Rant, in partEdit
Source: http://web.archive.org/20070502223822/macyapper.blogspot.com/2007/03/mc-rove-edition.html from March 2007Edit
Mayor Poopy Pants and his tax abatement proposal. He has said on at least two occassions that what the City needs to do is offer property tax abatements for people willing to purchase new condos in Pittsburgh.
I have a little problem with that. For years and years, my neighbors and I have toiled away in "transitional" neighborhoods like the North Side -- renovating, investing, and taking our lives into our hands -- without such tax breaks. To the contrary, the properties have been re-assessed more than most in Allegheny County because of the "substantial modification" clause in the tax code.
Ergo, as pioneers and hangers on in the re-birth of blighted neighborhoods, we'd like to know where our hand out is?
We'd like to know why people who can afford $300,000+ condos should get a 10-year free ride on the backs of the people who have ALWAYS thought it was a good idea to invest in this City.
I know Opie hasn't really thought about this and I'm certain like most things, he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, it's just something he overheard Peduto say at the big boy table over lunch and now he's parroting it.
It's just that I don't see why taxpayer money needs to pad the wallets of developers (they are, of course, another vested interest in an abatement as they will sell their units faster, presumably) and people who can afford pricey dahntahn condos. Hate to be a narrow-minded yinzer on this, but the developer of 151 First Side already had $1.5 million of taxpayer money handed over to him by Mayor O'Connor prior to construction (at a time when said developer was already a half a million in arrears on property taxes for OTHER city property he owned) of that project and now they want to offer the purchasers a free ride? Get real.
Here's a hypothetical (or not) question: If reducing taxes will provide the inducement needed to bring buyers to the market in Pittsburgh, would it then stand to reason that property taxes could be lowered across the board to provide an even greater inducement to an even larger buying public?
Little wonder that Pittsburgh sat out the biggest residential real estate boom in the history of the United States.