In any given major city or small town, there are
areas that have deteriorated both physically in appearance
and economically. This economic deterioration in
conjunction with deterioration of overall physical
appearance in these neighborhoods may have been caused by a
number of factors, e.g. lack of jobs, high crime or people
simply moving away to new neighborhoods. Neighborhood
revitalization is one solution that many cities have used
to improve the economic and physical appearance of these
neighborhoods. A program evaluator found that the
Neighborhood Revitalization Program in Minneapolis made a
significant difference in increasing the number of repairs
and improvements in the Minneapolis housing stock.1 This
internship paper will briefly evaluate Junction City's
Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP) by looking at
population, crime statistics, job growth, sales tax
revenue, property valuations and unemployment rates between
1992 and 2006.
To understand NRP, the background of NRP and problems
in analyzing this program will be discussed in this paper.
In addition, the property valuations before and after
program implementation of revitalized areas will be
discussed. State laws will be discussed as part of the
discussion on the background of NRP. It is hypothesized
that if the program is successful, there will be an
increase in population, a reduction in crime, an increase
in job growth, an increase in sales tax revenue, increase
in property valuations and a decrease in unemployment rates
in Junction City.
The Neighborhood Revitalization Act (NRA) was passed
by the Kansas Legislature in 1994.2 It provides for
property owners to receive tax rebates for making
renovations and improvements to their property.3 There has
been little opposition to this state law.4,5 Prior to the
passing of this legislation, Mike Hall notes quot;there seemed
to be no real opposition to it, but not a lot of enthusiasm
at first, either.quot;6 The Attorney General of Kansas and the
Assistant Attorney General felt that the tax rebate should
be payable to the owner of the property who is liable to
pay the taxes.7
A recent literature search of evaluating neighborhood
revitalization programs has resulted in limited success.
There have been in depth studies utilizing complex
techniques such as econometrics in evaluation.8 However, a
study has been done on the Minneapolis Neighborhood
Revitalization Program.9 The study found that “in addition
to making a significant difference in increasing the number
of repairs and improvements in the Minneapolis housing
stock, the NRP made a significant difference in increasing
homeownership rates in Minneapolis neighborhoods.”10 Elena
Fagotto and Archon Fung state:
“Under this program, neighborhood associations develop
„action plans‟ that articulate residents‟ needs and
also strategies and projects to meet those needs.
These associations work with city agencies, private
contractors and other organizations to implement those
strategies and projects to meet those needs.”11
They state “the NRP was conceived as a program to join
residents and city agencies in the business of neighborhood
improvement.”12 They analyzed the Minneapolis Neighborhood
Revitalization Program on the basis of secondary
literature, program evaluations, data relative to
neighborhood characteristics, allocations and expenditures
made available by NRP and individual and group interviews.13
They state quot;even though many organizations predate NRP, the
program resuscitated many neighborhood organizations, and
stabilized and contributed to the growth of many others.quot;14
They state quot;property values have risen in Minneapolis, and
this may be in part due to NRP activities.quot;15 They
criticize NRP in that the program quot;did not transform city
They continue quot;city agencies have not undergone
complementary reforms to reorganize themselves in ways to
accommodate neighborhood input in their planning and
decision-making.quot;17 They have observed that “inter-agency
collaboration did occur for a number of projects…but
departments did not adopt more integrated approaches to
work with neighborhoods.”18 Finally, they state “Since
NRP’s success depends in large measure upon cooperation
with and among city agencies, a clearer system of
incentives and governance rules would have improved the
To remedy these problems, they suggest that
“incentives could have been designed for city agencies,
such as large pools of dedicated funding to spend
exclusively on NRP projects.”20 In addition, they believed
that “the governance structure defining the interaction
between the city and the neighborhoods should have been
spelled out more clearly, assigning agencies precise roles
and responsibilities vis-à-vis neighborhoods.”21
One author has some thoughts on guidelines on
neighborhood revitalization.22 Roger Ahlbrandt, Jr. states
“Public policy for neighborhood renewal should be
formulated on several levels. Cities must be
concerned with the overall loss in population and
jobs. Therefore citywide economic development should
be a primary focus of public policy.”23
Many cities throughout the U.S. have utilized
neighborhood revitalization. Ahlbrandt, Jr. notes the
“Pittsburgh has integrated housing, economic
development, and city service and infrastructure
improvements as circumstances have warranted. This
strategy is based on a recognition that a
comprehensive, targeted approach to neighborhood
revitalization is necessary in order to stem decline
and to raise the level of confidence in the
neighborhood's future on the part of home owners,
investors, and others who affect its quality of life
and the strength of its economic base.”24
While Pittsburgh may have a unique approach to
neighborhood revitalization,25 Louisville, Kentucky, has
also a unique program.26 The city utilizes Housing and
Neighborhood Development Strategies (HANDS), an innovative
neighborhood revitalization program which was created in
1993 under a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S.
