Pitching green infrastructures to political leaders: not just benefits, but also tax $

The COVID 19 pandemic exposed the limited and unbalanced access to green infrastructures (GIs). There are many publications about the benefits of GIs. Interestingly, most of the audiences/readers are the believers. It is more of “preaching to the choir”! At the same time, a significant percentage of population does not (or does not want to) believe it. This percentage seems higher among the law/budget makers, both elected and professional. The proof is the large number of budget cuts, layoffs, hire freezes, furloughs, or program reductions in parks and urban/community forestry since March 2020. How to reach these non-believers?

This talk aims to provide tools/resources to the green industry leaders on how to persuade their budget makers. Instead of endlessly talking about the big-picture benefits and economics of GI that seem non-related/non-essential to some law/budget makers, this talk gets directly to tax dollars, the thing they care most. It is two-fold: How do GIs save money? And how do GIs generate more tax revenue? Both are directly connected to the line items in a government budget. If you can assign the benefits of green space with a dollar amount, you can keep from falling asleep!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the benefits of green infrastructure: air quality, water quality, stormwater retention and detention, energy saving, aesthetic, health, and more.
  2. Learn the number of ways that green infrastructure can save tax payer’s money, some of which are having a price tag of billion dollars and some of which are related to personal level safety.
  3. Learn the number of ways that green infrastructure can help increase tax revenue, for example property value increase is directly correlates to property tax increase.

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