Fellow Story

Shi asks “Can Florida’s Coast Survive Its Reliance on Development?”

Linda Shi co-authored a new paper "Can Florida’s Coast Survive Its Reliance on Development? Fiscal Vulnerability and Funding Woes Under Sea Level Rise". 

“How much will sea level rise affect local government revenues in Florida? A LOT,” Linda said on LinkedIn. The paper studied $619 billion in assessed property values across 211 municipalities, and found that “some 64 municipalities have more than half of revenues sitting within 6.5 feet of current sea levels.”

The paper shares key takeaways for practice: 

"Municipal revenues will become increasingly eroded by climate impacts and market responses. More fiscally affected municipalities are comparatively smaller, Whiter, and wealthier. They may be better able to invest in near-term adaptations, but long-term sea level rise could erode local fiscal capacity to maintain infrastructure and protect local tax bases. These municipalities’ fiscal health and decline will affect region wide housing markets, gentrification, and displacement. These dynamics underscore the need for stronger regional climate assessments and land and tax governance to overcome challenges facing coastal and near-coastal municipalities."

Learn more in the open-access paper