All posts in category Taxes

New beginnings

New year, new mayor, new council. New ideas, new dynamics, new proposals. With all of these new beginnings, Town Council will evaluate new development applications. Chapel Hill has only a handful of large parcels of land that would be suitable for the high-revenue commercial space we need to shift the property tax burden homeowners bear. […]

Excluding Inclusionary Zoning?

Since when did affordable housing mean homes for people who earn 100% of the Area Median Income? Chapel Hill passed the Inclusioinary Zoning Ordinance in 2010 that 15% of all new for-sale housing units built must be affordable to people earning no more than 80% or 65% of the AMI (the affordable units split evenly […]

The big money at stake

This election boils down to economic theory. One theory, held by the incumbents and a challenger who as an advisory board member voted in lockstep with them, aims to add enough luxury housing filled with high-wealth individuals that national chain stores will open branches in town. This group is banking on sales tax revenue and […]

Not just a numbers game

For all the talk about the rigorous approval process in Chapel Hill quashing development, the town sure has grown prodigiously in the past 20 years. Drawing on U.S. Census Bureau figures from 1990 and 2010, public policy strategist John Quinterno pointed out that the town’s population has increased by almost 50% and the number of […]

Off the radar?

My daughter and I set up our beach chairs on the top of the Wallace Parking Deck last Thursday night, nervously, given the lightning that flashed all around us. Meg McGurk, director of the Downtown Partnership, assured all of us who had gathered to watch “Wall-E” that staff had been monitoring the storm cells on […]

We haven’t made it yet

As I waited for the traffic light to change at the corner of Columbia and Franklin streets on Friday afternoon, a school bus pulled up beside me. A little kid stuck his head out the window and yelled, “Yay! We made it to summer!” Council members undoubtedly are looking ahead a couple weeks to the […]

Just because they can

Last week a man carried a loaded assault rifle into the Atlanta airport while he dropped off his daughter for her flight. Georgia passed a law last year that allows permitted gun owners to carry loaded weapons in an airport, as long as they don’t go through the TSA security checkpoint. The man said he […]

Devil in the details

If you build it, they will come; and when they come, they will bring traffic and public transit needs with them. And we will have to come up with solutions. The proposed version of Obey Creek has more square feet of built space than Streets of Southpoint mall. The Obey Creek plan has only two […]

The other 1 percent

“Lies and misinformation,” Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt responded to a Dogwood Acres resident who questioned whether and how much Obey Creek would cost taxpayers. I have heard what could be called lies and misinformation during the Obey Creek Development Agreement process, and it has come from the development team. A case in point: Affordable housing. Obey […]

Smart shoppers

As a value shopper, I perked up my ears at economist David Shreve’s message that we should choose new development projects because we want what they will bring to the town, not because we mistakenly think they will bring in additional revenue. Shreve, president of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population and a former professor […]