Laurie Reynolds


Regulation for Revenue: The Political Economy of Land Use Exactions, by Alan Altshuler" & Jose A. Gomez-Ibanez.*" Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution; Cambridge, Mass.: The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1993. 175 pages.

In their apparently never-ending search for new ways to pay for capital infrastructure without raising general tax rates, local governments have increasingly turned to developers as the source of funding for numerous improvements. Known generically as exactions, the costs imposed on new commercial and residential development range from dedication of land for public improvements to fees to fund public services such as roads and utilities, and, less commonly, to requests for developer contributions to day care facilities and other social programs. In their recent monograph, Professors Altshuler and Gomez-Ibanez trace the historical development and current scope of land use exactions and challenge some of the common wisdom about the fairness and efficiency of exaction strategies. Their concise volume should stimulate parties on both sides of this political planning issue. For the proexaction forces, Altshuler and G6mez-Ibdflez's analysis of fairness and efficiency concerns should temper their zeal for pinning all costs on the developer. At the same time, the anti-exaction forces should consider carefully the strong dose of real-world pragmatism in the authors' conclusion that exactions may be preferable to most of their alternatives.

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