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Taxes And Urban Sprawl Essay

563 words - 3 pages

A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something well. Traditional methods of property taxation not only penalize property owners for improving their property but also encourages sprawl. Most of the was that this is happening is unintentional and there are several alternatives but it will take an overhaul of our current system to improve.Towns and local communities generally plan their growth and objectives on the basis of revenues taken in from property taxes. For communities with traditional outlook planning more money means more growth. This new growth will incur more money from property taxation and a cycle from this persists.Often time towns will give tax breaks to developers planning to come ino an area. These tax breaks are ...view middle of the document...

These methods of development require goals and management of growth that are reasonable. They also require cooperation from communities and developers. Some cities may join forces with several other counties to set goals and plan development with consideration to a bigger picture instead of individual needs.Traditional zoning has also been a factor in evaluating property taxes for use of the revenue. So natural zoning or zoning ordinances that allow development according to the lands natural attributes can protect wildlife, habitats, and the related industries. This also protects open space from development.The practice of offering tax breaks to developers in order to encourage growth is effetive in gaining new development and facilities. Preferential taxation to owners of farms and forestlands could also work to discourage the destruction of our natural lands. Agricultural districts and density incentives can also work to maintain the rural character of a community.Another equitable way of taxation could be land conversion taxes. In order to discourage rapid growth these taxes would be levied on the developments of a property. Some areas could eliminate the conventional property taxes in favor of land conversion tax. The revenue would only be raised if the land is developed.Alternatives to property taxes and the traditional ways that communities chase the revenues from them are met with the great resistance. People do not always accept capabilities of change or believe that new methods will be viable. The incentives of the alternatives are not as apparent as the immediate gratification of conventional methods. It is also difficult to find uniform goals and methods that meet then needs of each individual community in a region. Finally, the implementation of the changes could prove only difficult if not impossible.

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