Believe it or not, property taxes have a lot to recommend them. An ad valorem tax on an inelastic base, property taxes are a transparent and steady revenue stream that forms the financial backbone of most municipal budgets. Yet despite these widely admired (in economic and policy wonk circles, anyway) characteristics, we are becoming increasingly aware of the role of property taxes in perpetuating racial and economic disparities and hampering intergenerational wealth accumulation among BIPOC and low income populations throughout the United States.
One of the clearest signs of trouble in the city are vacant lots. From the hundreds to the thousands we know land vacancy depresses the attractiveness and value of surrounding homes and businesses. Cities are the engines of a vibrant economy and society. We all know what we want in our communities, but often we […]