Through their role in planning for and regulating development, municipalities and counties support small but significant pieces of regional markets for commercial and industrial developments, many of which house companies that make up the region’s economic base. Cumulatively, these choices affect transportation costs, congestion, and commutes. Local governments attach higher priority to certain types of economic development for many reasons, from meeting local employment goals, to quality-of-life concerns, to the potential for fiscal benefit. The interaction of local and regional markets and tax policy can limit the revenue potential of some communities. As a result, some local governments struggle to maintain infrastructure in a state of good repair, provide desired services, or ensure that staff and elected officials have the training and resources to be effective and innovative.

ON TO 2050 encourages providing support for industries that connect the region to the global economy, increasing local cooperation on economic development, and changing tax policies at the state and local level to support more development types and provide local governments with more paths to success. These strategies can also reduce competition and overbuilding of some development types, lowering costs and improving fiscal outcomes for the region.