Monday, January 29, 2007

Capital Funding Sources #3

Because transit investments have positive relationships on property values, lately developers are getting in on the act. But basically people are getting rich off of a public investment. While there is nothing wrong with it (unless you're Speaker Dennis Hastert and you do it illegally) shouldn't the public get something more out of its investment?

Well they can if they figure out a way to take some of the increased value from the landowners that got lucky enough to have a public investment near their property. I'm not talking about TIF, but rather some sort of a transfer tax. The idea is that as soon as a city knows that they are going to make a value changing investment, they should create a selling district like a TIF. They take an inventory of the district around each rail station and its land value as well as sample areas in the region that aren't around rail stations. If a property is sold between announcement of the rail station placement and the opening of the line (perhaps another time after opening) then the sales price is measured against the control group for the region and the increase over the regional average is taxed at a certain amount at sales time. This extra capital could be used on future capital improvement projects or an affordable housing fund for the station area. Just another idea...

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