Federal Reserve Fiscal Impact Tool (FIT)


The Federal Reserve Fiscal Impact Tool is designed to help local economic developers learn more about the local tax impacts of economic development projects. This Excel workbook provides defaults and simple assumptions, enabling the user to input specifications of a project and quickly ascertain the sales and property tax gains that will accrue to an area. To use the workbook, you will need a version of Excel which has Visual Basic installed (standard on most recent versions). This course uses the Minneapolis version of the workbook (it incorporates data from MI, MN, MT, ND, SD, and WI). You may obtain your own copy (free) of this workbook or workbooks for other regions from the Federal Reserve Board at http://www.federalreserve.gov/community.htm


In addition to performing an automated tax revenue assessment, FIT can be used for many data purposes. It contains information on all counties and independent cities in the Upper Midwest as well as all incorporated places in the region it covers. Historical city and county population estimates and county per capita income and labor force figures are provided. Also included is information for cities and counties from the 1997 Census of Retail Trade on the number of retail establishments, total retail sales, retail sales per capita and per dollar of income.


Note that the analysis by FIT represents a quick estimate of impact. This tool does not purport to have a high level of precision. It seeks to give only a rough picture. Greater detail can be obtained from a deeper review of the project parameters.


FIT consists of seven worksheets.

  • The user enters pertinent information in the Data Entry and Cost Module worksheets.
  • The tool's revenue-related results are presented in the Output worksheet.

There are four other worksheets which may be of interest for more advanced analysis.

  • The Cost Module worksheet produces a cost-benefit analysis.
  • The CountyData worksheet provides four pages of tables and charts related to the geographic area being evaluated.
  • The Summary worksheet contains a list of contents and re-presents all of the table and text summaries generated by FIT in a form readable by screen reader; the tables in this sheet are also formatted for easier cutting and pasting.
  • The RetailSales&Pop worksheet primarily contains population and retail sales data for cities. The user is unlikely to need to access this sheet.


In addition, there are two Word Documents, a Users Guide and Instructions for saving FIT scenarios in Excel. It is highly recommended that user refer to the Users Guide. Besides giving an overview of FIT and many step-by-step instructions, it discusses all data entry and default assumptions used in the tool. The guide also contains hyperlinks to make it easier to assemble some of the data.


  • FIT Excel Workbook (this is a very large file—7.5Mg—so you will probably want to download it from a fast Internet connection) (You will be prompted to “enable macros” and to accept the Federal Reserve Board’s agreement. Do both.)
  • Users Guide (42 pages) (When it opens, change the command window “Final Showing Markup” to “Final”)
  • Instructions for saving FIT scenarios in Excel






1996 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 11 March 2005