Referendum-What To Know: Open Space Positively Impacts Your Finances

Friends of Clifton Park Open Space has suggested the idea of a future park on the 34 acres as a welcome amenity for everyone in the heart of the area’s commercial center.   This kind of “development” would be less likely to increase traffic congestion.  However, there are likely many people who will NOT use such a place and may feel that its benefits escape them.  We would like to outline how all individuals may benefit from the financial advantages of a substantial public park.

A “no” vote will not make the land a park. It is only a first step to a longer term, but beneficial goal, since the economic benefits of parkland are well-known and documented in these links:,    also  (see pages 7-10)

 Keeping the 34 acres in the public domain—regardless of who owns it—will have a positive impact on the individual taxpayer in several ways:








  • The value of your home will rise the closer it is to public parkland. (see link above)
  • Additionally, real estate people know that buyers will pay more for a home close to parks and open space over ones that are not.
  • Having the 34 acres as public land maintains the value of homes nearby. That value would drop if the 34 acres are developed.
  • If the 34 acres were enhanced with more amenities, then the value of those homes would increase even more.
  • Just a 10% increase in home value for a $200,000 home equates to $20,000 in equity or sale value.
  • The Town of Clifton Park bid response also noted these effects: “…A park can contribute an estimated $70,000 annually in incremental property tax revenues.


  • Saratoga County Sales Tax is an important revenue source for both Clifton Park and Halfmoon. The Exit 9 business area generates a large portion of those revenues.
  • Having the 34 acres as public land or seeing it enhanced with amenities will bring more economic activity to this area. Guests who stay in the many hotels around Exit 9, visitors who come to shop from both all the towns in the school district as well as others in southern Saratoga county will stay and enjoy the park and take advantage of what the many shops and stores in the Exit 9 area have to offer.  All this means more sales tax revenue.
  • Sales tax revenue for Clifton Park in 2016 was over $11.9M. Just a ½% increase in sales tax receipts would mean over $500,000 in revenue.  Halfmoon’s finances are undoubtedly similar.  Most importantly—this is revenue that comes in year after year after year.
  • Your individual tax burden could be lower. Other town taxes and fees could be reduced or off-set by increased sales tax revenues.


  • Nearly 1 in 4 Americans will soon be 65 or older. Happily for America, this population tends to be healthy and wealthy when compared to other countries.  Furthermore, this affluent group of people is often looking to reduce their housing footprint while adopting an active and outdoors lifestyle.  Leisure and recreation as important to these taxpayers.  Additionally, they bring expendable income into the community while often using fewer services and usually add no children to the school system.  
  • The 34 acres can play a vital role in providing for this segment of our population. Attracting these people is important to the vitality and resources of any town.  Their presence provides a wealth of knowledge and volunteer service for the entire population.
  • Again, the Town of Clifton Park bid response spoke to phenomenon, “…If 100 retired households come to a community in a year, each with a retirement income of $40,000, their impact is similar to that of a new business spending $4 million annually in the community.”


  • Keeping our towns vibrant and attractive to our own children and maintaining an educated and productive workforce concerns us all.
  • In order to draw this kind of population, we need to provide the environment which will attract them. We already have good schools and safe streets.  But these alone are not sufficient.
  • The millennial population prefers places with a diverse range of outdoor recreational activities, walkable places, and healthy spaces. The Clifton Park Town Center plan speaks to these needs.  And the 34 acres are the ideal space to expand these desired virtues.
  • All our towns need these professionals who will, in turn, put money back into the local economy though jobs, housing and taxes. Our towns stay vibrant, solvent and healthy.  Our taxes stay low and our property values expand.

These benefits are indirect but they are real and they impact all taxpayers in a positive way, particularly in the towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon.  However, all communities in the school district will feel the positive financial impact for their citizens of parkland in this burgeoning hub of activity for all of southern Saratoga county.