FISCAL IMPACT OF NEW TOWN AND SUBURBAN DEVELOPMENT. AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF RESTON, WEST SPRINGFIELD AND FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA

Over the past few years several new techniques have been incorporated into the process of planning for land development. One of significant interest is anlaysis of fiscal impact--the effect a community has on a local government's revenues and expenditures. Used primarily to predict the fiscal effect of a proposed land use change, fiscal impact analysis rarely describes what actually happens; more often it is used to compare alternative proposals for development. This article includes both: it is an empirical fiscal impact study which compares effects on finances of a single local government caused by a new town and a conventional suburb. According to data analyzed for Fairfax County, Virginia, the new town of Reston more than paid its own way in fiscal year 1971, while a conventional suburb, West Springfield, failed to do so. This outcome is due to several factors discussed below. Both communities are unincorprated places with similar populations. These two communities differ most obviously in their form: West Springfield (as designated in this study) is a typical Washington, D.C. suburban of single-family homes on quarter-acre lots, with a small townhouse cluster; Reston is a new town designed for commerical and industrial development concurrent with a variety of residential types and recreational open spaces. Farifax County, located west of Washington, D.C., experienced rapid (350 percent) growth between 1950 and 1970. Both communities selected for this study developed during the 1960s; had approximately equal population in the 1970 U.S. census; are located outside the interest beltway which rings the District; had sanitary sewer service available during development; and are not centered by a preexistent community. Fairfax County is the single local taxing jurisdiction for both communities and supplies the usual local government services such as eductaion, library, and public safety. Fairfax County income from and outlay for both places are reconciled and observations are offered in this report. /Author/

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Urban Land Institute

    1200 18th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Authors:
    • Cuthbertson, I D
  • Publication Date: 1976-1

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 5-12
  • Serial:
    • Urban Land
    • Volume: 35
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: Urban Land Institute
    • ISSN: 0042-0891

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131661
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 5 1981 12:00AM