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WEST HAVEN COMMUNITY FORUM Connecticut MetroPatterns and other Land Use and Tax Policy Initiatives: A Growing Consensus Robert W. Santy President Regional.

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Presentation on theme: "WEST HAVEN COMMUNITY FORUM Connecticut MetroPatterns and other Land Use and Tax Policy Initiatives: A Growing Consensus Robert W. Santy President Regional."— Presentation transcript:

1 WEST HAVEN COMMUNITY FORUM Connecticut MetroPatterns and other Land Use and Tax Policy Initiatives: A Growing Consensus Robert W. Santy President Regional Growth Partnership

2 Connecticut Metropatterns A Regional Agenda for Community and Prosperity in Connecticut Myron Orfield Thomas Luce

3 Special Act Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Burdens and Smart Growth Incentives John DeStefano, Jr. - Chairman Howard Dean - Vice-Chairman

4 Ct 21 Ct Regional Institute for the 21 st Century STEERING COMMITTEE Bridgeport Regional Business Council Capitol Region COG COG of the Central Naugatuck Valley CT Business & Industry Association CT Conference of Municipalities CT Economic Resource Center CT General Assembly CT Office of Policy & Management Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Greater Bridgeport Regional Planning Agency Regional Planning Agency Metro Metro Hartford Regional Economic Alliance Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Northeast Utilities Pitney Bowes Inc. Regional Growth Partnership Regional Plan Association SACIA, The Business Council of Southwest CT Southeastern CT COG Southeastern CT Enterprise Region

5 1000 Friends of Connecticut Modeled on similar organizations in other statesModeled on similar organizations in other states Mobilize broad –based members representing diverse interests on issues of growth and development in ConnecticutMobilize broad –based members representing diverse interests on issues of growth and development in Connecticut Advocate and promote community vitality through balanced economic growth and environmental healthAdvocate and promote community vitality through balanced economic growth and environmental health

6 CONNECTICUT M E T R O P A T T E R N S Key Findings  Simple contrasts between cities, suburbs and rural areas are out of date  Stressed  At-risk  Fringe-developing  Bedroom-developing  Affluent  All types of communities are hurt by the way the state is growing  All places would benefit from regional and statewide reforms  Reform is politically possible

7  Stressed –- 17% of the population  At-risk — 28% of the population  Fringe-developing — 6% of the population  Bedroom-developing — 24% of the population  Affluent suburbs — 11% of the population  Cities — 14% of the population M E T R O P A T T E R N S Suburban Typology Analysis of 169 municipalities showed six distinct types of communities:

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9 Community Classifications Community Classifications were developed by Orfield to group communities, much like Connecticut groups communities into ERGs (Education Reference Groups) West Haven is defined as a Stressed community This definition measures property tax base and growth, population growth and density and free lunch eligible students to group communities

10 West Haven’s Community Classifications West Haven just under 11 sq. miles is one of Connecticut’s smallest towns Population density is 865/square mile Grand list went up 1.5% between (state average =8%) Property tax at 57% of total revenue compared to 66% state average

11 Town Population 1998 % Change in Population Per Capita Equalized Net Grand, 1997 % change in Equalized Net Grand, % Change in property taxes, Property taxes as a % of total revenues, 1999 New Haven123, $30, Orange12, $120, West Haven51, $43, Woodbridge8,2652.4$135, Region Average 25, $65, State Average19,373N/A$84,

12  Between 1970 and 2000 urbanized land area increased by 102 percent while population grew by just 12 percent  Increasing congestion: average commute times increased by 16 percent in the 1990s  Loss of open space: farmland decreased by nearly 10 percent between 1987 and 1997 M E T R O P A T T E R N S Growth Patterns

13 Blue Ribbon Commission

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16 M E T R O P A T T E R N S Fiscal Capacity The tax resources of local government  Tax capacity indicates how high tax rates must be to support a given level of public services.  Current and prospective residents and businesses want value for their tax dollars.  Low local tax base combined with high needs push tax rates up and/or services down.

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19 Blue Ribbon Commission New Haven’s budget is about $350m A reasonable increase is 3%-$10.5m The Knights of Columbus Tower is assessed at $10,073,000 It pays $388,000 in taxes We would need to add 25+ new Knights of Columbus Towers every year to meet a reasonable budget increase

20  Schools are a powerful indicator of a community’s health and a predictor of the future.  Middle-class families choose to live in the least poor school districts they can afford.  When a place’s schools begin to become poorer, in more cases than not, the community will follow. M E T R O P A T T E R N S Schools

21 M E T R O P A T T E R N S Resources vs. Need

22 Blue Ribbon Commission CONNECTICUT’S LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM IS MORE RELIANT ON THE LOCAL PROPERTY TAX THAN ALL OTHER STATES % 20.00% 40.00% 60.00% 50-State Average 29.8% Source: National Center for Education Statistics. National Public Education Financial Survey, FY 2000 (latest available). 8/02. Local Property Tax Revenues as a % of Total Revenues for Local Public Education 50 states CT 52.7% NJ 51.0% MA 47.7% HI 0.0% NH 35.7%

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24 All types of places are hurt by the status quo  Stressed and At-risk  Low tax base, high and increasing social stress, insufficient or aging infrastructure  Fringe-developing  Low and stagnant tax base, growth-related costs (infra- structure and schools) on largely residential tax base  Bedroom-developing  Growth-related costs on largely residential tax base, loss of green space  Affluent  Congestion, long commutes and loss of green space M E T R O P A T T E R N S Consequences

25 Financing Local Services: What Do Citizens Think? Citizens Forum 2002: 134 randomly-selected residents of the South Central Connecticut Initially, 80% thought towns should retain control of their own taxes. After deliberation, 68% were open to other possibilities. 2003: 196 residents discuss the financing of local government services. Virtually everyone (98%) thought the system needed to be changed.

