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Teton County Fiscal Impact Planning System


  • June 28, 2010 –  The Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution 062810 formally adopting the Fiscal Impact Planning System (FIPS) to be used as a county planning tool to facilitate fiscally responsible patterns of growth.
  • August 25, 2010 –  the Sonoran Institute featured the FIPS in their Western Dispatch newsletter. Since publication, we have received letters and inquiries on the FIPS from planners throughout the West who are introducing the FIPS in their communities such as Teton County, MT and Gallatin County, MT. 
  • March 23, 2011 – nationally-award winning development news website, New West News featured the FIPS in an article highlighting our Reshaping Development Patterns Project. 
  • Summer 2011 – VARD is working with the Teton County planning staff to update the FIPS with the most current mill levy data and add additional features to it such as smaller mileage increments. The staff anticipates using the FIPS throughout the ongoing comprehensive plan process. 

F.I.P.S. – Planning our fiscal future 

The original problem: There are currently 7,791 vacant lots recorded throughout the rural county. Most of them were hastily platted during the boom years with little or no thought as to how public services would be provided to these subdivisions. Some are close to service centers, others are not. As homes are built in these subdivisions, the impacts to public services will increase over time. In order to plan Teton County's fiscal future, our decision makers must understand the costs associated with the build out of these developments. This raises many questions:

  • What are the service costs associated with our shotgun pattern of growth?
  • What will these costs be 5 years from now? How about ten years?
  • How can we measure these costs in a fair, objective, and consistent way?
  • And most importantly, How do we plan for affordable growth?

The solution: VARD has teamed up with the Rural Planning Institute, the Sonoran Institute, and Teton County to complete a fiscal impacts analysis of the costs associated with Teton County's growth patterns, and develop a custom-made Fiscal Impacts Planning System ("FIPS") The FIPS system will function as an invaluable long-term planning tool for the county.  

  • Click hereto see pictures of our fiscal impacts presentation
  • Click here to read "The Costs and Benefits of Residential Growth" – a summary of the Teton County fiscal impact report

  • Click here to read the final version of the full length Teton County fiscal impacts report 
  • Click here to read a 2004 study commissioned by VARD that forecast the current fiscal burden on the county taxpayers

For a copy of FIPS, please contact and we will email you a copy of the program with instructions. 








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