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Tradeoffs with public parks

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1 comment

  • Rodney Rutherford

    I tend to think that parks in low-density areas are not so useful...unless there's something significant to bring people together. People in these areas already have the amenities that a park offers...so why would they go there? On the other hand, parks near higher-density residential areas are vital...and, unfortunately, also often lacking.

    The park creates value for the people around it, especially if it meets needs that are not met by their own individual homes. If it does that, it adds value to those homes--and, in that way, increases the assessed value of the homes. Unfortunately, in states like mine (WA), cities are not rewarded with any more tax revenue as a result of their local investments like parks--instead, it just means that those whose property values increase due to the park pay more of the taxes that are collected, while those who are further from the park (and don't benefit as much) pay less. This is because property tax collected by each jurisdiction can only increase by 1% per year...and the only (significant) exception is the increased value resulting from new construction. I'm curious if other states are plagued by similar constraints that inhibit cities from reaping the value they create through public improvements like this.

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