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Re: E-M:/ Study on cost of developed land vs farmland



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Enviro-Mich message from "Huron Ecologic LLC" <huronecologic@netzero.net>
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I just got around to reading the article referenced below. Of course, I'm
all for preservation of natural areas and "open space", but playing devil's
advocate, doesn't this data show that to some extent, commercial /
industrial development and farmland is subsidizing residential development?
Without having the % of total tax revenue from each sector available, I
guess I can't be sure. Anyway, it seems that the development community would
acknowledge that residential development is supported by other development /
land use and consider that a positive thing, and I think that's what was
said in the article.

I definitely want to make use of any data indicating that certain
development costs more than the benefits it creates, so I'm careful to
consider possible criticism. My feeling about the old expand-the-tax-base
argument for supporting all development is that if it actually increases tax
revenue beyond the cost, then that surplus should be returned to the
taxpayers. That's good old-fashioned conservatism, but of course, it doesn't
seem to apply when taking the environment into consideration.

Bill Collins

Huron Ecologic, LLC
3335 Crooks Road
Rochester Hills, Michigan 48309 USA
phone & fax: 248-853-6233
e-mail: huronecologic@netzero.net

Huron Ecologic provides wetland delineations, wetland permitting, wetland
mitigation design & monitoring, tree inventories, botanical & ecological
surveys, natural area protection, nature education, and technical training.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom & Anne Woiwode <woiwode@voyager.net>
To: Enviro-Mich <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2001 12:56 PM
Subject: E-M:/ Study on cost of developed land vs farmland


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>Enviro-Mich message from Tom & Anne Woiwode <woiwode@voyager.net>
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>
>The below article from Dave Poulson at Booth Newspapers was noted in the
>GLIN listing of articles, but I wanted to assure people see it.  The study
>by American Farmland Trust repeats the findings found around the nation,
>making it clear that it costs TAXPAYERS more to convert open lands into
>developments. The response from the homebuilders is that the development
>brings other economic activity into the area so that you can get some bucks
>to repair and maintain the roads.  Of course, if you didn't NEED the road
in
>the first place, you wouldn't need the repair money, and those bucks could
>be spent elsewhere. This argument is akin to the joke about poor business
>people, that "we lose money on every unit we make, but we make up the
>difference in volumn" -- funny, it doesn't work that way. But more
>importantly, it points out that the homebuilders have a single solution to
>every problem -- sprawl solves it all, apparently.
>
>http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf?/news/stories/20010918l919farm.frm
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>Tom, Anne, Nate and Pete Woiwode
>5088 Powell Road
>Okemos, MI 48864
>
>
>
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