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Turner Drake & Partners Ltd.
6182 North Street
Halifax, N.S.
B3K 1P5

Tel.: (902) 429-1811
Toll Free: (800) 567-3033
Fax.: (902) 429-1891

PO Box 332, Stn Main
Moncton, N.B.
E1C 8L4
Tel.: (506) 389-1811

Suite 221
12 Smythe Street
Saint John, N.B.
E2L 5G5
Tel.: (506) 634-1811

Suite 11
109 Richmond Street
Charlottetown, P.E.
C1A 1H7
Tel.: (902) 368-1811

35 York Street
St. John's, N.L.
A1C 5M3
Tel.: (709) 722-1811

4th Floor
111 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON.
M5C 1S2
Tel.: (416) 504-1811

E-Mail: tdp@turnerdrake.com
Internet: www.turnerdrake.com

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Planning Services

Cost Benefit Analysis

Municipalities are massively invested in urban real estate; well over 80% of municipal revenue is generated by real estate; property tax, deed transfer tax, development charges, permit fees and the like. Real estate tax revenue is critical to municipal budgets yet municipalities rarely consider real estate economics, or undertake a Cost Benefit Analysis, when making urban planning decisions; a behavior akin to investing one’s retirement savings without consideration of the expected risks and returns. Consideration of real estate economics to inform the urban planning process can maximise property values and hence municipal property tax revenue.

“Growth is good” is the prevailing wisdom. But is it always? Real estate development imposes extra costs on the municipal budget as well as enhancing the municipality’s property tax revenue. Unless the municipality utilises Cost Benefit Analysis to inform their urban planning process, property development may impair the municipal budget. The plain assumption that property development always pays for itself is being rightly questioned. Increasingly, communities are considering the fiscal impact of real estate development; undertaking a Cost Benefit Analysis determines how the expected revenue, capital and operating costs, of the property development affects municipal budgets, and by extension, property tax revenue. This issue is especially pertinent to the communities of Atlantic Canada where demographic and migration trends continue to erode the existing property tax base.

While real estate development is critical to community vitality, the way communities grow is a perennial civic conversation. A robust discussion is important; it is especially fruitful when supplemented with objective Cost Benefit Analysis. We are uniquely equipped to deliver that Cost Benefit Analysis. Our understanding of real estate valuation, demographic and market analysis in Atlantic Canada is unparalleled. Combined with the anticipated capital and operating costs of a property development proposal, we can provide a realistic model of a real estate development proposal’s fiscal performance and its net present value (NPV) impact on the municipality’s budget from a property tax revenue perspective. This Cost Benefit Analysis can be utilised to inform the urban planning process.