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EDIT: Baltimore Arena Renovation


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#261 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 09:35 AM

Correct me if I misunderstand... I'm not trying to put words in your mouth... it sounds to me like you think this scheme will cut taxes for rich folks who have expensive houses, not raise taxes for regular people, and yet still be revenue neutral because of increased revenue from empty-house owners paying more... do I have that right (more or less)?

 

Not at all. I don't really expect it to cut anyone's taxes much, initially. I think it will raise taxes on people sitting on vacant lots or dilapidated houses, motivating them to either fix/build, or sell to someone who will. Eventually, once a better housing stock brings more residents and other economic activity into the city, you can lower the tax rate everyone pays on the land beneath their home because you have other vibrant revenue sources.

 

One thing I didn't mention that is particular to Baltimore that could make things a little more complicate is that in many cases the owner of the house and owner of the land it sits on are not one-and-the-same.


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#262 Matt_P

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 09:52 AM

One thing I didn't mention that is particular to Baltimore that could make things a little more complicate is that in many cases the owner of the house and owner of the land it sits on are not one-and-the-same.

 

It's not just Baltimore. It's very common for that to be the case in Texas where people don't want to sell ownership of the land in case there's oil underneath. That can lead to situations where someone buys a house, the owner of the land sells the drilling rights and the owner of the house has to deal with the smell, noise and all of the inconvenience.



#263 RShack

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:21 PM

I wouldn't want to do that. There are a number of houseowners who were unable to pay their loans and were told that they were going to be foreclosed on. The banks then decided that it wasn't worth their while to foreclose and let the original owners keep the house. Your plan would absolutely screw those people who moved out because they thought they were foreclosed on and then weren't.

 

http://www.reuters.c...E9090G920130111

 

Huh?  No it wouldn't....

 

I said that you can have punitive rates for people who sit on empty dilapidated housing and won't do anything about it... and you can... and you can do that without screwing people who run into tough circumstances... like anything else anybody ever does, it's the implementation that matters... 


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#264 RShack

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 12:39 PM

Not at all. I don't really expect it to cut anyone's taxes much, initially. I think it will raise taxes on people sitting on vacant lots or dilapidated houses, motivating them to either fix/build, or sell to someone who will. Eventually, once a better housing stock brings more residents and other economic activity into the city, you can lower the tax rate everyone pays on the land beneath their home because you have other vibrant revenue sources.

 

One thing I didn't mention that is particular to Baltimore that could make things a little more complicate is that in many cases the owner of the house and owner of the land it sits on are not one-and-the-same.

 

I just don't understand the point of all this... if what you want to do is use the tax code to change how property owners behave if they own crappy empty housing and won't fix it, then modify the tax code to address that... you don't need to change the entire basis of property taxes in ways that affect everybody to accomplish that...nor do you have to choose a blatantly false basis for assessing property taxes... 

 

Why not address the problem directly rather than indirectly?  

 

Look, whatever you do is gonna have bugs in the implementation... that always happens regardless of whether it's public sector or private sector, it's just normal... so, whatever you do, you need to count on there being a need for ongoing debugging... if you attack the problem directly, rather than change the entire basis for property taxes, it makes the inevitable bugs way less toxic and makes them easier to fix... but if you do what you're talking about doing, you're gonna accidentally make life hell for some group of innocent bystanders... and I just don't understand the need for that when you can attack the problem directly and more easily....


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#265 RShack

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 01:18 PM

Not at all. I don't really expect it to cut anyone's taxes much, initially

 

Well, be aware that the origins of this idea have zilch to do with fixing crappy housing or improving the community... it comes from a think tank, and the goal is to permit wealthy people to build mega-houses on property without having to pay any property taxes on their mega-houses...  

 

So, for example, one guy has 10 wooded acres with a 3-BR 2-BA brick rancher and 2-car garage, and has lots of elbow room so he can let his dog run and to keep things quiet around his house... and his next door neighbor also has 10 wooded acres. on which he decides to build a 35-room Scottish castle with 12 bathrooms, 2 guest houses, servants quarters, a separate building containing an indoor pool, basketball court, and gym, a pair of outdoor tennis courts, a climate-controlled 12-car garage for his Ferrari collection, a stocked private fishing lake, and a helicopter pad so he can fly to his office and to the place where he keeps his private jet... and both guys pay the same amount of property tax, based solely on their 10 wooded acres...

 

Now, you can be for that or against it, that's up to you... but just be aware that that was the motivation for it...

 

Personally, I'm still dubious about it not transferring the tax burden from wealthy folks to ordinary folks... I'd need to see some actual evidence of that...


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#266 Matt_P

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 01:30 PM

Huh?  No it wouldn't....

 

I said that you can have punitive rates for people who sit on empty dilapidated housing and won't do anything about it... and you can... and you can do that without screwing people who run into tough circumstances... like anything else anybody ever does, it's the implementation that matters... 

 

But it DID happen. You can't argue with something that happened.

 

Maybe you should read the article.



#267 RShack

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 01:38 PM

But it DID happen. You can't argue with something that happened.

 

Maybe you should read the article.

 

I did read the article... the problem there is zombie titles and big banks... the problem has nothing to do with the basis on which property taxes are assessed.... the repair for that is not to change the entire basis for property taxes (which wouldn't fix that guy's problem at all... and might actually make it worse)... the repair for that is attacking the problem of zombie titles...


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#268 RShack

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 11:52 PM

IDK what conventions Mike. My understanding is that they go together. Being in the 70s now nationally, and in jeopardy of falling into the 100s in the near-term in overall convention space is an issue which has to be addressed.

That the larger National conventions require a lot of space... beyond what would be available via convention center expansion alone.

