Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How "Tax-Friendly" Is Your City and State?

While discussing economic indicators, I received a site that may prove interesting to some of you. CNNMoney.com provided a 2006 data set ranking states on tax-friendliness (measured as the per capita tax burden as a percentage of the per capita income.)

The data set also includes the 51 largest cities, and is provided in sortable tables.

The 2007 data set includes state-by-state and city comparisons, but adds to that income tax, sales tax, property tax, and retiree breaks information. The family tax burden comparison ranks 51 cities by the income, property, sales, and auto taxes on a family of three making $100,000 per year. (Jacksonville, Florida, where I live, ranks 49 out of the 51 cities.)

However, in this chart, they don't factor per capita taxes by per capita income, which I found a more useful comparison in the 2006 data set (though Jacksonville's ranking didn't change between the two formats.)

You may find this data useful -- though you may have some suggestions how how to think about tax data as part of a community indicator set. A ratio of per capita taxes compared to per child education funding may be interesting, for example -- the same data labeled as "tax burden" could also be labeled "government services support" or something similar, after all.

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