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An Assessment of Tax Revenues Generated by Homes Proximate to a Greenway

John L. Crompton, Sarah Nicholls


In recent years a number of papers have been published validating the positive impact of parks on property values. This paper follows the early precedent established by Olmsted in extending the analysis to calculate the tax revenues that accrue to a community from these value increments and relating them to the cost of the land acquisition.

The analysis was undertaken on the 7.9 mile Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin, Texas. Th e cost of acquiring the greenbelt in 2004 dollars was estimated at $14.89 million, and the annual debt charges were assumed to be approximately $1.1 million. When the prevailing tax rates were applied to the property value increments attributable to the greenbelt, they generated tax revenues to the city of $58,677 and $311,844 to all the taxing entities. Th us, the tax revenues from the incremental tax base values met only 28.4% of the annual debt charges. However, a large majority of the greenbelt area users are likely to come from beyond the proximate neighborhoods, so it is likely that neighborhood residents were paying their “fair share” of the greenway’s costs.


proximate principle, parks, property values, tax revenues

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