My opponent, in a recent candidate statement on TAP, has proposed “improving” the downtown by effectively raising taxes on property owners if they have vacant space. As they stated: “We will look….. for ways to ensure that our tax policies encourage commercial landowners to fill vacancies expeditiously” That’s sugar-coated legalese to say rent up fast or get taxed.
My opponent totally ignored that the lack of parking is the most likely culprit. So, on top of the mall, lack of parking, and the internet add the threat of higher taxes to the woes of our downtown. It’ll affect all; what landlord doesn’t have the occasional vacancy?
As an economist, I can tell you that higher taxes reduce property values and will likely force tenants to pay more rent. After that proposal, any new property owner may well think twice before committing to our great City. The ramifications of ham handed government taxes are endless. Will property owners forego sprucing up properties to avoid the tax? Will they rush to lease to subpar tenants, not consistent with our downtown’s character?
As a downtown business tenant and City resident for over two decades this is distresing. This represents poor public policy. Higher taxesare never the answer.
David Dietze is the Republican candidate for Summit Common Council, At-Large.
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