Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Member in the News: Damian Adams

Homeowners value property value boost brought about by city trees

If a city plants trees near a residential area, most homeowners value the likely subsequent boost to their property values, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows.
And they're willing to pay an average of $7 more per month in taxes for public trees planted in their city.

In the UF/IFAS study, 1,052 surveyed Florida homeowners said they'd like the trees on their land to provide shade and to be healthy, but they'd prefer an increase of $1,600 in their home's value.

Residents were separated into two surveys. One asked them to consider a hypothetical home improvement project to better the trees on their property, while the other asked a similar referendum question regarding a city program that would increase their utility tax to increase urban forests in public areas near their homes. There were 526 responses to each survey.

Given a range of paying between $1 and $10 more per month in city utility taxes, survey respondents said they want trees in their cities, but they're only willing to pay up to $7 more per month, said Jose Soto, a post-doctoral researcher in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation.

"Our findings indicate that participants find it useful to invest in urban forest infrastructure and are also willing to pay for the benefits of having more trees near their homes," Soto said.

Damian Adams, a UF/IFAS associate professor of forest resources and conservation and an Extension specialist, said the study's findings are consistent with basic economic theory. All things considered, people want more value for their property, and more trees can add money to their home's appraisal.

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