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Nature_and_Environment.41

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Urban vs Rural Taxation

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{Nature_and_Environment.41.1}: Stephen Dixon {sdixon} Tue, 01 Mar 2005 20:15:58 CST (26 lines)

I live in New Brunswick Canada. It's a small province with only about
750,000 people. We are a very disperse population (i.e. low population
density). More disperse than the rest of Canada I believe. It's
frustrating to see more and more people escaping to the
"country-side", escaping municipal taxes.

The problem with this "sprawl" (not urban), is that it creates more of
a demand on the rest of society in the increased costs of
infrastructure (road, power lines, snow removal, emergency services
like ambulance, and fire rescue). There is also an increased cost to
the environment, in; road salt, deforestation, waste treatment,
increased driving and therefore feul consumption. There is also a cost
to displacement of farmers as homeowners encroach on their farmlands,
demanding "no-smell" living and causing increased taxes to drive the
farmer away.

I have an idea, that it would be positive to increase taxes to those
that live rurally (farmers would be exempt). Has anyone heard of a
region that has done this? Interestingly, I recall a recent trip to
spain, where I noticed large expanses of people and building free
landscape, with clusters of villages. Ironically, there was less
"region sprawl" than here in "Atlantic Canada"!

I look forward to your thoughtfull response.

Stephen Dixon

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{Nature_and_Environment.41.2}: ... {wren1111} Tue, 01 Mar 2005 20:37:16 CST (20 lines)

That's an interesting proposal Stephen. I'm not aware of anyplace
which has tried it.

I don't know about Canada, but in the US, nearby municipalities fund
the infrastructure costs for new develpments ... which means
basically that taxpayers in the existing built areas are funding the
up-front costs for developers.

My idea for controlling sprawl is to demand that developers pay 100%
of the infrastructure costs (all those items you listed) to build
their developments. It would amount to the same thing as your "rural
tax" because, naturally, the developer would pass on those costs to
the new housing consumer ... making moving to previously undevelped
land (the "country") very expensive.

On the flip side, we could give tax credits to developers to build in
infill sites within already developed areas and to redevelop/rehab
older existing neighborhoods. We could also give tax breaks to people
who buy in older neighborhoods or who buy in existing developed
areas.

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{Nature_and_Environment.41.3}: Stephen Dixon {sdixon} Thu, 24 Mar 2005 05:52:08 CST (4 lines)

Wren, I was interested to read your idea. I agree with you, it amounts
to the same thing. I also liked your 'flip side' idea to give tax
credits for redevelopment and infill. Providing incentives is always
better than the alternative.

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{Nature_and_Environment.41.4}: ..... {wren1111} Thu, 28 Apr 2005 20:55:30 CDT (HTML)

Go Vertical, Young Green How apartment living is good for the environment

"http://www.laweekly.com/ink/05/23/features-lewis.php"

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