Home values and local tax revenues at risk from high tide flooding, scientists group says

Analysis of property data identifies communities prone to frequent flooding.

June 20, 2018 |

A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) pinpoints portions of the U.S. at greatest risk of declining residential and commercial property values, and diminished city and county tax revenue due to flooding attributed to sea level rise.

The areas impacted face worse high tide flooding due to the effects of climate change, UCS says. The findings are the result of peer-reviewed analysis that used ZIP-code-by-ZIP-code data from Zillow Property Data.

The states found to be most at risk of flooding from rising seas are: Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. As much as 70% of some municipalities’ property tax bases could be at risk.

The analysis also provides risk assessment according to:

— Number of homes and commercial properties (by state and zip code).

— Current values of properties.

— The amount of money the properties contribute in annual property taxes, which fund schools, roads, and emergency services.

— How many properties could be spared if warming is limited to below 2 degrees Celsius.

— Near- and long-term impact projections, including within the next 30 years.

— Identification of areas where coastal property owners might experience recurring flooding so severe it limits their ability to live or work in these properties.

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