CBKB’s May Focus: Taxpayer Costs

By , May 10, 2011

A cost-benefit analysis must accurately measure taxpayer costs to pass the scrutiny of decision makers. This month we’ll provide resources and methods to help you develop a credible analysis of taxpayer costs—also referred to as government costs—and describe the differences between cost-benefit analysis and fiscal impact analysis. We’ll also cover the finer points of discussing taxpayer costs and benefits when communicating the results of cost-benefit studies.

Please send any comments, questions, or references to information on this topic to cbkb@cbkb.org.  We’re looking forward to the conversation.


  1. Given that just about everybody is a potential taxpayer — including offenders and victims — I'll be interested in seeing how you make the distinction between taxpayer cost and general governmental fiscal or budget impacts.

  2. Thanks for your comment. You’re right—just about everybody is a potential taxpayer, including offenders and victims. In cost-benefit analysis, taxpayer costs refer to the costs incurred by government agencies. In contrast, victim and offender costs are typically not related to taxes and government spending. Most CBAs break-out costs and benefits by perspective to accurately depict who will pay and who will benefit from a proposed policy or program. Our Perspectives Tool, scheduled for release later this month, will have more information on this topic.

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