Department of Education and operated by the University of
Louisville.27 Roger Hamlin and Thomas Lyons state that
quot;the focus of HANDS's efforts is the low-income, inner city
neighborhood on the city's west side known as Russell.quot;28
There are numerous and a wide range of collaborators
within HANDS, such as the City of Louisville, Habitat for
Humanity as well as local churches.29 Hamlin and Lyons
state that quot;HANDS offers job training, entrepreneurship
assistance, education, leadership training, case
management, home ownership, and community design.quot;30
In contrast to community based neighborhood
revitalization programs in Minneapolis and Louisville, the
neighborhood revitalization program in Junction City is
mostly focused on individual properties. On October 21,
1996, the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (NRP) was
adopted by the City of Junction City and has since
undergone 13 revisions.31 The Original Plan of NRP
established the purpose, rules and physical boundaries of
NRP areas.32 Subsequent revisions further expanded these
areas and rules.33 The latest revision was on Feb. 6,
2006.34 NRP is intended to promote the revitalization and
development of the City of Junction City by stimulating new
construction, and the rehabilitation, conservation, or
redevelopment of specified areas in order to protect the
public health, safety or welfare of the residents of the
city by offering certain incentives which include property
In the 13th NRP revision, then mayor Jack Taylor
states the following:
“…the Neighborhood Revitalization Areas designated by
the City Commissioners have dilapidated, deteriorated
and deteriorating structures, buildings and
improvements that are in need of conservation or
preservation due to age, history and
architecture…there are a substantial number of
deteriorated structures and other conditions that
substantially impair the sound growth of Geary
There is a three year application period for NRP.37
The Junction City-Geary County (JCGC) Economic Development
states the following:
“At the end of the three years, the taxing entities
will review the plan and determine its continuation.
Those approved during the three year period shall
continue to receive the tax rebate for up to the full
ten years allowed, dependent on conditions granted by
the city commission.”38
Under the 13th NRP revision, tax rebates are
transferable with ownership of the property.39 Rebates are
revoked if any property is delinquent in any tax payment
and/or special assessment.40 Only improvements to existing
buildings and/or construction of new buildings can receive
Property taxes account for 22% of Junction City's
revenues.42 In order to calculate property taxes, mill
levies must be determined and are used to calculate
assessed property valuation.43 A mill levy is the number of
dollars a taxpayer must pay for every $1000 of assessed
value.44 Property appraisals are a part of the valuation.45
County appraisers submit property appraisals to the county
clerk.46 Based on the budgets presented by governmental
agencies in Geary County, the mill levy for the county is
prepared by county clerk.47 The City of Junction City
states the following:
quot;The County Clerk calculates the mill levy by dividing
the dollars needed for city services by the assessed
property value within the city limits. This is
repeated for each taxing unit-schools, county and
In essence, the budget determines the mill levy.49
Junction City City Commissioners must approve of any change
in mill levy.50 As property valuations increase, the value
of the mill levy increases as well.51 The mill levy
multiplied by the assessed value of properties make up the
taxes for all properties each year.52
The influx of soldiers presents with a problem with
analyzing this program. This influx might lead to a great
demand for housing, which might lead to an increase in
property tax revenues due to new construction for the
surrounding areas of Fort Riley and an increase in economic
development. Therefore, these effects make it difficult to
assess whether NRP is successful. Soldiers from various
U.S. military bases from around the world and country will
be reallocated to Fort Bliss, Texas and Fort Riley due to
base closings.53 In California, the increase in population
has caused an increase in demand for housing, thereby
causing higher property values which in turn resulted in
The increase in population might lead to an increase
for demand for services and housing and might lead to
increasing city sales tax and property tax revenues.
Whenever the troops are deployed, the population decreases.
When the troops arrive from other bases, the troops bring
their families thereby increasing the population. In
addition to affecting population, these fluctuations cause
an increase in property valuation, city sales tax revenue,
and job growth and a decrease in unemployment.
