4.03.2008

TRANSIT ACCESS AND PROPERTY VALUES

When states raise their own money for mass transit, the usual sources are gas tax, sales tax, and income tax. I like that Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago, has encouraged the use of property taxes to pay for badly needed infrastructure investment: "Mass Transit Systems Have a Hard Time Paying the Bills." Transit access, after all, can and does have a positive effect on property values, creating a virtuous cycle in which property taxes pay for transit enhancements, which lead to property value increases, which generate more funds for future enhancements.

No matter what the financial price of gas is, it is increasingly accepted that the total cost of driving is becoming dearer and dearer. Here's hoping politicians and citizens warm to transit and to density as a way of adjusting to that reality, and are OK with tax increases that enhance property values and that help make that adjustment to more and better transit possible.
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