The Economic Benefits of Built Environment Supportive of Active Living in Dallas Tax Increment Financing Districts
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This dissertation consists of three studies to systematically evaluate the economic benefits of activity-friendly environmental features in Dallas Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, Dallas, Texas, and to examine if TIF developments deliver more walkable/accessible environments, as compared to non-TIF comparison neighborhoods. Topic 1 employed a quasi-experimental design and the propensity score matching approach to establish a causal inference between TIF development effects and housing value growth and destination accessibility. The findings suggested that the overall TIF development effects accounted for $27,840 (or 95.6%) of the total average SF housing value growth from 2008 to 2014, while the confounding influence of structural attributes and residential locations only accounted for $1,267 (or 4.4%) of the housing value growth, as compared to their counterparts in comparison neighborhoods. In terms of destination accessibility, the overall TIF effects accounted for 8 additional points (of the 100-point scale) on Walk Score, while the other factors only accounted for 2 additional points. The results suggested that TIF developments do stimulate housing value growth, while increasing accessibility to various destinations. Topic 2 followed a socio-ecological framework to examine the effect of personal, neighborhood, and built environmental factors on active commuting to work in TIF and non-TIF comparison neighborhoods, using fractional logit models with margin effects and margin plots. The findings suggested that the built environmental factors only influenced active commuting to work in the neighborhoods that are already fairly walkable. The findings also suggested that travel time and personal factors played a consistently important role in influencing the active commuting behavior in both models, regardless of the variation of physical walking environments. In addition, TIF neighborhoods mitigated the negative impact on active commuting from disadvantaged areas. Topic 3 utilized a 7Ds measurement framework to systematically examine and compare the economic benefits of various activity-friendly environments in TIF and comparison neighborhoods, using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, spatial regression, and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) approaches. The finding suggested (1) destination accessibility and transportation facilities were positively associated with appreciation rates, but other activity-friendly environmental features are not associated with higher appreciation rates, and (2) neighborhoods with better walkable environments are associated with higher appreciation rates (1.36% in TIF vs. 0.95% in comparison neighborhoods).
SubjectTax increment Financing
Causal Inference, 7Ds measurement
Xu, Minjie (2015). The Economic Benefits of Built Environment Supportive of Active Living in Dallas Tax Increment Financing Districts. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from