Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sticks sets out

To prove something. And as is often the case, he proves something else. That he’s fundamentally misguided, Spotty? No, grasshopper, that isn’t what Spot had in mind, but . . . well, never mind. Sticks’ point in this post is that light rail development is harmful to working people. What he proved instead is that over-reliance on the property tax is bad because it isn’t based on the ability to pay as the income tax is.

Sticks reads a letter in today’s Pioneer Press and pounces on it as yet another opportunity to dump on light rail. You see, boys and girls, land values, reflected in the prices paid recently, have jumped for property along the University Avenue corridor that is expected to be where the next light rail line goes. Real estate taxes go up as a consequence, squeezing landlords and tenants alike along the corridor. Richard Schuster writes that he and his tenants have not benefited at all from the “land rush.” (Although Schuster's likely to cash in if he decides to sell!)

Real estate appreciation in advance of anticipated development is not, of course, a new phenomenon. Farming becomes uneconomic at the suburban fringes (if it wasn’t already); low income residents get gentrified out of neighborhoods. And yet, Sticks has not noticed this until now!

Of course, it won’t be the MTC that does the development in the light rail corridor, it will be private developers. Think of the innkeepers and stablers along the roads reaching back into ancient times.

Boys and girls, the real problem is that Minnesota is turning it back on a progressive tax system based on the ability to pay. And social Darwinist hunter gatherers like Sticks have no standing to complain about that, that’s for sure.

Oh, and one other thing. Sticks’ post is titled Who’s really looking out for the working class? He also uses the term “working poor” in the body of the post. Sticks want to paint the image of grimy urchins loaded up with all of their worldly possessions in a ruck sack, trudging off to a new slum. But Spot invites you to read Schuster’s letter; he apparently owns and leases commercial space.

What were you saying about Sticks, grasshopper?

Tags: does not heart

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