To Inform, Provoke, Dispel, and Inspire—Ideas and actions for life in Worthington, Ohio
Ideas, Actions, People, and Commentary in the City of Worthington

Housing and the City Budget

There are reasons that a community may want to promote the development of housing, but a positive impact on the city budget is not one of them. In fact, as the above chart illustrates, all forms of housing have a net negative impact on city finances when service and maintenance expenses are included in the calculation.*

I know this may be surprising to some, but it reflects the fact that the city receives a very small portion of property taxes, as the chart below illustrates (in 2017 the schools received ≈ 76% of property taxes, the county ≈ 15%, and both the city and libraries ≈ 4% each).

I remember speaking with residents back in 2015 who assumed that whatever support there was within the city for the Lifestyle Communities development proposal for 500+ units (apartments, condos, single-family) at UMCH had to be financially driven. I hope this post helps to inform community awareness and future public discussions centered on this and other housing/development issues.

* This chart is drawn from a study conducted years ago for the City of Dublin. I chose to use data from this study because it had the best graphic I could find for this issue. Other more recent studies of the impact of different development forms in Ohio on municipal budgets convey the same general analysis.

** The source of this chart is the City of Worthington.

David Robinson

David Robinson lives in Worthington with his wife, Lorraine, and their three children—one who attends Kilbourne Middle School, one who attends Phoenix Middle School, and one who is a graduate of the Linworth High School Program and Otterbein University. David is President and co-owner of Marcy Adhesives, Inc., a local manufacturing company. David has served on Worthington City Council since January, 2018, and is deeply committed to 1) advancing resident-centered policies, 2) supporting responsible development that enhances our unique historic character, 3) endorsing environmentally sustainable practices for both residents and city operations, 4) promoting the safety and well-being of all residents, and 5) preserving the walkable, tree-filled, distinctive, friendly nature of our neighborhoods.