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Municipal funding systems

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
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14,165
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58
Saw this on Planetizen,

http://www.planetizen.com/news/item.php?id=9862

I have little experience with municipal taxing systems, but I feel if one has to resort to this type of prostitution of our public realm, then we need to find an alternative funding method.

Here's the big question: What would be the ramifications if a municipality went bankrupt and disolved? I see this as an important issue we will have to confront in the near future, because of our rapidly deindustrialzing economy here in the US.

What are everyone's ideas/thoughts?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
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34
I personally would like to live in the City of Nokia, play at Pabst Blue Ribbon Beach, and register to vote at Packard Bell Firestation District #2. ;)
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
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5,452
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34
Cities have to do something. In many cases the states have limits on how much you can levy and these have been in place for years. So If you are at your levy limit, your revenues are static. (yes property values were supposed to keep up with inflation, but during an economic downturn assessed values have been falling) So people are demanding more services for less money..... Someone has to pay. It might as well be Nokia.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
Anything governments can do, aside from firing me, to stop tax increases should be considered.

I think that a lot of municipalities have usless feel-good programs that should be cut before they take steps like this.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
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24
Chet said:
I personally would like to live in the City of Nokia, play at Pabst Blue Ribbon Beach, and register to vote at Packard Bell Firestation District #2. ;)

If I had to make a choice between that or higher taxes, well show me Pabst Blue Ribbon Beach.

Side note: regardless of politics, if there was a PBR beach you could bet your @$$ that you could find me there. :)
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
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24
Huston said:
If I had to make a choice between that or higher taxes, well show me Pabst Blue Ribbon Beach.

Side note: regardless of politics, if there was a PBR beach you could bet your @$$ that you could find me there. :)

You know, everyone derides the intrusion of corporate names in sports (SBC Center, Pac Bell Park, US Cellular Field, American Airlines Arena, etc.). How is this any different? Personally I feel almost assaulted by the omnipresent corporate ads. Sure cities are under the gun to pay for services, but corporate sponsorship is akin to prostitution, at least for cities.

Frankly, some cities need to go bankrupt and dissolve; I think it would force people to reevaluate their desire to pay for services. Residents assume that local government and all its services are always going to be there, but often it's only creative bookkeeping that's keeping some cities afloat. Besides, it wouldn't be bad, say, for some ineffective cities to dissolve and re-incorporate as several smaller cities.

BTW, all the named stadiums and arenas have really kept ticket prices down. ;)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
We've had questions about things like this. How about backstops at ball diamonds, or more recently, sponsor's signs on skateboard ramps? What does that do to the ambiance of a park? How are they reconciled with the prohibition on off-premesis signs in the sign ordinance? I hate to see the public realm sold off to the highest bidder, just as I hate to see commercials on PBS.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
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29
The only difference in many cases is that instead of a stadium or park or college dorm being named after some swashbuckling, union-busting robber baron with handlebar mustaches and a secret fetish for Ancient Roman pornography is that today's naming game is played by faceless, bland (but often just as reprehensible) corporations who employ marketing consulting firms to dream up their latest high tech sounding but meaningless names.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,452
Points
34
Repo Man said:

I think that a lot of municipalities have usless feel-good programs that should be cut before they take steps like this.

Yeah, feel good programs like police, fire, parks...ect.
trust me, many do not. BTW I expect some planners in Iowa will be axed in the next couple of years due to this sort of "thinking" by our state legislature.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
Back in the "old days" the feds and states were not the big tax collectors they are now.

It's amazing that nearly all "tax revolutions" are aimed at decreasing collection of local taxes, where a dollar collected yields a lot more to the locality than a dollar collected by the state or feds and a portion (pittance) subvened back to the cities.

These tax revolts result in higher overall taxes, bigger and less responsive state and national government, lesser services, and a loss of local control. Not such a good deal.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
Points
24
Michael Stumpf said:
I hate to see the public realm sold off to the highest bidder, just as I hate to see commercials on PBS.

That is the heart of the matter.

Anything that was once considered part of the public realm is being consumed by the corporatization of our society. I run the risk of sounding like a protester at the '99 WTO conference in Seattle, but everything that was once considered public in our society is being taken over by big companies. Ball parks, plazas, parks, etc., etc., etc. Next we'll see that Chicago will have Motorola North Avenue Beach, Boeing Navy Pier and the Taste of Chicago Presented by Sears (oops, we already have that).

The renovated Soldier Field that will open this fall -- paid for by public money -- will be sponsored by Bank One.

In the minds of too many people, public = bad, private = good. In the minds of too many people, public services are "forced" on them, private services are the result of "free choice".

One look at the marketing strategies of some companies lets me know that private decisions are not always free choice.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
When you're one of the big employers in an area, you can pretty much do whatever you want. If CVS theatened to relocate their headquarters if we didn't rename everything CVS, I'm sure we'd do it. (CVS Main St. Historic District?)

Maybe this could get the Catholic Church out of financial trouble - (CVS St. Anne's Catholic Church?)
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
What happens when municipalities become insolvent is what is going on in Camden, NJ right now.

The city becomes a fiefdom of the state. The mayor is replaced with a COO (who happens to be the former mayor that allowed the county and state to build their prisons downtown and on the waterfront, respectively), the council is replaced with an executive board made up of local business leaders, the residents are not allowed to vote, the school board is ousted and privatized, etc, etc.

"Democracy" is a clever ruse.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,550
Points
24
Seabishop said:
When you're one of the big employers in an area, you can pretty much do whatever you want. If CVS theatened to relocate their headquarters if we didn't rename everything CVS, I'm sure we'd do it. (CVS Main St. Historic District?)

[RANT]
I agree that's how it is, but I also maintain that's a HUGE problem in this country. We have no public realm in this country anymore. Corporate self interest and individual self interest have effectively replaced the public interest in America. Who does anything for "society" anymore? No one.

I think we as a nation are failing to live up to our public responsibility. It's easy to leave something to a corporation that has a self interest in paying for or managing some public use. It's hard to accept responsibility (fiscally speaking) to support a public use.

Nearly one hundred years ago a bunch of union-busting, low-wage-paying, environment-polluting but still civic-minded businesspeople in Chicago agreed with Daniel Burnham that the city's lakefront should remain "forever clear and free", and the city is blessed with nearly 15 miles of continuous public parkland on the most desirable real estate in the city. Would that happen today? Without calling it "The Lakefront Presented By United Airlines"?
[/RANT}
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
Constitutionally, cities are fiefdoms of the state.

The Constitution has two levels of government, federal and state.

States, for their convenience, have established cities and counties to govern smaller geographical areas. But they are enabled as creatures of the state, not as independent entities.
 
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