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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Buckeye Institute Study: No Urban Sprawl Crisis in Ohio

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  • Chris Bradshaw
    ... I am glad the subject of property taxes have been raised. Property taxes once were based on frontage, an idea that this group would probably support, since
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 7, 2002
      turpin wrote:

      > . . . . For example, perhaps
      > 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.

      I am glad the subject of property taxes have been raised.

      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
      bases.]

      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
      www.flora.org/chris/
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