When New Rochelle adopted its innovative downtown development plan in 2015, we made a firm commitment that taxpayers would come out ahead. Now, with almost thirty projects approved, the fiscal impacts of economic development are coming into clearer focus . . . and New Rochelle’s taxpayers are the big winners.
To be more specific, the projects so far receiving incentives from our local Industrial Development Agency will generate nearly $180 million in additional property tax revenue during the twenty year lifespan of those incentives and a whopping $500 million in additional property tax revenue during the subsequent twenty years. Our School District also does very well, with new revenue far exceeding the cost of educating additional students. These charts illustrate trend lines over twenty years, aggregate impacts in twenty year increments, and aggregate impacts over forty years.
In fact, this analysis actually understates the fiscal benefits of downtown development, because it ignores other enhanced revenue sources like sales tax, permit fees, and fair share mitigation payments for capital and infrastructure needs.
Downtown development is a complicated subject about which many people have strong feelings, pro and con. (It’s no secret that I’m a big supporter.) The fiscal effect of development is only one of many ways to evaluate the growth and evolution of our city center — but it’s an important one, and, by this test, New Rochelle’s plans are succeeding.