Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The purpose of this thesis is to show that unchecked local development policies do not necessarily secure financial benefits to the local ratepayer and that they can pose a threat to the long-term well-being of communities. Yet local policy-makers are often unaware of this or unwilling to accept it. The theoretical review tries to explain the divorce between policy analysis and political behaviour. It shows how local government is constrained by political structures and processes which often result in an indiscriminate and costly approach to development policies as well as a deficient practice of fiscal impact analysis. An empirical study of selected municipalities then shows how unchecked development can produce significant financial losses to the ratepayer. The conclusion is that, in order to achieve the economic goals of development, there is a need for higher level jurisdiction to apply a check-and-balance system which both monitors negative impacts and redistributes benefits and costs between affected local jurisdictions. Such a system requires that fiscal impact analysis take a comprehensive approach which evaluates every aspect of development. Because the "limited" nature of the local government, municipalities are not in a position to undertake this on their own. Such a check-and-balance system should therefore be implemented at both the local and the senior government levels.



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