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Thread: The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs

  1. #141
    A couple good pieces today:

    Man walks an average of 21 miles a day to $10.55/hour job. Upshot - if you want to help the working poor, and encourage Americans to get jobs in our sprawling landscape instead of going on disability, vote for functioning public transportation.

    But transit is expensive and doesn't pay for itself you say? Well, at least 40% of US roads don't generate enough gas tax to pay for themselves either. And building more and more mile-lanes of roads when we don't have enough resources to maintain the ones we've already got is incredibly fiscally irresponsible.

  2. #142

  3. #143
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    The gas tax fix seems pretty simple to me. First, admit that the price of gas varies due to forces in a global economy. The president or even American oil industry does not specifically set the price of gas. Now this is like admitting the world is round, but it would represent a departure for many policymakers. Second, calculate the gas tax on a sliding scale that varies with the average price of gas. When gas prices are higher, the tax is lower. When gas prices are lower, the tax is higher. If it's too difficult to calculate on a daily basis, set the tax based on the average price of gas over the previous month.

  4. #144
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    Seems like you couldn't ever effectively forecast future revenues that way?
    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    Seems like you couldn't ever effectively forecast future revenues that way?
    People forecast the price of gas all the time.

  6. #146
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    Gas tax is regressive and hits the middle class the hardest. Not a good political ploy.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiffTannen View Post
    Gas tax is regressive and hits the middle class the hardest. Not a good political ploy.
    Doesn't mean it's not a good tax. It does mean it should be balanced with progressive taxes elsewhere.

  8. #148
    Personal responsibility. Pay for what you use. The gax tax does not come anywhere close to paying for the full cost of the infrastructure necessary to operate cars. that's before you even begin to price in the other externalities, like air pollution, noise pollution, and climate change.

  9. #149
    Those damn socialists in Texas are shutting down a completely private rail system, while continuing to redistribute taxpayer dollars to socialized roads as fast as they can. http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2...ampaign=buffer

  10. #150
    I disagree with you
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon923 View Post
    Those damn socialists in Texas are shutting down a completely private rail system, while continuing to redistribute taxpayer dollars to socialized roads as fast as they can. http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2...ampaign=buffer
    spoiler alert: **crickets**

  11. #151
    Act I: build out hugely expensive infrastructure to attract (read: subsidize) commercial big box development
    Act II: watch locally owned stores go under because they can't compete, eroding the tax base
    Act III: Big box stores convince courts to slash their property tax liabilities, extinguishing the revenue stream that the city thought would pay for Act I.

    Nice work, sprawl.

  12. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon923 View Post
    Act I: build out hugely expensive infrastructure to attract (read: subsidize) commercial big box development
    Act II: watch locally owned stores go under because they can't compete, eroding the tax base
    Act III: Big box stores convince courts to slash their property tax liabilities, extinguishing the revenue stream that the city thought would pay for Act I.

    Nice work, sprawl.
    lolz

  13. #153
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon923 View Post
    Act I: build out hugely expensive infrastructure to attract (read: subsidize) commercial big box development
    Act II: watch locally owned stores go under because they can't compete, eroding the tax base
    Act III: Big box stores convince courts to slash their property tax liabilities, extinguishing the revenue stream that the city thought would pay for Act I.

    Nice work, sprawl.
    So true. I'm going to throw tax payer funded sports stadiums built with massive tax credits into this category as well. Miami for example.
    When in doubt, rub one out -BiffTannen

  14. #154
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    That's effed up.

  15. #155
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    And the thing is, a lot of times the retailer doesn't even own the property, they're a tenant who's just responsible for the taxes, so reducing the tax bill = more profit.

    What the decisions of the courts and the equalization boards ignore is that there is typically a long term lease in place that is the driver of value. There's a 20-year income stream with options for another 25 years on these buildings. That is the true market value of the property, not what it costs to buy the steel and concrete and hire a contractor. So fucking stupid.

  16. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by BiffTannen View Post
    What the decisions of the courts and the equalization boards ignore is that there is typically a long term lease in place that is the driver of value. There's a 20-year income stream with options for another 25 years on these buildings. That is the true market value of the property, not what it costs to buy the steel and concrete and hire a contractor. So fucking stupid.
    That's what I was thinking as I read the article.
    Michigan has three accepted methods of determining a property's "true cash value," or fair market value: comparable sales, the cost of construction less depreciation, and how much income a property produces.

    Townships, cities and counties generally want to value big box stores based on construction costs.

    The store owners generally want to use comparable sales.

  17. #157
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    On the other side of the coin a property owner or tenant may appeal taxes on the basis of the property having unusable spaces due to changes in the market, arguing that the building is worth less than it costs to build, minus physical depreciation.

  18. #158
    Some fun on topic reads:

    StrongTowns message slowly gaining some traction: http://www.governing.com/columns/ass...ampaign=buffer

    The conservative case for bicycling (apparently written by an anarcho-feminist bike blogger, but hey): http://takingthelane.com/2012/01/01/...for-bicycling/

  19. #159
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    jhmd jumped the gun a few months back when a potential Wake County tax increase was floated for FY 15-16. Well now it's official as they approved a 3.65 cent increase, higher than what the County Manager recommended, for what appears to be more funding for the school system

    http://www.newsobserver.com/news/loc...e24470761.html

  20. #160
    They were talking about some downtown development on the local show that's on NPR. The callers were all olds and talking about how nobody wants to live downtown and it is a waste of money.
    Hungry

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