8/03/2010

More "Reduce My Assessment"

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News has reported that Ulrich has filed a suit to reduce the assessment on the Ulrich City Center:

Real estate developer David L. Ulrich has sued the city to try to have the property assessments lowered on Ulrich City Centre and several other properties he owns.

Ulrich’s suit was filed just before the close of business Friday, beating a legal deadline for tax lawsuits.
The suit, filed by attorney P. Andrew Vona, asserts that Ulrich’s properties are assessed at a rate per square foot that is far higher than other downtown buildings.
Assessor Joseph Macaluso said that’s absolutely true, and there’s a good reason for it.
“The buildings are different,” he said. “[Ulrich City Centre] is a lot better. You’re comparing a good quality, 2006 brick building to some buildings built in the 1920s, of low quality.” ...
We've set up a race to the bottom. Hopefully he won't ask for the $50k assessment that Granchelli Development got rewarded with for sitting on the F&M building forever. Creating some type of hybrid tax structure with possibly a Land Value Tax feature would be worthwhile for all of the city.

We need to reward investment, not punish it.  Create a system that frees up money for those who would like to invest it. The investment would make the city more desireable as a whole. At the same time get those sitting on propertites to make them worthwhile or otherwise to move on and get them into the hands of someone that will.

There has to be a better system out there somewhere.....

4 comments:

Joshua Vincent said...

Well, I can't blame a builder who puts up a bigger or better building and gets socked with higher taxes. the land value tax works, and works next door to NY in Pennsylvania. It hasn't saved the day, but it has stabilized taxes, and slowly turned the decline of these cities around.

Mr. Ulrich should be thanked, not punished for doing the right thing.
www.urbantools.org

MJ said...

"it hasn't saved the day"

This is a key point. Success comes from many pieces working together. Ideas are usually dismissed because they are not the "silver bullet" approach of trying to fix everything in one shot. But relying one one thing to fix everything is a well demonstrated failure.

Anonymous said...

The only problem I have is how much money did Ulrich put up for his developments, as opposed to the public grants and no/low interest loans? And don't forget he's only paying a portion of the taxes with his tax agreements.

MJ said...

My only counter-point would be to consider that those tax breaks resulted in new buildings on half century neglected block in the center of downtown. The $50k assessment on the F&M building is just as much of a "tax break" and all we get from it is a slowly decaying empty building (fancy cell tower?). A building that should be one of the prime structures in DT.

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