The City of Fate has adopted a “fiscal sustainability” policy direction in its recently adopted Comprehensive Plan (adopted October 2021). But what does fiscal sustainability mean? For us, it means that over a long-term period the City of Fate will be able to cover its cost obligations and provide high service quality for its residents without major increases in property tax rates, high levels of debt through bond issuances, or degradation of city facilities due to lack of maintenance staff or resources. To maintain fiscal sustainability it is therefore critical that we evaluate new development proposals not only against our adopted development regulations and construction standards but also in relation to the fiscal productivity of the project.
Fiscal productivity is the amount of private wealth created on any specific land area of the city. Productivity is measured in value per acre terms to be fair when comparing parcels of different sizes. As we evaluate the fiscal productivity of a project (which translates, in part, to tax revenues to the city) in our fiscal analysis spreadsheet below, we also estimate the ongoing maintenance costs and the future replacement costs of the infrastructure serving the development and the annual general service (public safety and general administrative services) costs for the project (which are all cost obligations on the city).
These contributions and costs are compared to one another to ultimately determine if a project is going to contribute to the long-term fiscal sustainability of the city, or whether it will serve as a financial drain on our city’s taxpayers. This calculation serves as a decision-making tool and is not the sole determining factor in whether a project is approved or denied by the City’s decision-makers. At times, a project that is not “fiscally sustainable” may still be desired by the city due to other factors such as cultural, tourism, catalyst, or other qualities.