It is widely acknowledged that, in many contexts around the globe, urban policy has changed radically as a result of the international credit crisis and the economic downturn (Parkinson et al, 2009). The straitened economic circumstances that typify both the United Kingdom (UK) and the Netherlands (NL) in ìòthe age austerityí have resulted in a prominent transition of urban policy in recent years. A deep cut in public expenditure by the state has in turn scaled back direct investment for urban regeneration activity. This financial restraint is coupled with a property development industry that is increasingly vocal on economic viability concerns when being asked for developer contributions to provide public goods and services (ULI Europe, 2011). For the UK and the NL, this has led to an exploration and appropriation of new financial instruments such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) - a method of finance that has been used since the 1960s in the US (United States) (Weber, 2003). As an example, TIF is being piloted in the UK (e.g. Edinburgh) (SFT, 2011) whilst in the NL there are similar future financial instruments being considered. It is examined in the paper that TIF (or similar) policy transfer takes different forms due to the differing planning and real estate development governance arrangements at the national and local level. For instance, in the NL, alternatives for active public land development policies are confronted by different contextual framework characteristics such as a legal system based on common law, and one that has a limited local tax base (Van der Krabben, 2011). The paper draws on these contextual differences in using TIF (or similar) to bring out what common characteristics enable future long-term gains for urban development.