Mapping Value

Mapping Value Graphic


This visually-engaging analysis will assist policy makers, city staff and the community of Eugene in understanding how development patterns  and density affect infrastructure cost and their relationship to city finances. Growth should be managed to protect and enhance our quality of life and reflect our shared values. As part of a Triple Bottom Line approach to city building, we strive to understand how different patterns of development relate to the economic, environmental, and social aspects of sustainability. This analysis shows those relationships and was done in collaboration with Urban 3,  a nationally recognized firm, for their groundbreaking work in land value economics, property and retail tax analysis, and community design.

Property taxes are the primary revenue source for local governments in Oregon and because it supports most of the City’s services, staff at public agencies work to understand this tax revenue and plan for fluctuations. Traditionally, local governments have focused on properties that generate the most revenue. This analysis shows that it is important to look beyond the big accounts, and focus instead on tax revenue on a per-acre basis. With this per-acre perspective, the analysis shows that our community’s density and development patterns greatly affect tax revenue. Decision makers may use this analysis to understand how development patterns affect the City’s fiscal sustainability.

Phase I

This work analyzed the revenue side of the equation as the first step in our efforts to gather reliable and relevant data that help our community understand fiscal impacts of development. We used sophisticated 3D mapping to show the taxable value of land on a per-acre basis to provide a foundation for Phase II. We produced a booklet that explains some of the key terminology of property taxes, discusses how development patterns affect tax revenue, and includes maps that visually display the data.

U3 Booklet Link

Phase II

Following up on the analysis of property tax revenues completed by city staff during Phase I, we examined the cost of constructing and maintaining roads, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure in relation to the value determinations from Phase I. The results are quite extraordinary. We can determine if providing infrastructure to a given density of development will pencil out from the city's perspective so we can guide financially sound infrastructure investments.