Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Tax Policies

New Jersey’s fragmented system of local governance and its disproportionate reliance on property taxes for funding local services (particularly schools) combine to create incentives that have powerful, distorting effects on land-use decision-making.

Because municipalities are so often on their own to pay for local schools (regional, multi-municipality K-12 school districts are the exception, not the rule), every municipality has an incentive to adopt zoning that discourages any residential development that might attract new schoolchildren and hence require a hike in property tax rates.  Instead, municipalities compete for the limited number of “clean ratables,” such as office parks and shopping malls, that their region can sustain.  This results in the sub-optimal location of major projects and a self-reinforcing downward spiral of disinvestment for those municipalities that are unable to score these major projects, as rising tax rates continue to chase away the more prosperous residents and businesses.

Future Facts
Report: Changes in Affordable Housing Tax Credit Criteria Move More People to High-Opportunity Areas

Analysis shows changes in how affordable-housing tax credits are allocated can move such housing away from areas of concentrated poverty and into areas with greater access to opportunity.

Recommendations for the Next Governor

New Jersey Future’s 2017 gubernatorial platform recommends targeted smart-growth investments and strategies to help accelerate New Jersey’s economic growth.

Planning for Sea-Level Rise VI: Tax Districts

Sixth of a series of articles detailing strategies coastal states are examining in order to plan for sea-level rise. This article addresses the use of special tax districts to provide risk-related services to flood-vulnerable areas.

What Can 23 Cents Buy?

The 23-cent gas tax increase is a good start toward sustainable transportation funding, but it will only benefit the state if we can allocate it to the right things.

Explainer: How to Think About New Jersey’s Population (and Income) Growth

When we examine population and income migration into and out of New Jersey, it’s important to include all the factors that comprise it. The good news: Both are growing.

Articles and Stories
ForwardNJ Coalition Lists Transportation Funding Priorities

the ForwardNJ coalition offers priorities for Transportation Trust Fund. February 2015.

New Jersey Future Statement on Signing of A3969/S2647, the ‘Meadowlands Bill’

Both the drafting and the signing of such ill-constructed, vague and contradictory legislation is regrettable, and puts progress on many fronts at risk. February 2015.

New Jersey’s Economic Opportunity Act and Smart Growth: A Progress Report

The Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 included additional incentives for projects destined for “smart-growth” areas. This report analyzes how effective the updated incentives have been at directing growth to those areas. December 2014.

Targeting Transit: Assessing Development Opportunities Around New Jersey’s Transit Stations

New Jersey has 243 transit facilities, ranging from small single-track stations to major multi-line hubs. The unique characteristics of each station, of its immediate neighborhood, and of its surrounding municipality mean that a wide variety of development strategies should be brought to bear in order to maximize each location’s potential. This report shows how data assembled by New Jersey Future can be used to make decisions on how to target various kinds of transit-oriented development efforts. September 2012.

Smart Growth FAQ

Some frequently-asked questions about how smart growth would affect New Jersey’s future development, including how it affects traffic, taxes, and land preservation.

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Reports, Presentations and Testimony

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