Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Buckeye Institute Study: No Urban Sprawl Crisis in Ohio
- turpin wrote:
> . . . . For example, perhapsI am glad the subject of property taxes have been raised.
> cities should have the power to impose a direct tax on
> all cars within their boundaries, and even beyond for
> some distance, to help compensate the costs imposed on
> them by automobile commuting. Or maybe property taxes
> on residential property in cities should vary inversely
> to occupation density.
Property taxes once were based on frontage, an idea that this group
would probably support, since it penalized those with wide lots (and,
interestingly, especially those with corner lots, since they paid for
their frontage on _both_ streets).
But that was penalizing suburban homebuyers over their former neighbours
who stayed in the city, so the system was slowly changed to reflect more
of the ability to pay, on which income and sales taxes are based. [Of
course, in the U.S., since the center city did not have jurisdiction in
the 'burbs, the suburban taxes did not have to support the older city
costs, nor benefit from their (declining) commercial-industrial tax
In 1993, I developed a scheme which was intended to face this issue in a
slightly more sophisticated way. I suggested measuring the
"walkability" of each neighbourhood and to use the score to _adjust_ the
property taxes, up or down by a factor up to x2, otherwise based on
real-estate values. This would be used for all properties, including
non-residential ones, in the particular neighbourhood. Besides being
fairer, it provided an incentive to the neighbourhood (I favour
neighbourhood government functioning under metro municipalities) to make
the changes that would reduce its residents' and business owners' tax
load, specifically by reducing the "load" on the various city
infrastructures, physical and social/health.
BTW, I understand that in Virginia, property taxes are based on the
total value of home and motor vehicles registered to that address. Nice
twist on a theme.
Chris Bradshaw, Ottawa