Since the literature review did not provide a
preliminary evaluation, the policy will be evaluated on the
basis of six variables (crime, civilian population, city
sales tax revenue, job growth, property valuation and
unemployment rates). Data from 1992 to 2006 in all
variables were used in this study to compare the data
before NRP was implemented (1992 – 1995) and data after NRP
implementation (1996 – 2006). In all variables, data used
in this analysis represents only Junction City. Data for
total population between the years 1992 to 2006 were used
in this analysis since civilian population was reported
only in the 2000 Decennial Census.55,56 Total population
data were obtained from the Comprehensive Annual Financial
Data from 1992 – 2005 were provided by Bill Reid,
Research Analyst II of the Kansas Bureau of
Investigations.58 Data from 2006 were obtained from the
Kansas Bureau of Investigations website.59 All collected
data from both sources were used to analyze crime in
Junction City. The data that were provided by Reid were
not complete.60 Data from the years: 1993, 1994, 1995, and
1999 were not available.61 Crime index offenses are the
total number of crimes, which includes violent crimes and
Crime index offenses are heavily dependent on
population. Population in Junction City fluctuated
possibly due to the number of soldiers coming to Fort
Riley. Crime per capita per year was calculated using
population data that were reported in this analysis. Crime
per capita per year was calculated by dividing the number
of crime index offenses by the population. The crime index
offenses do not mean that the offenses were committed by
Junction City residents, but indicate that the crimes took
place in Junction City by any person from any area, e.g.
Unemployment data were obtained from Micah Ross,
Research Analyst for the Kansas Department of Labor.65
Ross obtained the original data from the Bureau of Labor
Statistics.66 Unemployment per capita was calculated using
population data that were reported in this analysis. Job
growth data were obtained from Rose Palmer, Economic
Development Specialist for the JCGC Economic Development
Commission.67 A total of 61 NRP applicants were included in
the job growth study.68 Job growth could not be reported in
percentages due to the limited data given by Ms. Palmer.69
Property valuation data were obtained from a
spreadsheet provided by the Geary County Appraiser, Jim
Ruhnke.70 People whose projects were not completed, one
applicant who applied six times and another applicant who
did not receive a rebate due to human error were not
included in the property valuation study. A total of 127
NRP applicants in Junction City, whose projects were
completed by 2006, were included in this study for the
property valuation. Sixty applicants out of 127 applicants
in the study had $0 in the “Improvement Basis.” The $0 in
the “Improvement Basis” indicates that there was no
building on the land and since NRP is only used for
building valuation and not for land valuation.71 The
“Improvement Value” was used in this analysis since this
represents estimated appraised values utilizing NRP.72
Sales tax revenue data from 1992 – 2005 were obtained
from the City Manager, Rod Barnes.73 Data from 2006 were
obtained from Joleen Schnurr, City Treasurer.74 Sales tax
revenue per capita was calculated using population data
that was reported in this analysis. In all variables with
the exception of job growth, the averages were computed for
1992 – 1995 (before NRP) and 1996 – 2005 (after NRP) due to
fluctuations in data.
National economic conditions may have affected the
data. From March 1991 to March 2001, there was a period of
economic growth.75 A recession occurred from March 2001 to
November 2001.76 Although the 13th NRP revision and original
NRP plan did not specifically state any program goals,77,78
some program goals were proposed during the analysis of
this program and were discussed with the City Manager.
These goals include increased sales tax revenue, increased
job growth, decreased crime rate, decreased unemployment,
increased property valuation and increased population.
Table 1 below best summarizes the total variable
analysis. This table demonstrates that unemployment per
capita decreased 2.71%, annual sales tax revenue increased
19.3%, annual sales tax revenue per capita increased
44.77%, job growth increased 24.5%, total number of crimes
per year decreased 92.15%, total number of crimes per
capita per year decreased 91.02%, and property valuation
increased 89.62%. The average percent change for property
valuation was computed by first calculating the percent
change for each NRP applicant’s property and then taking
the average for all 127 NRP applicants.79 The individual
property percent change was computed by the following
Individual property percent change =
2006 Improvement Value – Improvement Basis x 100
(2006 Improvement Value + Improvement Basis)/2))
Before and After NRPa
Average Average Percent
Variables 1992 – 1995 Median 1996 – 2006 Change
Unemployment per capita 0.0391 0.0398 0.0380 -2.71%
Annual Sales Tax Revenue $1,949,826.67 $2,139,269.68 $2,326,058.22 19.30%
Annual Sales Tax Revenue
per capita $91.92 $121.77 $133.07 44.77%
Job Growth 284 24.50%
Total Number of Crimesd
per year 2049 1104.93 160.86 -92.15%
Total Number of Crimesd
per capita per year 0.1 0.092 0.009 -91.02%
Property Valuation $80,590.00 89.62%
Different time frames may alter comparisons.
