Mixed Use Reduces Infrastructure Costs and Increases Tax Receipts

The local Smart Growth advocacy organization, Futurewise, posted this rather amazing presentation to their Facebook page this morning. It is a study by Public Interest Projects, Inc. for Sarasota County, Florida. In it they make the financial case for Smart Growth with some exceptionally compelling graphs. After analyzing the county's current tax yield for various land uses, they determined that the local mall was the county's financial engine, grossing some $21,752 per year.

But changing the scale of the analysis, the returns of the mall look paltry when compared to various mixed use developments within the City of Sarasota, the most dense of which is netting some $803,000 for County coiffers per year.  That's  3,500% higher than the mall.

There's another story to be told too, which is particularly compelling for us: the cost of infrastructure. Factoring in infrastructure, the comparison between high-rise urban residential land uses and suburban multifamily land uses shows a 35%  ROIf for the municipality compared to a 2% ROIf for the suburban land use. Infrastructure surrounded by mixed use buildings makes the city money, and it generous financial returns happen in as little as 3 years.

Number of Years to Receive a Return of Infrastructure Dollars. Image by Public Interest Projects