If I'm wrong, and you could satisfactorily upgrade the convention space without a new Arena... and it was agreed that investment in other areas aside from a new Arena was better... than I'm cool with that.

 

Is there enough hotel space down there to support big conventions?  (I have no idea...)


 "The only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second-class citizen to a second-class immortal." - Satchel Paige


#269 RShack

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:29 AM

But it DID happen. You can't argue with something that happened.

 

Maybe you should read the article.

 

I did read the article... the problem there is zombie titles and big banks... the problem has nothing to do with the basis on which property taxes are assessed.... the repair for that is not to change the entire basis for property taxes (which wouldn't fix that guy's problem at all... and might actually make it worse)... the repair for that is attacking the problem of zombie titles...

 

Plus, even if you don't do anything to prevent big banks from creating zombie mortgages, you can and should have an appeals process where that guy who was getting screwed can go, lay out the facts of what happened, and have the folks on the appeals board decide whether they think he should be affected by the punitive property taxes that are intended for those who are just sitting on empty housing without fixing them.  

 

It's completely normal to have an appeal process for laws and regulations that affect the use and taxation of property. Often, the appeals boards are composed of regular people from the community, not politicians or other kinds of bigwigs... so, it just doesn't follow that the guy in the article would be screwed by having the tax code penalize him for being the kind of people he's not... assuming he isn't engaged in the kind of behavior that the punitive tax rates are intended to discourage, all he would have to do is make that clear to the appeals board...  

 

Your concern is a good example of the why we have appeals boards in the first place... they exist because everybody knows that a law or regulation or tax scheme can be targeted at certain things but accidentally affect people in a way that's not intended... there's nothing new about this, really... appeals boards have been around forever... *especially* for matters concerning the use and taxation of private property...

 

The problem the guy in the article faces is that the big banks basically invented the zombie mortgage problem quite recently to suit themselves, and there's no gov't agency that has jurisdiction to protect people from that kind of thing (at least not yet, anyway)... but that problem has nothing to do with how property taxes are assessed...


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#270 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 07:43 AM

Is there enough hotel space down there to support big conventions?  (I have no idea...)

 

There are limitations for the largest, but there are more rooms available vs. what is being used. The Hilton at OPACY being built specifically for that use.



#271 Matt_P

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 07:54 AM

The problem the guy in the article faces is that the big banks basically invented the zombie mortgage problem quite recently to suit themselves, and there's no gov't agency that has jurisdiction to protect people from that kind of thing (at least not yet, anyway)... but that problem has nothing to do with how property taxes are assessed...

 

Fair enough, so let's ignore reality in order to go with theory.



#272 NewMarketSean

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:02 AM

There are limitations for the largest, but there are more rooms available vs. what is being used. The Hilton at OPACY being built specifically for that use.

 

32,387 hotel rooms in Baltimore. Probably more by now since the article I got that figure from is from 2012.

 

http://articles.balt...-paul-tagliabue


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#273 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:06 AM

I was at the Arena last night.  I had forgotten how run down it is, and it's almost laughable how small it is compared to the Verizon Center.  Also, the AC wasn't working all that well.  But, because it's so small, with a U-shaped seating bowl, it's a pretty good place to see a concert.  I didn't buy any food or use the bathrooms, though - I might feel differently if I had.



#274 NewMarketSean

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:08 AM

I keep saying it...it's not a bad place to see a concert.

 

Seats are uncomfortable, the bathroom situation is pretty terrible and they give you beer in Styrofoam cups (they did at the show I went to in 2012) but besides that....not bad.


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#275 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:20 AM

I did notice that the beer selection last night was better than I expected.  I saw people with 16 oz cans of Flying Dog, Blue Moon, and Landshark Lager.  Not that those are mind-blowing choices or anything, but it's a step (or two) up from Miller Lite.



#276 KWebz

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 09:11 AM

IDK what conventions Mike. My understanding is that they go together. Being in the 70s now nationally, and in jeopardy of falling into the 100s in the near-term in overall convention space is an issue which has to be addressed. That the larger National conventions require a lot of space... beyond what would be available via convention center expansion alone. If I'm wrong, and you could satisfactorily upgrade the convention space without a new Arena... and it was agreed that investment in other areas aside from a new Arena was better... than I'm cool with that.
  Is there enough hotel space down there to support big conventions?  (I have no idea...)
The Elks National Convention is coming in 2018 or 2019. They bring in 10,000-12,000 people for a five day period around July 4th and they wouldn't choose a place that wouldn't be able to provide enough rooms. They will probably take up most hotel rooms from the inner harbor area to harbor east.

#277 RShack

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:06 PM

Fair enough, so let's ignore reality in order to go with theory.

 

What are you going on about?   The guy got screwed with things as they are, in a way that has nothing to do with how they calc property tax... and a land-only basis for property taxes would likely make it worse for him... so, exactly what's you're point?

 

Speaking of ignoring reality, it's already reality that property tax assessments can be appealed... that's not theory, that's been reality forever... and it would still be reality if they assessed punitive rates on the subset of property owners who make things worse by willfully sitting on derelict buildings... which that guy clearly wasn't doing... so, I don't see what you're unhappy about...

 

Exactly what do you think they should do... and why?


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#278 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 09:41 AM

Don't know what impact this will have on a potential arena - maybe none - but SRB just announced that she won't seek re-election for mayor.



#279 DuffMan

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 09:42 AM

Don't know what impact this will have on a potential arena - maybe none - but SRB just announced that she won't seek re-election for mayor.

WOW!  



#280 RShack

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 09:45 AM

Don't know what impact this will have on a potential arena - maybe none - but SRB just announced that she won't seek re-election for mayor.

 

Referring to The Wire.... maybe she had to eat one big silver bowl of shit too many...


 "The only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second-class citizen to a second-class immortal." - Satchel Paige





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