In this paper, a theoretical model is developed to analyze the interactions among residential development, land use regulations, and public financial impacts (public expenditure and property tax). A simultaneous equations system with self-selection and discrete dependent variables is estimated to determine the interactions for counties in the five western states (California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington). The results show that county governments are more likely to impose land use regulations when facing rapid land development, high public expenditure and property tax. The land use regulations, in turn, decrease land development, long-run public expenditure, and property tax at the cost of higher housing prices and property tax. During the period of 1982-1992, land use regulations reduced developed areas by 612,800 acres or 8.8 % of the developed area of five western states in 1992, but increased housing price by $5,741 per unit under "stringent" regulations and $1,319 per unit under "low" regulations. Because it costs money to develop and implement land use regulations, land use regulations increased public expenditure and property tax in the short run, during the period of 1982-1987. However, in the long-run (1982-1992), land use regulations actually reduce public expenditure and property taxes because the regulations reduce developed areas. The results also show that land use regulations, land development, public expenditure, and property tax all are significantly affected by population, geographic location, land quality, housing prices, and the risks and costs of development.


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