At first glance, a neighborhood with fewer large homes valued at $600,000 to $900,000 might look more fiscally sustainable than a neighborhood with more modestly priced homes.
But Jeff Schug, director of transportation services for McClure Engineering, said a study his firm conducted in Norwalk, Iowa, (a suburb of Des Moines) suggests the opposite is true. In fact, a more expensive, less dense, development will find it much more difficult to generate enough property tax revenue for maintenance and replacement of its infrastructure over time, when compared to a high- or medium-density neighborhood of more modest homes. . . His findings: It will take 100 years to collect enough property tax, currently levied for infrastructure, to replace water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and streets, in the low-density neighborhood.