Recent Work

From project conception through project construction, New Economics provides analysis, strategies, and recommendations to a range of issues affecting public and private sector groups. The projects below highlight some of the firm’s recently completed work with developers, public jurisdictions, and other entities.


Placer County multDecision Point: Placer County is considering the development of a multigenerational center that would provide an outlet for the physical, intellectual, and social development of residents in the North Auburn area.  How would capital facilities be funded at the outset, and what level of County subsidy might be needed each year to fund annual operations?  New Economics was retained in conjunction with JK Architects to evaluate a new-construction scenario and an existing building remodel scenario for a multigenerational center.

Assignment: New Economics first provided demographic and recreation trends data as well as case-study research of comparable facilities and/or service to identify overall facility size, usage patterns, and profitability of recreation programs; this information helped to frame the scale of the potential center and uses.  In following, New Economics prepared a Capital Funding Overview and 10-year cash flow projection to highlight the difference in subsidy for both construction/renovation and operations over time.  This work required coordination with the Auburn Recreation and Park District, County staff, review of existing park fee nexus studies, and case-study research of comparable facilities elsewhere in Northern California.

Outcome: The Analysis has been completed and is expected to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in early 2017.


Decision Point: The City of Yuba City was interested in the creating a new Community Facilities District (CFD) to ensure that new development pays for its share of expenditures that the City must incur to provide government services.

Assignment: New Economics assisted the City of Yuba City in the creation of a new CFD to fund municipal services. New Economics worked closely with the City to structure the funding mechanism in a way that would provide needed revenues but not overly-burden new development. This process included the creation of a Fiscal Impact Model which measured the amount of revenue that new development currently generates for the City in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, and other sources, and compares these revenues to the corresponding costs to provide City services. The Fiscal Impact Model found that residential development produces a deficit of a certain size per residential unit. Once this amount was calculated, New Economics worked closely with the City and potential developers to explain the meaning of the results to designate specific CFD rates for various land uses. Once the rates were developed, New Economics assisted the City in preparing all of the necessary documents to formally create the district, including resolutions, voter waivers, and election ballots.

Outcomes: The CFD was adopted by the City Council and approved by the voters in September  Analysis has been completed and is expected to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in early 2017.


Decision Point: The City of Sparks was considering the approval of a 204-unit residential townhome project, and was interested to know how the prospective project would impact its operating budget.

Assignment: In order to shed light on this issue, New Economics conducted a detailed Fiscal Impact Analysis which measured the revenues that the project would generate for the local jurisdiction in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, local government fees, and other sources.  New Economics then quantified the likely cost to provide local government services to the project (in the form of law enforcement, public safety, roadway maintenance, etc.), and compared these costs to the estimated revenues that the project would generate.

Outcome: The study found that the project would generate revenues that are sufficient to offset costs to the City, and therefore there would be no negative net impact to the City’s operating budget.


Sac ParksDecision Point: Sacramento was contemplating an update to the park impact fee that would be structurally different than the existing fee.  Specifically, the City was interested in providing a different level of neighborhood and community serving parks for the Central City versus areas outside the Central City; also the City was interested in expanding the fee to include citywide parks and amenities.

Assignment: Building upon previous work for the Parks Department, New Economics was retained to analyze the fee rate under the existing structure compared to different scenarios under a new fee structure.

Outcomes: The Administrative Draft Fee Study, reflecting a new fee structure, is under review by City staff.  The final Nexus Study Update is expected to go before City Council in May of 2015.


Flood Control

Decision Point: As part of a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency Regional Flood Management Planning effort, various affected stakeholders were interested in understanding the supporting economic fundamentals that shape various “regional flood regions” located throughout the Central Valley of California.

Assignment: New Economics worked with Larsen Wurzel & Associates, Inc., and a consortium of consultants, to prepare a series of Regional Flood Management Plans for several geographic areas throughout California’s Central Valley. New Economics analyzed economic conditions in each of the major Flood Regions, which included population and employment growth, demographics, socio-economics, industry drivers, real estate conditions, etc.

Outcomes: The information provided by New Economics was used to inform the Financial Plan chapter, prepared by Larsen Wurzel & Associates, of each Regional Flood Management Plan. This chapter more broadly assesses each Flood Region’s ability to provide funding for necessary improvements over the next 25-30 years.



Antioch Property Management Plan

Decision Point: A change in redevelopment law was forcing the City to consider how it should dispose of former redevelopment parcels scattered throughout Downtown. Which ones could be retained for “public use”? Which ones could be saved for future disposition?

Assignment: New Economics, in conjunction with Fraser & Associates, was retained to help develop Antioch’s property management plan for former redevelopment agency properties; New Economics analyzed title reports for over 30 Downtown parcels to identify and constraints on future sales, estimated the market value for these properties should they be sold at auction, and made recommendations for parcels that the City may want to retain for future development.

Outcomes: The Property Management Plan was adopted by the Successor Agency in 2014 and is the subject of ongoing negotiations with the California Department of Finance.


Natomas BasinDecision Point: The Natomas Basin Conservancy (TNBC) updates its habitat conservation fee annually. This development impact fee applies to new development in the Natomas area of the City of Sacramento, as well as a portion of unincorporated Sacramento County and Sutter County.

Assignment:New Economics was retained to perform the annual fee update, as well as provide a peer review of the technical model supporting the calculation of the fee.

Outcome:In December 2013, TNBC Board of Directors approved the 2014 fee. The 18% fee increase was primarily associated with a rise in land values, an increase in habitat conversion costs, and the addition of Conservancy organizational staff. The City of Sacramento unanimously approved the new fee in February 2014, and the fee went into effect May 1, 2014.