Landers releases his property-tax-rate reduction proposal
Some people think the city should dramatically reduce its property-tax rate, some think it shouldn't (or can't), but everybody's talking about it these days.
Now comes Jody Landers, one of the mayoral candidates, with more specifics about his plan.
The essence is this: He proposes a 30 to 35 percent drop in the rate over the next four to six years, which would take it from almost $2.27 cents per $100 in taxable value to somewhere between $1.45 and $1.60.
He argues that a dramatic decrease by itself would not produce enough growth to quickly make up for all the lost revenue. So he would pair it with a "combination of spending reductions and new or increased revenue measures that do not detract from the City's ability to compete for residents and business."
In addition, he would change the property-tax system so that properties vacant for an extended period and those identified as "blighted" would be taxed at higher rates. (Washington has such a tiered system, and Wonk reader Matt Gonter has pressed for the city to adopt it, too. UPDATE: Here's another link to more backstory.)
"Property owners who maintain and improve their properties and are thereby helping to increase the tax base reap the reward of a lower tax rate, and those who are detracting from the tax base pay a higher share of taxes," Landers writes in his plan.
Do you have a favorite tax-reduction (or non-reduction) plan?