Archives for August 2, 2012

Albert Abdouche Should Lobby the Allentown School District on Americus Hotel

It would be great if the Americus hotel was included in the Allentown NIZ borders, but it’s probably true that Albert Abdouche would have to go to the state to get the NIZ boundaries expanded, and that seems like a heavy political lift.

Best of luck to Mr. Abdouche on that, but a more realistic next-best option would be to lobby the Allentown School District to copy the city of Allentown’s millage rate spread between land and buildings:

As you can see, the City of Allentown taxes land at 5 times the rate for buildings. If the Allentown School District copied the city’s millage spread, the impact would be a sizable tax abatement on Mr. Abdouche’s renovation of the Americus Hotel AND a property tax cut for about 75% of landowners in the Allentown School District. This is great politics.

Raising the tax rate on land value, while lowering the tax rate on building value, would also turn up the heat on vacant land owners in the NIZ, pushing them to build a building, sell the land to a developer who wants to build a building, or internalize the opportunity cost of land speculation by paying substantially higher taxes.

Bernanke Sees Economy Decelerating, Still Won’t Act

The reason so many young people are out of work is that Ben Bernanke and FOMC Board members think 8% unemployment is better than overshooting 2% inflation. Of course, there is no option to have a jobs boom where inflation doesn’t go over 2%.

More people driving to work is going to mean more demand for gas, so gas prices would go up. More young people moving out of their parents’ basements would create more housing demand, and we’ve severely underbuilt the past 4 years, so housing prices and rents (a big part of CPI) would go up. Some price increases for some goods are all part of a healthy recovery, but it would mean inflation over 2% for a while so the Fed won’t let it happen, human consequences be damned.

Romney Tax Plan Raises Taxes on Middle Class Families by More Than $2000

Pat Garofalo:

On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney has been promising that he will cut taxes “across the board,” while also instituting tax reform that will not add to the nation’s deficit. But a new report from the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution shows that this is much easier said than done.

In fact, if Romney were to actually implement his plan to reduce tax rates by 20 percent while eliminating tax deductions in order to pay for it, taxpayers with more than $200,000 would certainly see a tax cut. But everyone else — 95 percent of Americans — will see their taxes increase. And this result occurs even assuming that Romney would eliminate tax deductions so as to make the tax as progressive as possible:

Anybody want to bet a President Romney would give us the specifics on the tax exemptions before trying to push the regressive tax cuts through?