Put this up on the new RebuildGovernment.org site a few minutes ago. Rough idea for targeted tax shelters to encourage growth in rough areas.
I just came out of a dry-run presentation by one of the commission educators, and there wasn’t enough room on the form for a full break down of my suggestion.
From what I learned today, there are at least two tax districts required by law when a metro government is established. But two is the minimum, there could be hundreds of tax districts if the city saw fit. Which if there were, would present the metro government with a very interesting chance to develop blighted neighborhoods without just dumping money on them.
Allow me to explain.
Say the metro area was divided into a hundred or so tax districts. Each of these districts start out at a base line of tax. However, after studying data for a period of time, the metro government decided that there were areas that could use an economic kick-start. These would be areas affected by blight, crime, or some other combination of detrimental forces. The goal of the kick-start would be to drive people to this area both for residential and commericial purposes.
The kick-start could be delivered in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
-Passively. As the taxes for the metro area as a whole go up, kick-start areas are excempt from the taxes for a certain period of time or until an economic threshold is reached. People who can prove residency in these areas will pay less than those in other areas, making this a more attractive place to live and do business.
-Actively. Taxes are dropped for areas targeted for a kick-start, and partially raised for the wealthiest areas to balance the books. This will make the targeted areas more attractive to people that might be looking to locate to a new area.
The community could get directly involved with the proccess, as well. Neighborhoods could petition to be granted kick-start status. Home owners and business owners could work together to ensure an improved future for themselves specifically, and by doing so, improve the rest of the city over all.
I’m sure there are other iterations and shapes this idea could take, but it would be a way to both improve the city, and avoid the oncoming fight between the city and the county over old tax issues by fragmenting the metro area into something more than an us versus them.