Elkins, West Virginia has been working to revitalize their downtown, a challenge in any circumstance, but especially in a rural Appalachian town. The workshop with Smart Growth America shared expertise and provided site-specific advice to aid local officials and community members in placemaking. The SGA team visited Elkins for two days where they participated … Continued
Fiscal Impact Analysis
Leaders of every community—big metropolis and small town alike—strive to foster economic growth and prosperity. Regardless of party or ideology, every elected official prefers the choice of lowering taxes or increasing services compared to the reverse. A growing economy and tax base make that easier to achieve, and so most local policies are intended to … Continued
Fiscal impact analysis is a tool that is already in the playbook for many planners, politicians, and developers. It arises out of the straightforward need to understand how much new development will cost. A typical fiscal analysis uses the average cost method, which assumes that each new resident or employee associated with new development generates … Continued
Introduction Leaders of every community, big city, or small municipality, whether they’re in a major metropolitan area or a rural area, strive to foster economic growth and prosperity. They want good jobs, successful local businesses, and ideally, for municipal resources to grow faster than the costs of existing programs. Regardless of party or ideology, every … Continued
The small Colorado town of Pagosa Springs is focused on revitalizing its downtown and supporting more mixed-use, walkable development to both address a lack of affordable housing and accommodate a large volume of tourists. There are a number of opportunities to make progress in the near-term, including turning a recent disaster in the downtown into a catalytic redevelopment opportunity.
Quitman, MS (population 2,209) is a cozy town in eastern Mississippi that prides itself on its locally owned Main Street businesses, banking and health care industries, commitment to green practices, and fiber optic internet access.
Quitman wants to build on these assets, and leaders are looking for ways to grow the town’s economy and revitalize the town center. To help do that, Quitman leaders applied for an won a Foundations of Smart Growth technical assistance workshop as part of our program in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After talking with the town about their ideas and plans, we also awarded Quitman a Fiscal Impact Analysis at no cost, as part of our Rural Development program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Our Fiscal Impact Analysis is a data-intensive model designed to show how different development scenarios could impact future public finances.
In late April Smart Growth America released three new toolkits for smart growth in rural places. Our Community Facilities Location toolkit helps communities make the most of new facilities like hospitals or post offices. Our Well-Placed Affordable Housing toolkit looks at creating centrally located housing infrastructure. And our Fiscal Impact Analysis toolkit looks at how local government can better understand the long-term financial implications of decisions about new development.
In rural places, a smart growth approach can mean putting a new post office near the elementary school, creating more affordable homes near jobs, or analyzing the long-term financial impact of development decisions.