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Re: SG-W:/ Tax cost of residential development
Out of curiosity, Ken: just what WOULD you consider to be curmudgeonly or
disrespectful? From both Barry's original message as well as his reply to
you, it seemed clear to me that there were limits to what could be
inferred from the studies he mentioned, AND that he was aware of and
recognized the importance of those limitations. You appear to believe
that these points were not clear, or indeed not true, which is fine; there
are (respectful) ways to clarify such points.
To me, these ways are focused strictly on the issue being discussed,
and include clarifying what assumptions are being made, and/or noting
where those assumptions are not valid. These ways do not include
questioning the quality of thought exhibited by another person. You use
words like "asserting", "acknowledging", and "back you up", words which
focus on the PERSON making a statement, rather than on the statement
itself. IF your purpose was to enlighten the rest of us participating in
this forum about a smart-growth issue (which I assume, since you cc'd to
all of us), would it not have been more helpful to point out what you saw
as the weaknesses or limitations in the STUDIES cited, or the CONCLUSIONS
being made based on those studies, rather than a perceived weakness of
argument displayed by an individual person? Personally, I consider the
latter to be off-topic.
On Thu, 28 Oct 1999, Jodi Mullet & Ken Clark wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <BLonik13@aol.com>
> Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Tax cost of residential development
> > In a message dated 10/27/1999 3:54:57 PM EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> > << If you haven't seen a study that looks at urban development, how can
> > say anything about it with that much certainty? >>
> > Perhaps you missed the word "generally" in my response. Sorry if you
> > interpreted it as gospel.
> Ok, so you're asserting that it's "generally" true without a study to back
> you up. Same difference.
> > <<Do you know of a study that says that commercial and industrial
> > are a net gain?>>
> > Only the cost of community services studies I referenced, which do
> > to account for road and infrastructure costs to the degree possible.
> > studies are for one fiscal year, however, and some costs of that nature
> > not be on the screen during that period. They also do not consider the
> > impacts that commercial and industrial facilities cause, namely increased
> > residential development. In the short term, commercial/industrial is a
> > gain in the taxes v. cost analysis, but increased residential development
> > will eat up that surplus eventually. Scio is a case in point; their
> > are getting smaller even taking out the school cost, for which they don't
> > govern but do influence.
> So again, you're asserting that while acknowledging that the studies you've
> seen missed details, particularly the induced residential demand. Note that
> the future and present environmental costs question you're leaving
> unanswered. What exactly does "to the degree possible" mean in terms of
> cost of infrastructure calculations?
> > Copies of the Scio COCS are available from WPLT for $10 at P.O. Box 186,
> > Dexter, 48130.
> I'll send a check.
> Note, I'm not being a curmudgeon or disrespectful. If you are right then
> what is the point of Ann Arbor doing anything other than business
> development? If it's really true that urban residential development is
> always, or usually, or in general a net drain on Ann Arbor's tax situation,
> we (Ann Arborites) should try to change our zoning to not allow anymore. If
> that's true we should only allow commercial and industrial development.
> Presumably that would also mean that if anyone wanted those jobs, they'd
> have to find a house outside Ann Arbor and commute in. I find the premise
> very hard to believe, and no one here has so far presented anything except
> assertions that really suggests that urban residential development is
> always, has to be, or is usually a tax drain.
> I'd assert the opposite, that residential development done within an
> existing urban area can be a net tax gain for the municipality, but I'll
> admit that I don't have a study (yet) that agrees. My first corollary to
> that is it is possible to build housing in urban areas (Ann Arbor in this
> case) that both isn't subsidized and reduces demand for urban sprawl. My
> second corollary is that the assertions floating around that residential
> development never, or "generally", or rarely pays its way, and business
> development always, or generally, or usually does are flawed. Worse than
> flawed, they encourage the reasoning that we should avoid all residential
> development within Ann Arbor, which I would assert would result in greater
> So the challenge still stands. Does anyone know of a study that indicates
> that *urban* residential development in general is a tax drain, and that
> business and commercial development is generally a tax benefit?
> Ken Clark
> smartgrowth-washtenaw: Internet List and Forum for issues relating to
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