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Release Date: January 12, 2004

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced the launch of a new informational resource designed to help community economic developers evaluate development proposals. The new resource tool complements two additional Board products that also seek to promote community development activities.

The Fiscal Impact Tool (FIT) is an automated system that analyzes the potential impact of economic development projects. The program, which is driven by Excel software, estimates the effects of proposed projects on local sales and property tax revenues and on costs to local government.

The FIT is intended for use by economic and community development professionals, primarily in small and mid-size communities. Using estimates that are based on user-provided information about the project, FIT can identify the general costs and benefits of proposed projects. Alternatively, it can be used as an aid in decisionmaking by providing information on the extent of financial support a community or region might want to provide when planning for various development options.

The FIT is one of a series of new online resources for community developers. The Board's Community Affairs Office also created Lessons Learned: Community and Economic Development Case Studies--a database that profiles the practices and programs used in various communities to finance economic development. Each case study identifies a problem, the solution, the results, the lessons learned, and contact information for the project. In choosing the case studies to be highlighted in the database, consideration is given to the transferability of the program to other geographic areas and the potential for others to benefit from the lessons learned by the developers implementing the program or project.

Finally, the Community Development Investments web site is a source for information about Federal Reserve policies and guidelines that promote investment by bank holding companies and state-member banks in community development activities. The site features a regulatory overview, information on investment authority and procedures, and links to additional resources.

All three tools can be found on the Federal Reserve's Community Affairs web site.

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Last update: January 12, 2004