Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Downtown Fort Wayne 101

I would like to hear what the readers of this blog think should be done in downtown Fort Wayne.

I have some ideas; but, none of them seem to have been embraced by our elected officials.

1. I think we should ELIMINATE all tax abatements in Fort Wayne. I might consider making an exception that would allow us to grant ONE tax abatement to a new business. I would have to investigate this more. This would allow businesses to succeed or fail based on merit rather then on who gets special treatment. The free market will work if we let it.

2. I think we should ELIMINATE personal property taxes on all businesses. This would help local businesses a great deal. This would help small business owners in a huge way and it would also help large business owners.

3. I think we should market Fort Wayne to small business owners exclusively. I think we should STOP trying to draw large businesses entirely. I keep hearing that 7 of 10 new jobs are created by small businesses. Lets embrace this and lets make Fort Wayne extremely friendly to small business owners. I would like to see Fort Wayne draw 1,000 small businesses that each employ 5 people rather then one business that employs 5000 people.

4. I would immediately STOP using eminent domain unless it is for a true public purpose.

5. If our elected officials keep pouring money into downtown to re-develop it, and I think it will, we then need to LIMIT the continued sprawl of Fort Wayne. We need to stop allowing developers to build wherever they want to and we must STOP sprawling towards the County lines. It does not make sense if we want to spend money on the core. Duh...

What do you think?

Mike Sylvester


Andrew Kaduk said...

I especially like number 5. Limiting the sprawl would keep the money closer to central Fort Wayne and prevent the "flight" taking place now. The government has TOTAL control over downtown revitalization already via the plan commission. If they nixed more sprawl-projects...

Mike Kole said...

I'm not too keen on #5. Wither property rights? Sprawl is merely a reflection of the rejection of business as usual in the core city. Ban sprawl at the edges, and the development might just leave the Fort Wayne area entirely. It's just treating the symptom.

However, if Fort Wayne does clamp down on eminent domain abuse and eliminate (or at least reduce) property taxes on a consistent level from one property owner to the next, they would go a long way towards luring businesses to the core city. That would be striking at the root of the problem.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Limiting the sprawl is NOT a very Libertarian idea.

That being said, if they are going to keep pouring money into downtown, limiting the sprawl would help "save" downtown.

Mike Sylvester

Andrew Kaduk said...

I like to use this analogy when speaking of sprawl:

Take a piece of paper and a lighter, hold the paper flat and ignite it in the middle. You can continue to hold the paper until the fire reaches the edges, but by the time your fingers get burned, there is nothing left but ash and you have nothing in your hand.

Unlimited property rights cause the annexation that YOU Mr. Kole fight so diligently to prevent. Limiting property rights is what prevents developments from engulfing wetlands and keeps auto-body shops from setting up shop in residential subdivisions.

William Larsen said...

Property taxes help pay for local roads, government and some services. Exempting business from ALL property taxes could very well shift the cost for let us say road repair due to 80,000 lb trucks shipping parts out of Fort Wayne. This means residents would be paying the cost of doing business.

Reducing property tax to business based on what services they use may be beneficial such as library, schools, etc. But for fire protection, streets, and the like, I think they should pay their fair share.

Jeff Pruitt said...

One problem is that local banks do not seem to be willing to loan money for residential development projects. I have no doubt that they could develop a residential building near columbia street.

Typically (i.e. in other communities) this would be done by someone renovating an existing property and selling the units to future tenants and investors. The problem is that most of the units are usually bought up by investors and rented. However, the banks here want to cut the investor out and sell directly to the tenant or force the developer to also be the landlord. This is not realistic.

Because of this unwillingness to lend money to investors they have stifled any residential downtown development - development that is critical to the overall revitalization effort...

Anonymous said...

You are a right wing fanatic with adsolutely no working knowledge of government.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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