About this Project

This project began in 2015 after a public presentation in Eugene by Urban 3’s Joe Minicozzi. Urban3 has pioneered techniques for representing a city’s financial resources through 3D maps, and Minicozzi shared insights on financial sustainability that are based on their analysis approach. The event was a part of the AIA-SWO’s Design Excellence Lecture Series in Eugene and a similar presentation by Minicozzi can be viewed here.   

Minicozzi’s presentation inspired city staff to conduct a similar analysis of Eugene’s resources in what has become the Mapping Values in Eugene project. Staff developed a model that graphically shows property tax revenue on a per-acre basis across the city. This analysis is intended to be a communication tool to increase staff’s and the community’s understanding of municipal revenue and how development patterns affect it.

Why Property Taxes? Property taxes are the primary revenue source for local governments in Oregon and because it supports most of the City’s services, staff at public agencies work to understand this tax revenue and plan for fluctuations.

Traditionally, local governments have focused on the largest property tax accounts - those properties that generate the most revenue. This analysis shows that it is important to look beyond the big accounts, and focus instead on tax revenue on a per-acre basis. With this per-acre perspective, the analysis shows that our community’s built environment greatly affects tax revenue. Staff are beginning to use this analysis to understand how development patterns affect the City’s fiscal sustainability.

The booklet explains some of the key terminology of property taxes, discusses how development patterns affect tax revenue, and includes maps that visually display the data.

Project Development

The Mapping Values project is a living document, meaning that there are plans for it to be updated in the future. As this project developed, staff met with a variety of agencies and experts to ensure that our analysis was sound, these are listed below.