Category: Local taxation

Municipal patient Zero

4 January, 2011 (12:23) | Economics, Local issues, Local taxation, Sovereign bankruptcy, Speculation, Subprime, US News |

By: David A. Smith    New York Times   For every unpleasant scenario, there is usually one worse – and that is the curse of free will.    I’m happy and carefree – what harm could I possibly do?   However much we wish not to contemplate bad futures – especially financial ones – they […]

The downward spiral

13 July, 2009 (11:12) | Cities, Landlords, Local issues, Local taxation, Massachusetts, Rental, Salisbury, Theory |

Are bad landlords a disease or a symptom?  That’s the question tacitly asked by the Boston Globe in a practical and depressing article entitled Sun, sand, and seediness:   From the Boston Globe: dangling light in John Murphy’s cottage   SALISBURY – Light bulbs dangle from sockets fed by fraying wires. Water leaks from an […]

Spot the culprit

15 May, 2009 (09:46) | Co-ops, Local issues, Local taxation, New York City, Real estate taxes |

This is a whodunit. Somebody’s paying more, and it’s somebody else’s fault. Who’s the culprit? We all live in this co-op, and one of us will be financially murdered But first, let’s meet the victim(s), since what is a good juicy newspaper story (in this case, from the New York Times) without a victim? I’m […]

The discreet charm of the bourgeois school

13 April, 2009 (10:38) | Co-ops, Local issues, Local taxation, New York City, Real estate taxes |

[Previous posts on local taxation include Assessment of affordable housing, Local taxation: cui bono?, Real estate taxes: basic budget algebra, The states of play, Who pays property taxes? – Ed.]   From the Unintentional Humor Department of the New York Times comes this What-are-we-going-to-DO-about-this? story about new parents who are shocked, shocked to discover that […]

Political zugzwang and the OMB passback

29 November, 2005 (10:24) | Concepts in housing, Finance, Local taxation |

A few weeks back, the Administration made a puzzling move whose deftness is becoming clearer the more I reflect on it.  By tabling a proposal to overhaul the tax code, the Administration has placed many other political players into political zugzwang: whatever they do, the Administration gains.   In chess, the German word zugzwang (“compulsion […]