Sixty-one NRP applicants had 253 jobs that existed prior to
Sixty-one NRP applicants created an additional 315 jobs
after utilizing NRP.82
Data only available for 1992, for 1996 to 1998 and for 2000
The amount indicated in the “Average 1992-1995” for
property valuation is only the average of all 127 NRP
properties appraised values prior to NRP (“Improvement
Basis)” and not the average of appraised values from 1992
to 1995. The “Improvement Basis” is the appraised value of
The amount indicated in the “Average 1996-2006” for
property valuation is only the average of all 127 NRP
properties appraised values (“Improvement Value”) from 2002
Conclusions and Recommendations
In conclusion, I recommend that Junction City continue
this policy on the basis of data from Table 1. Data from
Table 1 clearly demonstrates that unemployment decreased,
sales tax revenue increased, crime has decreased and job
growth increased since the implementation of NRP. In
addition, property valuation has increased on the
properties undergoing revitalization. Therefore, the data
have proved that NRP has been successful and beneficial to
Data from Table 1 demonstrates that property
improvement leads to job growth, an increase in sales tax
revenue and a decrease in unemployment. This data shows
that neighborhood revitalization can work on an individual
basis in a community such as Junction City, while the
literature review shows that neighborhood revitalization is
successful on a community level, meaning communities work
together to revitalize neighborhoods. It would be
interesting to see if NRP in Junction City with a
combination of both individual and community levels is
successful. More work is necessary to determine the long
term effects of NRP on Junction City.
A decrease in unemployment, increase in sales tax
revenue, increase in job growth and property valuation may
be due to an increase in demand for housing and services
due to the influx of soldiers from Fort Riley. Economic
growth that began in March 1991 and ended in March 200185
may have caused property valuations to increase, sales tax
revenue to increase, job growth to increase and
unemployment to decrease. A decrease in crime may be the
result of a greater number of police officers, tighter
crime legislation or a decrease in population. A decrease
in population may have been the result of soldiers’
In theory, property valuation should be the main
variable in determining the success of NRP. The main focus
of NRP is revitalizing neighborhoods by residential and
commercial improvements.86 As these improvements are made,
crime rates decrease, sales tax revenue increases,
population increases, unemployment decreases and job growth
increases. In theory, revitalized areas have lower crime
rates, higher property values, higher population, lower
unemployment, greater sales tax revenue and higher job
growth. To what extent and how long these effects will
last are unknown.
1. Minneapolis NRP. (n.d.). Minneapolis Neighborhood
Revitalization Program Fact Sheet. Retrieved March 25,
2. The Kansas Neighborhood Revitalization Act. 1 Session
Laws of Kans. §§ 242-1-18 (1994), p. 997.
3. Ibid., pp. 997-999.
4. Hall, M. (2000, July 9). Target Area Splits
Backers. The Topeka Capital-Journal Online.
Retrieved April 11, 2008, from
5. Stovall, C. J. and Feighny, M. (1996, Nov. 14).
Attorney General Opinion No. 96-84. Retrieved March
25, 2007, from
6. Hall, op. cit..
7. Stovall, C. J. and Feighny, M., op. cit..
8. Center for Urban Policy Research. (n.d.). Program
Evaluation. Retrieved Aug. 5, 2007, from
9. Minneapolis NRP, op. cit..
11. Fagotto, E. and Fung. A. (2005, Feb. 15). The
Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program: An
Experiment in Empowered Participatory Governance.
Retrieved Aug. 6, 2007, from
te_Confpapers/NRPFinal.pdf, p. 56.
