Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tax Inequity Exposed

City officials are reacting favorably towards a proposed $7.2 million West Racine residential/retail development. The project is dependent on a $5.2 million tax credit according to an article in today's JT.

According to my back of the envelope calculations based on my own property tax obligations, I figured that a $7.2 million property would owe approximately $170,000 per year in property taxes. Therefore, a $5.2 million tax credit would amount to thirty years worth of property taxes waived, or more accurately, assumed by those who do pay property taxes.

As some of you may know, I recently concluded my own redevelopment project. My taxes are now over $11,000 per year. Not having to pay property taxes for thirty years would mean $330,000 more in my pocket. And I am sure any property owner reading this would be more than happy to be relieved of thirty years worth of property tax obligations.

Now I am all for tax relief, don't misunderstand me. But it should be fairly applied. In this case, out of town developers are getting a thirty year tax break while you and I get stuck paying their share of the tax burden for the next thirty years. Why would we want this?


Anonymous said...

Hi Denis, I really like your thinking. I hear that before the Historic Market came about the Trader Joes would have been a possibility. Ok, so this chain has excellent patronage and would have employed many people and would have made a vibrant downtown area for 6th street. Why did we end up with a high-end grocer? How wrong minded was that? This is why Racine can't do it -- the politics are too provincial for its own good.

Denis Navratil said...

Hey anon, I bet we could land a Trader Joes if we gave them $5 million. Better yet, we would have all kinds of TJ's and other businesses as well as residents if we lessened the tax burden.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that Denis!