Cost of Community Service (COCS) Project

Cost of Community Services (COCS) studies are undertaken to examine the impacts of various land uses, including residential and agricultural lands, on a community’s fiscal balance sheet in a single year.  Most COCS studies have shown similar results.  Residential land is more costly to service than all other types of land, while the reverse is true for agricultural and open space lands.

This research project will make innovative use of the COCS approach to examine the impact of Wisconsin’s agricultural use valuation policy on local revenues and expenditures.  By involving a cross-section of Wisconsin communities and examining two historical sets of data, namely 1996 and 2004, we will be able to discern potential impacts of the policy on different regions of the state.  Sensitivity analyses will also be conducted to examine the validity of the COCS method. 

Funding for this project was provided by the University of Wisconsin Consortium for Extension and Research in Agriculture and Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension Western District Urban Initiative.

The following resources are provided for communities participating in the project:

Cost of Community Services

Agricultural Use Value Assessment

Data Sources

Resources for Participating Communities

For additional information related to this project please contact Rebecca Roberts at (715) 346-4322 or