Land trust wants two-cent tax to buy open land – Other Paper

A city land trust wants the City of South Burlington to add two cents to the property tax rate to fund purchases of open land for the purpose of conservation.

““At the rate that South Burlington’s rural lands are disappearing, almost all will be gone in the next decade,” land trust member Rosanne Greco said. “Residents have overwhelmingly said that they support land conservation.” According to land trust members, a two-cent tax rate increase – realized in the city’s Open Space/Conservation fund – could enable South Burlington to purchase 1,000 acres of priority conservation land for roughly $10 million, within 14 years.

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  • Patrice Maloney
    commented 2019-11-26 09:07:06 -0500
    Sure, increasing taxes to limit development may slow the amount of public services required but also has unintended consequences. While property owners enjoy higher sale value due to increasing imbalance of supply and demand, the increased assessments on residents enhance property tax revenues, but harms the poor and marginal homeowners the most, especially the elderly on fixed incomes, forced to sell when their homes eventually become unaffordable. That in turn increases pressure on public health and human and services in many ways not mentioned and doubtfully considered by the “studies”. It also pushes the demand out to the suburbs even further, causing pressure on those communities to adopt the same measures, which in turn increases in their staff and budgets.

    And however incremental the increase in tax, bureaucrats forget that everything else increases as well. While this may speed up the process of conservation and benefit the current generation, California provides a perfect example of how gentry class zoning increases inequality and eventually devolves into drug and rat infested homelessness and degradation of the same property values.