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States, Localities Have Options to Stimulate the Economy

NAHB has developed an online resource guide suggesting policies that state and local governments can pursue to stimulate investment and growth and boost the economy.

“We tend to look to the federal government to take action when the economy slows considerably,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn. “But state and local governments also have tools at their disposal to address the unique economic conditions in their communities. This resource guide explains some of the economic tools that have been tried and proven successful.”

The resource guide includes an overview of each policy tool, talking points and case studies on how state and local governments have used these policies to encourage economic growth. The tools have been divided into several categories:

  • Foreclosure prevention and mortgage assistance
  • Tax credit programs
  • Reductions and waivers for impact fees and development fees
  • Streamlining the regulatory process
  • Infrastructure finance options
    • Special assessment districts
    • Public/private partnerships
    • Tax increment financing

The tools address factors that are aggravating the current housing and economic downturn and eroding consumer confidence, including high foreclosure rates and soft or falling house prices.

“The tools suggested in the resource guide are designed to encourage economic activity in the local economy by providing incentives to act now,” Dunn said. “The expectation is that these tools will spur economic activity, and that a virtuous circle of investment and job growth will restore consumer confidence in housing and in the local economy.”

The most effective boosts are temporary, targeted and timely. A lengthy delay in adopting these measures could do more harm than good as prospective home buyers procrastinate further, Dunn said.

“It is our hope that state and local policy makers, business leaders, builders and developers, community leaders and other stakeholders will work together to enact some of these proposals to help businesses and help families,” Dunn said. “It’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and get America’s economy back on the right track.”

The economic stimulus proposals are available to NAHB members at www.NAHB.org/economicstimulus.

For more information, e-mail Blake Smith at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8583.

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