Tuesday, September 4, 2007

More on the Costs of...

Americans are paying $84 million a day ($31 billion annually) to live in communities that are laid-out inefficiently, according to the 2005 book, Sprawl Costs: Economic Impacts of Unchecked Development, the culmination of a 10-year research effort at Rutgers University and the Brookings Institution. "We are all paying a staggering price for sprawling development in this country, and that price will only go up as gas prices increase," writes coauthor Robert Burchell. "Sprawling communities need longer public roads, increase the cost of new water and sewer hookups by 20 percent to 40 percent, impose higher costs on police and fire departments and schools, and more. These costs are passed on to businesses and residents through higher taxes and fees and sometimes through fewer public services. And in most cases, sprawling developments do not generate enough property taxes to cover these added costs."