I will VOTE NO on the additional COMMUNITY HOUSING TAX LEVY to be proposed on this November’s ballot.
I’m not proposing here that we cut any funding currently going towards Bozeman’s Affordable Housing efforts.
Instead I’m saying, “ENOUGH TAXES ALREADY !”
Why is the General Fund in crisis mode again already? Isn’t that part of the same story we heard about why the Parks & Trails District needed to have its own special tax?
What happened to the $2.3 million per year that was freed up in the General Fund when the Parks District was created – – just over a year ago?!
More to come on that……
ARGUMENTS AGAINST COMMUNITY HOUSING TAX LEVY:
- Make no mistake about it, once you vote this tax in, IT WILL NEVER GO AWAY.
- If you vote against it, that does not mean you are voting against community housing.
- It means you are telling City staff to continue to fund affordable housing out of the General Fund.
- Which means there will be more pressure to try harder to make the problem go away.
- And we do want the problem to go away, right?
- Or are we saying that wealth redistribution is the only solution?
- We hear a lot from the people who can’t make it or who are really struggling to make it.
- What about the people who ARE making it? We don’t hear much from them. Maybe they have something to teach us.
- Bozeman Code Audit To Create and Preserve Housing
- Indications are that some changes are probably needed to facilitate affordability:
- if you watched the 07/13/2021 Commission Meeting, during the Community Housing Mill Levy discussion you will recall Public Comment reminding us that ……. in order to provide affordable housing …….. the Bridger View Redevelopment project required 19 relaxations to current subdivision and zoning regulations.
- You may recall the very first project heralded as a success under the then-new inclusionary zoning ordinance, The Lakes at Valley West Phase 3, was a Planned Unit Development requesting 21 relaxations overall, with 3 of those being specific to affordable housing.
- Metropolitan Area designation
- Let’s wait for the effects of the Metropolitan Area designation to kick in and see how much federal money for housing Bozeman might receive.
- The reason people are flocking to Bozeman is less and less because Bozeman is so great and more and more because the places these people are fleeing from have become so terrible.
- So a federal solution makes more sense.
- Throwing good money after bad
- What we’re currently doing isn’t working. Even the experts at HRDC (who I know to be very sharp and resourceful) can’t be helped by the current programs.
- So isn’t this new tax just throwing more good money after bad?
- Deed restricted property will create slums
- For years I’ve heard that deed restrictions are a bad idea because they just exacerbate the problem by creating concentrated poverty and hampering the ability of low-income families to build wealth through equity.
- But now deed restrictions are being showcased as a successful solution, specifically in the Midtown Tax Increment Financing District, which was recently heralded by this Commission as a great example of how to use this new Housing Tax on future projects throughout the City.
- Davis Lift Station
- The new sewer lift station in northwest Bozeman will open the door for thousands of housing units to be constructed.
- We have time to wait – no other proposed solution is likely to occur any faster.
More to come……..