Land use controls of the type discussed here tend to be used less frequently by central
cities, most of which are trying to encourage, rather than limit, growth. Recent stringent
controls in San Francisco are an exception to this generalization. Similarly, they are less
common in rural areas or, more generally, in towns outside of metropolitan areas, which
also typically are more interested in promoting than in limiting growth.
2. As noted by Hanushek and
Quigley ( 1990), controls on non-residential property are
harder to justify in terms of rational behaviour on the part of voters. Their figures suggest
that the main beneficiaries of controls on commercial development in San Francisco are
probably the owners of existing commercial property rather than the residents who voted
for the controls. 3.
In addition to being denied the opportunity to attend good suburban schools, Fischel
( 1985, p. 317) also notes that the poor may have to pay high central city taxes for public
services, that they are denied the advantages of living in safer, more pleasant neighbourhoods, that they are denied convenient access to suburban jobs, and that they may face
higher housing prices.
Presumably, however, the same problem would arise with a local income tax: families
with low income would receive more in public services than they would pay in taxes.
An alternative solution to the problem of fiscally motivated zoning is to increase federal
and state financing for local public services. The disadvantage of this solution is the
reduction in welfare that comes from the loss of local control. However, aid targeted to
local jurisdictions that are fiscally disadvantaged or aid that increases with the community's openness to low income housing could potentially reduce some of the fiscal pressures
for exclusionary zoning.
Although the sample represents only 8 per cent of the counties in the country, the large
size of the counties included means that the sample includes more than 59 per cent of the
nation's population. The years were chosen to minimize the effects of the national economy
on the data; both 1978 and 1985 are three years into the expansion phase of the national
economic cycle. Within the sample, the mean increase in population during the seven-year
period was 9.5 per cent and the median 5.8 per cent. Population change ranged from a 9
per cent decline in St Louis City to increases of more than 74 per cent in Gwinnett, Georgia and Fort Bend, Texas. A quarter of the sample experienced population increases
of more than 15 per cent, but only 8 of the 248 large counties experienced increases
greater than 40 per cent.
This statement is based on the spending equations without controls. Only if the state-local
division of spending responsibilities can be held constant in the face of local population
growth are the no-controls equations the relevant ones.
8. A recent survey of this literature by Frank ( 1989) concludes that, 'none of the studies are
free of technical problems. None, furthermore, reach unassailable conclusions. The studies represent stimulating but faulty and ultimately unsatisfying attempts to define efficient
patterns of development' (p. 1). 9.
See note 6 for a description of the sample.
Ideally, she would like to examine the sum of current costs plus the annual cost of using
capital, but the latter is not available in the Census of Governments. Following standard
government accounting practices, the Census accounts for capital spending when it occurs
rather than on an annual cost-of-capital basis.
Altshuler, Alan A. and
José A. Gómez-Ibáñez ( 1993), Regulation for Revenue:The
Political Economy of Land Use Exactions, Washington D.C: Brookings Institution
and Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Local Government Tax and Land Use Policies in the United States:Understanding the Links.
Contributors: Helen F. Ladd - Author, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy - OrganizationName.
Publisher: Edward Elgar.
Place of publication: Cheltenham,UK.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 72.
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