26 Financing Local Services: What Do Citizens Think? After Deliberation: 80%: state should increase aid to reduce local dependence on property tax 69%: “the current system of taxation does not enables towns to cover the services they need.” A majority support regional strategies. regional cooperation is best method for addressing local government financing. planning, service delivery, taxation. Whatever strategy they supported, 84% said towns should determine how funds are used.

27 Sacred Heart/New Haven Register Poll – March interviews proportionately in 23 towns800 interviews proportionately in 23 towns Problem of most concern: taxes 43% - almost 4x the next highest answerProblem of most concern: taxes 43% - almost 4x the next highest answer Only 28% had heard of “smart growth”, butOnly 28% had heard of “smart growth”, but 87% support its policy goals87% support its policy goals 82% support regional cooperation in problem solving, 77% to provide services82% support regional cooperation in problem solving, 77% to provide services 83.5% support state incentives for regional service delivery83.5% support state incentives for regional service delivery

28 M E T R O P O L I C Y Fiscal Reform  Reduce dependence on local property taxes  Reduce inequalities in tax rates and services  Reduce competition for tax base  Encourage joint economic development efforts  Complement regional or state-wide land-use planning Policies to reduce fiscal inequality already exist in all states. Equity-based reforms can:

29 Regional governments exist in all metro areas. They need to perform better by:  Better coordinating infrastructure with growth  Reinvesting in older parts of the region  Developing regional land-use plans From the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution M E T R O P O L I C Y Regional Leadership and Decision-Making

30 M E T R O P O L I C Y Land-Use Reform  Smart growth  Reinvest in existing areas  Develop in areas that can support it  Protect open space  Reduce barriers to affordable housing The central elements of comprehensive land-use reform include:  Regional coordination of local planning  Statewide efforts already exist in 16 states

31 Recommendations GOALS: 1.Lessen reliance on the property tax 2.Increase the equity, stability and sufficiency of the state-local revenue stream 3.Pursue strategies that work in support of Smart Growth 4.Promote transit alternatives to the automobile 5.Create municipal and regional partnerships to reduce destructive inter-municipal competition for grand list growth 6.Establish incentives to promote integration of local plans of development with state goals

32 Recommendations FUND LOCAL EDUCATION 1.Increase ECS Foundation to $7,900$500M 2.Municipal floor of 50% for education (MER)$300M 3.Minimum funding of 50% for Special Education$125M Fully fund PILOTs$250M

33 Recommendations 1.Explore local revenue options Continue real estate conveyance Locally retain 15% surcharge hotel tax 2.Regional sales tax option, approved by voters or Councils of Governments 3.Better knowledge base for decision making Tax incidence study 10.2% “Stadium Project Approved by Area Voters”

34 Recommendations Growth Information 1.Layered Geographic Information System (GIS) database, coordinating among municipalities and state agencies 2.A statewide build-out analysis under current land use regulatory format 3.A statewide evaluation of public costs associated with sprawl

35 Recommendations Require consistency between municipal, regional and state plans that incorporate smart growth principles Tie fiscal incentives to greater cooperation – particularly through the enhancement of the COG structure Give COGs control over more revenue streams

36 CT Regional Institute Link Smart Growth, Economic Development and Land UseLink Smart Growth, Economic Development and Land Use Strengthen State Plan of Conservation and DevelopmentStrengthen State Plan of Conservation and Development Strengthen RPOsStrengthen RPOs Establish Pre-Approved Development AreasEstablish Pre-Approved Development Areas Coordinate State agency actionsCoordinate State agency actions Lessen dependence on the Property Tax to fund local needsLessen dependence on the Property Tax to fund local needs

37 Next Steps Many issues can not be solved within town boundaries CenterEdge was created to provide education on these issues Many organizations are providing leadership on aspects of this debate – links are available on the Archdiocese website at Friends of Connecticut has been formed and will carry these issues to the Legislature Sponsoring organizations for tonight will continue their efforts

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39 TOWNPOPULATION 1998 % CHANGE IN POPULATION PER CAPITA EQUALIZED NET GRAND 1997 % CHANGE IN EQUALIZED NET GRAND 1994 – 1999 % CHANGE IN PROPERTY TAXES PROPERTY TAXES AS A % OF TOTAL REVENUE East Granby4,4382.5$107, Hartford131, $33, Simsbury21,7671.6$97, South Windsor22, , Wethersfield25,0951.3$78, Region Average28, $66, State Average19,373N/A$84, Regional Comparisons

40 119 square miles developed or 14.5% Development came at the expense of decidous forest Clear.uconn.edu

41 donks Residential development need not be a net loser for towns Baby boomlet resulted in 18% increase in school age population while total pop increased 3.5%

42 No other states have done the CLEAR comparisons of growth over 30 years CT has developed primarily where infrastrucure is. Research shows development is leapfrogging Reluctant to say it is sprawl Growth has been moderate People don’t want development because so much of it has been bad over the last 50 years, whether dense, loose urban or rural

43 Local resistance to growth is the fastest growing activity in CT Amount of housing needed just to keep even xxxxx units

44 Regional Comparisons- Property tax base per capita-2002 Wethersfield $ 98, sq. miles Farmington 165, Hartford 49, Bloomfield 104, Windsor 108,

45 Blue Ribbon Commission Business Taxes Components

46 Wethersfield’s Community Classifications Wethersfield is a small town geographically at only 13 square miles Population density is already 3 times the state average Grand list per capita went down between Property tax revenue rank is 27 – at 86% of total revenue Only 14.2% of grand list is commercial/industrial Wethersfield ranks 156 in the number of undeveloped acres 2004 – 12% of school population eligible for free/reduced lunch


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