How Your Taxes Fuel Suburban Sprawl
Report Spring 2000
Suburban sprawl has been rightly blamed for many things: destroying
green space, increasing air and water pollution, fracturing our neighborhoods and forcing
us to drive gridlocked roads for every chore. But there is one consequence that usually
goes unmentioned - sprawl is draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes.
Sprawl is the result of over five decades of subsidies paid for by the
American taxpayer. These range from the obvious to the obscure and include big
projects-like the billions we spend on new roads as well as smaller ones-like the
tax-breaks that encourage businesses to move to the edge of town.
We've subsidized sprawl at such a basic level for so long, that many
people believe the status quo is actually fair and neutral. This is false-what we think of
as a level playing field is tilted steeply in favor of sprawling development.
Full report in pdf (470k)
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