This letter is in reference to John Heliker's letter in the Nov. 24 issue.
Starting in the 1990s local politicians justified the alarming rate of development by promising "ratables", or additional tax revenues from these projects. This pie-in-sky excuse was always a blatant lie, which is why we no longer hear politicians using the term "ratables" anymore. The new term is "smart" development. These projects are just as ugly and intrusive, but does "smart" mean the developers are finally paying their fair share?
This city has many expenses—and many sources of income. One example is the municipal courthouse. Spend one hour during the week at the courthouse.
Observe the proceedings. The more you look, the more you see....
No matter who runs this city, the municipal coffers are a mysterious black hole—and the phony "ratables" are a large source of the problem. Of course, the solution to the budget shortfall is the revaluation of property owners.
The Zimmer administration will be regarded as brave, because it's the "right thing" that we simply "have to" do. These Reverse Robin Hood policies force the burden onto those who, not only are the most stressed, but have been paying into the system the longest. These are the people who will be forced to sell their homes, all at once to, you guessed it...the greedy developers.
With so many houses forced onto the market, perhaps that will (temporarily) lower the prices for...the greedy developers. Once the heart and soul has been washed away, we'll have another "Renassaince". (Remember, history is written by the victors, not by those who are annihilated.)
These policies, void of economic justice, reflect a failure of imagination.
With the reval almost complete, it might seem too late to bring all of this up. On the contrary, we must continue the conversation in earnest. Let's begin with a simple mantra: "ratables"..."ratables"..."where's the ratables"?
Everything else gets chased away,