Economics Expert Advises Arizonans on Municipal Finance
Twice each year about 150 Arizona citizens come together for three days to address a topic of major concern to the state’s future. Most recently, the 91st Arizona Town Hall focused on Land Use: Challenges and Choices for the 21st Century and included in the background report a chapter by Professor Carol Heim (economics) on “Taxes, Incentives, and Fiscal Policy Choices.”
Drawing on the research she conducted while holding a David C. Lincoln Fellowship in Land Value Taxation during 2006, Heim's chapter covered sales taxes and land development, competition among municipalities offering tax incentives to attract retail business, infrastructure finance for growing communities, the problem of declining construction-related revenues as communities approach build-out, and forward-looking planning and fiscal policies that can be adopted.
“Writing about municipal finance in a way that is both uncomplicated and accurate is definitely a challenge,” says Heim. “But being a resource person for the participants, and attending the Town Hall with other authors, was a great experience,” says Heim.
Past Town Hall recommendations have influenced public debate and decision-making on important policies. The background reports bring academic research findings into a policy arena, and are intended to be accessible to a broad audience. They are circulated to all members of the state legislature and other elected officials. Go to http://www.aztownhall.org/Summaries.asp for links to the background report and other items, including the recommendations adopted in the consensus document and remarks by Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior and previous Governor of Arizona.
December 17, 2007