Public Funding of Environmental Amenities: Contingent Choices Using New Taxes or Existing Revenues for Coastal Land Conservation
Alternative funding approaches affect stated preferences. An individual’s willingness to reallocate existing tax dollars exceeds willingness to pay new taxes to conserve land. However, stated preferences also imply a non-zero opportunity cost to existing tax dollars; different income groups reveal statistically equivalent marginal utilities both for income and for reallocating tax dollars. Yet individuals with lower income show a relatively larger increase in their willingness to support land conservation, when the choice shifts from new taxes to reallocation of existing tax dollars. The paper encourages consideration of equity implications that may be obscured when analysts focus on willingness to pay.
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