A New Urban Benchmark: Amenity Dollars (AA$)

AA$ measures the financial ability of a city's citizens to increase their education, start new businesses, and support urban amenities.
February 27, 2004, 9am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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The AA$ benchmark calculates the amount of extra money that an average city resident has after subtracting essential costs like housing, healthcare, and food. It quantifies the degree to which a city's residents can advance their education and careers by taking risks, such as starting a business or quitting a job to go back to school.This calculation can gauge a city's "tax headroom"-the extent to which local government can increase taxes before taxpayers revolt. Thus, a city with higher AA$ will have a greater ability to raise taxes, if needed to improve schools, to lure businesses, or for creative public ventures that will create a "hip" environment and attract Richard Florida's coveted young professionals. "More AA$ in the market," Gattis says, "stimulates more companies, non-profits, and government agencies to offer more advancement and amenity options to improve the lives of individual citizens. More restaurants and museums form, more continuing education schools open, and more performing arts groups are supported."

Thanks to Tory Gattis

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Published on Thursday, February 26, 2004 in The Next American City
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