This research investigates the relationship between municipal annexation and local government's financial condition. It addresses a significant gap in the literature by focusing on the roles of local government revenue structure and land use situations in affecting annexation's fiscal implications. The major research question is how these two categories of local circumstances affect annexation's fiscal implications, and what patterns may emerge based on the empirical evidence.
With two parts of empirical analyses, I explore the features of the moderating effects of these two local circumstances: how the interactions between annexation and local circumstances influence local government's financial condition. The first part of the analyses examines the role of local government's revenue structure in affecting annexation's fiscal implications. Using a sample of more than six thousand municipalities, empirical analyses of OLS and interactive regression models show the effects of local taxing authority and revenue reliance. The second part underscores the effects of land use along with annexations in municipalities in the Phoenix metropolitan area across two decades. Utilizing GIS data for annexation and land use, it presents spatial patterns of annexation activities and land use changes. A fixed effects model with panel data is used to investigate the joint effects of annexation and land use on local government's financial condition. The complicated effects of different land use situations are identified.
The findings suggest that annexation has the potential for fiscal gains to local government, but its positive fiscal effects may diminish if the municipality has less capability to make suitable revenue arrangement, and if a high proportion of land in the municipality that remains undeveloped. Above all, this research offers a comprehensive perspective regarding municipal annexation, land use and local government finance, to inform a larger debate of urban growth and local financial management.