Economic Impact Analysis of the Ingham County Property Tax Auction

October 16, 2015
by Mary Beth Graebert, Yue Cui, Huiqing Huang, and Lauren Bretz

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The MSU Land Policy Institute (LPI), in partnership with the Ingham County Treasurer’s Office completed a study to objectively and empirically measure economic impacts of the Ingham County Tax Auction Sale activities, including: 1) Literature Review; 2) Hedonic Property Price Analysis; 3) IMPLAN Economic Impact Assessment; and 4) Tax Auction and Land Bank Comparison. Previous literature showed that blight generally has a negative impact on property prices, particularly in distressed neighborhoods, and that property rehabilitation can achieve neighborhood-wide benefits. The property price analysis showed no significant results associated with the actual sale of tax auction properties in a neighborhood; however, for properties that were renovated (as evidenced by the issuance of a permit), there was a positive relationship to property prices within 500 feet. Finally, the IMPLAN Economic Impact Assessment showed that the investment of $2.3 million from the Ingham County Treasurer’s Office leveraged approximately $1.28 in the economy for every $1 spent and added 21 jobs to the region. The results of these analyses, taken together, provide a more comprehensive assessment of the value created and sustained by Ingham County’s tax auction. This information could be used as a strategic decision support tool that can assist the Treasurer in formulating longer-range goals and objectives for neighborhood revitalization. This work was funded by the Ingham County Treasurer’s Office.