Saturday, October 28, 2006

Urban planning forum set for Wednesday - Pittsburgh Business Times:

Urban planning forum set for Wednesday - Pittsburgh Business Times:: "Urban planning forum set for Wednesday
Pittsburgh Business Times - 4:08 PM EDT Friday
by Dan Reynolds

An urban planning forum inspired by Pittsburgh's late Mayor Bob O'Connor's idea to 'Redd Up' the city is scheduled to kick off on the North Side on Wednesday.

What's being dubbed the Pittsburgh Green Forum on Vacant Land Revitalization will be held at the Pittsburgh Project offices on Charles Street on the North Side next week.

Architects, environmental engineers and other businesses interested in supporting green growth in Pittsburgh are urged to attend and give their ideas on the topic of creating a plan for green spaces and networks using abandoned land in the city.

The forum hopes to find ways to make better use of the city's approximately 23,000 vacant lots.
The way to make better use of the vacant land is to tax it. Don't tax the buildings that go on the land. Rather, put a heavy burden on the land itself.

The Land Value Tax is the key to this problem.

Bob O'Connor did a lot to change tax policy and make it easy for downtown buildings to go vacant. And, his policy of a unified tax plan rewards those that tear down homes, let property decline. His policy needs to be reversed.

Now in all fairness to the late O'Connor. Bob had to do it to get over the hurt caused by the botched Sabre Systems re-assessments. But, the fix should have been for one year and the fix should have been such so as to allow for time to get the land value records for each property into a corrected condition. That long-term solution wasn't forthcoming from O'Connor.

1 comment:

Joshua Vincent said...

Since that Sabre reassessment Clairton City and School District have nearly eliminated the property tax on houses and other buildings. Annual savings for homeowners are now in the hundreds of dollars per year.