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Posts Tagged → investment

When the government just takes your land

About four years ago, Pennsylvania state government created a new regulation setting aside 150-foot buffers on waterways classified as High Quality and Exceptional Value.

This means that 150 feet from the edge of the waterway up into the private property, it’s designated as off-limits to most types of disturbances.

The purpose was to protect these waterways from the effects of development.

The end result is an obviously uncompensated taking of private property by the government. When the government takes a tape measure and marks off your own private land and says you can’t do anything with this huge area, or a road is going through, you’re simply taken advantage of. You’re robbed. It’s Un-American. ┬áIt’s unconstitutional.

Pennsylvania is a great state. I love living here. It’s saddening to see such top-down, command and control, clunky, one-size-fits-all regulations in this day and age. We can do so much better than this approach.

To start, create incentives for landowners to go along. Give tax credits and write-offs for land taken by government.

Do we all want clean air, soil, and water? Sure. Breathing, eating, and drinking clean air, food, and water are necessary to surviving. But that’s not the question.

The question is HOW we pursue those goals.

Requiring American citizens to simply give up their investments, with no compensation, creates losers in a system that was originally designed to make everyone a winner.

Instead of pitting government against the citizens, we need policies and laws that help and serve citizens, that are fair to citizens. That is by definition good government.

This current 150-foot buffer regulation is by definition bad government.

Increasing Smart Growth opportunities in Harrisburg, but for crazy high school taxes…

Harrisburg City is broke, but it presents many opportunities for in-fill development, where existing infrastructure is already long-since paid for. The challenge to attracting development is getting past the regressive school tax, which is based on property ownership. The more property you own, the higher the school taxes you pay. Harrisburg spends somewhere around $18,000 per student to get a sub-par education.
Setting aside the broken educational program here, more than anything an end to property taxes is needed. Once that punitive tax ends, then investors are enticed to take advantage of even weak markets, and make investments, taking risks and sacrifices.
Investment brings jobs, creates economic and financial “churn,” and is how America runs.
Right now, the churn in Harrisburg is below incrementally slow. It is almost nil, with a few exceptions led by brave pioneers committed to the city’s success.