Cost of Community Services……no question, people are expensive

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We have been asked to find some information about the cost of providing public services (fire, police, roads, schools) versus the revenue generated from the three forms of land use – business, agriculture, and residential.

We did find a “Cost of Community Services Studies” by American Farmland Trust that addressed that specific question.

Cost of Community Services Studies

On the second page, it provides the results of some of the studies done in the United States and for Madison Village, & Madison Township in Lake County.

The studies show that the median cost (the midpoint of a frequency distribution) to provide public services (fire, police, roads, schools) for the three types of land use compared to each tax dollar collected are as follows:

Business – $.30
Agriculture – $.37
Residential – $1.16

So clearly businesses cost less to service, while residential costs more to service than the revenue collected from the taxpayers in real estate taxes.

Office, warehouses and farm animals do not cost as much since they need less services.  However, bringing more people into the community, especially high density housing, has a dramatic impact on the cost of public services, with schools being the number driver of costs. (68% of Lake County real estate taxes are for schools).

Hope this helps answer some questions.


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