalization of land use, “the use of land use planning to encourage revenue production as a first-order goal,” as well as the ways in which planning can enhance or undermine municipal fiscal health.


Property tax and sales tax dependent communities can create different emphases on particular land uses. Planners need to understand these impacts. For instance, Colorado communities are sales tax dependent and can capture the sales tax generated in their communities, leading to an emphasis on retail development, and competition between communities to capture retail sales from adjacent communities. As communities try to respond by building their own retail this results in an overbuilding of retail. Policy options include statewide revenue sharing (Wyoming), regional revenue sharing (Metro Council in Minnesota), or intergovernmental revenue sharing agreements (IGAs).


At the same time, development can be planned so it aligns with appropriate revenue instruments, and creates revenue and reduces costs for the municipality. However, fragmented and overlying jurisdictions, as well as the absence of fiscal considerations in typical planning processes, mean that the fiscal impact of municipal plans may fall on other jurisdictions or is greater than needed to achieve planning goals.


Andrew Reschovsky , Lincoln Institute of Land Policy , Cambridge , MA (see bio)
Julie Herlands , AICP , TischlerBise , Falls Church , VA (see bio)
Michael Pagano , Univ of Illinois at Chicago , Chicago , IL (see bio)
Amy Cotter , Cambridge , MA