The Effects of Different Land Uses in Missouri on Local Fiscal Conditions – Cost of Community Services Project Update – 4/12/02.
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The Effects of Different Land Uses in Missouri on Local Fiscal Conditions – Cost of Community Services Project Update – 4/12/02
The initial question: -- Are people with agricultural land in Missouri paying their “fair share” of property taxes? What is “fair”? Benefit view: when people’s taxes are sufficient to finance the public services they demand. Ability to pay view: when people with higher-income pay more taxes than those with lower income (DeBoer & Zhou)
Purpose of the Study 1. To review strategies used by other communities in addressing the questions of land use and its associated tax rates 2. To analyze fiscal scenarios in several Missouri communities that are representative of the changing state demographics and the various types of communities
Purpose of the Study 3. To demonstrate how the ratios of cost of services compared to tax revenues generated by real property taxes differ in various communities. By utilizing the results of this study, rural and urban residents, as well as decision makers will obtain access to fiscal information that will aid them in land use planning and in identifying potential land uses.
Sponsoring agencies MO Department of Agriculture MO Department of Conservation MO Department of Economic Development MO Department of Natural Resources MO Department of Transportation
COS uses fiscal impact analysis to determine how various types of land use affect local government taxation and expenditure. COS Methodology: 1. Identify land use categories in this study, agricultural, residential, commercial. COS are examined at the county level. 2. Collect data on local revenues and expenditures It’s important to note that this study only examines real property tax revenues. 3. Calculate percentages for allocation of revenues and expenditures
COS Methodology Expenditure calculations Default percentages: By taking the assessed valuations, dividing by the assessment rate, we get the “market value” of each land type in each jurisdiction. Calculate any exceptions to the default percentages based on assumptions (e.g., schools, libraries, parks and recreations, sheriff’s dept, fire dept); Anna Kovalyova: 12, 19 and 32% Anna Kovalyova: 12, 19 and 32%
COS Methodology 4. Then expenditures are allocated across land use based upon the percentages (either default, or pre-set) For example, ag. value/total county market value = 20% Therefore, ag. land is assumed to receive 20% of public services (i.e., we allocate 20% of local government expenditures to ag. land) 5. Final step is to divide expenditures by revenues to calculate the COS ratio
Interpretation of COS ratios: If ratio = 1, the particular land use is “revenue neutral”; If ratio >1, the particular land use does not pay for itself; If ratio <1, the land use more than pays for itself.
Reasoning behind COS Currently, for the purpose of real property taxation, land in MO is assessed at one of 3 different rates, depending on the type of land and its use: ag. land - at 12% of its production value, residential – at 19%, and commercial – at 32% of their market value. In reviewing these rates, it seems that residential and commercial land would generate more revenue (relative to the base) for government services than agricultural land would.
Reasoning behind COS Local officials are tempted to encourage growth among the residential and commercial sectors of their jurisdiction But many times the costs of providing services in different areas are not accounted for when making these decisions. While residential and commercial property may generate more tax revenue, in some instances, these types of property will also require more services, which can become costly.
Reasoning behind COS Many studies indicate that residential development, by itself, does not provide the revenues that are needed to pay for services (American Farmland Trust).
COS Limitations The method is descriptive, and not predictive. Based on average, rather than marginal costs; Basis Measurement errors: per dollar vs. per acre calculations; Level of aggregation: ignores key distinctions between different land uses within the same category; Ignores capacity to develop and economies of scale/spreading fixed cost; Ignore the indirect impact/multiplier effects; Does not acknowledge the nature of public goods; Land in itself does not demand services!
Review of other studies American Farmland Trust Pioneered COS in 1986; Has used the COS methodology in over 70 studies. Median results are: Residential – 1.15 Commercial - 0.27 Agricultural - 0.34
Review of other studies Wisconsin Several studies performed by the Wisconsin Land Use Research Program, University of Wisconsin. Uses a ratio of allocated expenditures divided by revenues. A ratio of greater than 1 indicates that the costs are greater than revenues, and less than 1 means that the revenues are greater that the costs
Review of other studies Wisconsin results from various studies: Residential - 1.02 to 1.20 Commercial - 0.15 to 1.11 Agricultural - 0.04 to 0.93
Study Assumptions General county government is assumed to serve all 3 types of land use; Road & Bridge: assume that road infrastructure is enjoyed by people from other jurisdictions; Thus, use default ratios; Houses on ag. land are assessed as residential (up to 5 acres);
Study Assumptions Default percentages, except: School districts: Residential land receives all the benefits from school districts; Ag. Land and Commercial Land receive NO benefit from services such as juvenile services, parks and recs; and libraries; County sheriff’s departments serve all land uses outside the tax jurisdictions that operate their own law enforcement agencies; County fire departments serve all land uses outside the tax jurisdictions that operate their own fire departments.
Cole County Results All government – includes all services such as county offices, fire districts, library districts, school districts
Cole County Results School districts - only reviews school district expenditures and revenues
Cole County Results All government, excluding school districts
Retail Sales vs. Commercial Property 98.8% correlation between the amount of assessed value of commercial property and retail sales For every increase of $1 in assessed value of commercial property, there is an expected increase of $4.18 in retail sales.
Retail Sales vs. Residential Property 97.8% correlation between the amount of assessed value of residential property and retail sales For every increase of $1 in assessed value of residential property, there is an expected increase of $1.85 in retail sales.
Conclusions Consistent with the findings from other COCS studies; In the present tax structure and associated levy rates of Missouri communities, residential development, by itself, does not provide the revenues that are needed to pay for public services; To evaluate the impact of alternative economic uses of land in a community, impact assessment tools should be utilized.