Government
6:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

New regional tool calculates potential land development impacts

A new computer tool aims to give regional government better accuracy in predicting the impact of residential or commercial development.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports on the new ‘fiscal calculator’ tool:

 All area governments have to do is enter acreage and the type of development that’s being proposed.  The program, in turn, reveals the potential impact a development would have on a city or school’s operating budget, sales tax revenues and population or job number changes.  Nick Hayward is with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. He says the tool is crafted to individual local municipalities, which means a much better prediction for how a commercial or residential development will impact an area:

 “Certainly land development provides revenues in the form of property taxes and sales taxes,” Hayward says.

 “But units of government also incur expenses in serving new developments, whether it be police expenses, fire protection, waste management.  So this tool was designed to enable local units of government to arrive at sound estimates of what the true fiscal impact will be of land development projects.”

 The tool is expected to roll out after the end of November.  Hayward says the commission also wants to incorporate public input on possible land developments using both the fiscal tool and GIS mapping software to show potential impacts.