Tax policy creates incentives and disincentives that affect how communities experience population change, resource extraction, and natural disasters. Our research helps local leaders and state and federal policymakers understand the long-term impacts of tax policy decisions.
State and federal fiscal policies hurt rural communities by limiting how local governments can grow, diversify, and invest revenue.
Where rural recreation counties rely on public funding for health care, fiscal solutions should diversify the ways local governments can save and spend.
The bipartisan Forest Health for Rural Stability Act would establish a federal land endowment and resolve key challenges of federal land payments to counties.
Updated: Headwaters Economics produced two interactive maps to show the range of commercial activities on National Forests at the Forest, state and forest region levels.
County governments are compensated for the tax-exempt status of federal public lands within their boundaries. These payments often constitute a significant portion of county and school budgets, particularly in rural counties with extensive public land ownership.