12. Ibid., p. 56.
13. Ibid., p. 4.
14. Ibid., p. 57.
15. Ibid., p. 56.
16. Ibid., p. 57.
17. Ibid., p. 57.
18. Ibid., p. 57.
19. Ibid., p. 57.
20. Ibid., p. 57.
21. Ibid., p. 58.
22. Ahlbrandt, Jr., R. S. (1986). Public-Private
Partnerships for Neighborhood Renewal. Annals of the
American Academy of Political and Social Science, 488,
23. Ibid., p. 123.
24. Ibid., p. 131.
25. Ibid., p. 131.
26. Hamlin, R. E. and Lyons, T. S. (1996). Economy
Without Walls: Managing Local Development in a
Restructuring World. Westport, CT: Praeger
Publishers, pp. 77-78 and pp. 82-85.
27. Ibid., p. 77.
28. Ibid., p. 78.
29. Ibid., pp. 82-84.
30. Ibid., p. 85.
31. JCGC Economic Development. (2006). Neighborhood
13th Revision, p. 2.
32. Palmer, R. (personal communication, 2006).
34. JCGC Economic Development., op. cit., p. 2.
35. Ibid., p. 5.
36. Ibid., p. 4.
37. Ibid., p. 6.
38. Ibid., p. 6.
39. Ibid., p. 7.
40. Ibid., p. 7.
41. Ruhnke, J. W. (personal communication, 2006).
42. City of Junction City. (2006, October 17). Junction
City Fact Sheet.
43. Geary County. (n.d.). A Homeowner’s Guide to
Property Taxes. Retrieved April 29, 2008, from
44. Sweetwater County Treasurer's Office. (n.d.). What is
a Mill Levy?. Retrieved March 29, 2007, from
45. Geary County Appraiser's Department. (n.d.). Geary
County Website. Retrieved March 29, 2007, from
46. Ruhnke, J. W., op. cit..
47. Geary County Appraiser's Department., op. cit..
48. City of Junction City, op. cit..
49. Gould, C. (personal communication, 2008).
50. Gowen, T. L. (personal communication, 2008).
51. Gould, C., op. cit..
52. Geary County Appraiser’s Department., Geary County
Website, op. cit..
53. Gilmore, G. J. (2006, June 21). Troop Moves, BRAC
Part of DoD's Transformation Agenda, Officials Say.
Retrieved March 25, 2007, from
54. Wikipedia. (2007, Mar. 12). California
Proposition 13 (1978). Retrieved March 25, 2007, from
55. U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Junction City city,
Kansas – DP-2 Profile of Special Characteristics:
2000. Retrieved August 19, 2008, from
56. U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Junction City city,
Kansas – DP-2 Profile of Special Characteristics:
1990. Retrieved September 5, 2008, from
57. City of Junction City, Kansas. (n.d.). Demographic
Statistics Last Ten Years. Comprehensive Annual
Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended December
31, 1992, p. 92; Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 1996, p. 101;
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal
Year Ended December 31, 2004, p. 83; Comprehensive
Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended
December 31, 2005, p. 80; Comprehensive Annual
Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended December
31, 2006, p. 74.
58. Reid, B. (personal communication, 2006).
59. Kansas Bureau of Investigations. (2007, Apr. 30).
2006 Crime Index. Retrieved August 19, 2008, from
06.pdf, p. 6.
60. Reid, B., op. cit..
63. Story, Chief B. (personal communication, 2006).
65. Ross, M. (personal communication, 2008).
66. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Bureau of Labor
Statistics Data. Retrieved August 19, 2008, from
67. Palmer, R., op. cit..
70. Ruhnke, J. W., op. cit..
73. Barnes, R. D. (personal communication, 2006).
74. Schnurr, J. (personal communication, 2008).
75. National Bureau of Economic Research. (2001, Nov.
26). The Business-Cycle Peak of March 2001.
Retrieved July 16, 2008, from
76. National Bureau of Economic Research. (2003, July
17). Retrieved July 24, 2008, from
http://www.nber.org/cycles/july2003.pdf, p. 1.
77. JCGC Economic Development. (1996). Neighborhood
Revitalization Plan. Original Plan, pp. 2-19.
78. JCGC Economic Development. (2006). Neighborhood
13th Revision, pp. 2-49.
79. Turner, T. M. (personal communication, 2008).
81. Palmer, R., op. cit..
83. Reid, B., op. cit..
84. Ruhnke, J. W., op. cit..
85. National Bureau of Economic Research. (2001, Nov.
26). The Business-Cycle Peak of March 2001., op.
86. JCGC Economic Development., op. cit., pp. 5-7.