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Smarter growth = more economic benefits.
Towns across Washington State are looking for ways to balance their budgets and implementing smarter development strategies could help them do that.
A new report released today by the national non-profit Smart Growth America reveals how much municipalities can save, on average, by using smart growth development strategies. The report also examines how much revenue smart growth development generates compared to the alternatives.
“Communities across Washington State are already using smarter growth to cut costs and increase revenue,” said Hilary Franz, Executive Director of Futurewise. “This is true for cities like Spokane to counties like King. Just last year King County voted to keep schools serving urban populations inside urban growth areas to avoid $30 million in county road costs alone. This new report shows other communities what savings they could achieve if they too planned development and used land more efficiently.”
Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development surveyed case studies from across the country that compare the costs and benefits of smart growth development with conventional suburban development. The report finds:
- Smart growth development costs at least one third less for upfront infrastructure construction.
- Smart growth development saves taxpayers at least 10 percent on ongoing delivery of services.
- Smart growth development generates 10 times more tax revenue per acre than conventional suburban development.
“These figures should make ever civic leader in America stop and take a hard look at what impact their development is having on public finances,” said William Fulton, Vice President of Policy Development and Implementation at Smart Growth America. “Smart growth strategies can cut costs and raise revenues for any town or city, that’s what this research shows.”
“By focusing development inside our existing cities and towns, not only will we reduce costs for taxpayer for infrastructure like roads, sidewalks and bus lines, but we’ll also keep household transportation costs down too,” said Rob Johnson, Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition.
“At a time when more and more working families are finding it difficult to make ends meet, our local and state elected officials need to take every opportunity to reduce taxpayer costs and use our existing resources more efficiently, this report shows we can do that by changing how we build our communities,” added Franz.
Read the complete report at http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/building-better-budgets.