Property Taxes for the 21st Century

In my over analytical brain I started thinking of how property taxes could be farer and a means of urban renewal. I find cities spread out and dysfunctional better for used car salesmen than citizens. People are always pushed aside on a thin ribbon of concrete to make way for cars that drain infrastructure budgets and pollute.

Property taxes should be calculated by the amount of usable space as decided by city council not the space used or the property value. This would include the height of the property not just the length and width. All property should be zoned for two stories or higher. This will encourage full development because it would be too costly to have a one story building in a zone set aside for twenty story buildings. The tax could be set at $1.50 per cubic meter for residential, $2.00 per cubic meter commercial and industrial.

After the above is calculated an additional infrastructure tax should be levied according to the distance from the centre of town. Downtown would not pay this tax as they are not as big a drain on city resources as the suburbs. This tax would be bowl shaped if it was charted over a map in three dimensions. The suburbs cost a lot in infrastructure and services but do not pay the full economic cost as they should.

The amount of green space on a property could be calculated and a discount to the tax bill given to encourage green space and environmentalism. Cars should be banned from most places in the centre of town in favour of bikes and people. Delivery vehicles in some areas should be given exclusive access in the morning and in non-residential areas at night. Heavy fines should be levied against motorists who violate areas for pedestrians, delivery vehicles and public transit.


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