Opportunity Zones Enrich Lucky Landowners
That's the title of Chris Edwards' post here. And in another post he notes a study which estimates vacant sites gain 20% in price from the opportunity zone designation. Those of us with any understanding of political economy won't be surprised, of course. We might hope that Edwards will wonder about how land values are affected by other kinds of favors, services, and facilities which the community provides.
Land purchase in Rogers Park
According to Curbed, Sam Goldman has purchased the Heartland Cafe site at Lunt and Glenwood for $1.3 million and proposes to build 60 apartments, of which 54 would be unaffordable. The Alderman's survey indicates most respondents want fewer unaffordable units. This price implies $21,667 per unit ($24,074 per unaffordable unit), which seems pretty cheap to me. The low price might reflect the probability that the total number of unaffordable units will end up being less.
A Chicago residential lot "worth $12 million"
That's according to the owner, a developer who hopes to build another mansion on Orchard Street somewhere south of Armitage. The lot is 130X125', 16,250 sq ft. That implies a value of $738/sq ft. Source is this article from Crains, which also notes that Penny Pritzker and some other richies have mansions in the area.
Montana saves on medical costs
According to this report from Sharyl Attkisson's Full Measure, Montana managed to drastically cut medical costs for state employees by leaning hard on the hospitals (and, one supposes, other providers). Implies that the employees are happy enough, and much $$ was saved. Hopefully the plan, which began in 2016, is described in detail somewhere.
MMT and LVT
I've been trying to understand Modern Monetary Theory, partly to see how it relates to the single tax. According to Bill Mitchell, writing four years ago at Economic Outlook, "In general, the Georgists I have come across and the literature produced by those sympathetic to the Single Tax idea, is problematic because there is a presumption that national governments need tax revenue to fund their spending. Clearly, this is an assertion that MMT rejects at the most elemental level. " Curious. I suppose I shall have to learn more about MMT.
Tyler Cowen not being wrong, exactly, just not all there
He correctly notes Henry George's observation that all gains eventually go to landowners. His remedy: fewer renters; more owners. But of course this creates more landowners without really solving the problem of poverty, since land rent doesn't drop and isn't used for public benefit.
It's surprising this doesn't happen more often...
Or maybe it does. [IRS investigating erroneous tax documents sent to 100s naming Skokie car dealer] Sun-Times report. Per the article, it's actually an IRS problem, not due to an error by Sherman. But one of the victims says she spent so much time trying to fix it that she missed an important deadline.
Yes, Metra can coordinate with Pace...
...at least slightly and briefly. With Metra Electric shut down due to weather (and probably poor design of catenary, but that's just my guess) they're running two Pace buses this afternoon only to stations along the Electric main line. Tomorrow the Electric Line riders are told to use the Rock Island or CTA Red Line, both some miles distant tho there are some bus connections. But the point is that it can be done, Pace buses can substitute for (or supplement) Metra service, which could, in an intelligently-managed system, allow more off-peak runs.
Here is the announcement (which probably will soon disappear) from Metra's web site. Metra Alert ME - Metra Electric will have 2 buses tonight ONLY, buses will arrive at the southwest corner of Michigan Ave. and Randolph Street at 4PM and depart at 430PM
Metra has worked with Pace to provide limited bus service to Metra Electric Line stations in the south suburbs. Two buses will be positioned Wednesday afternoon near the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street near Millennium Station’s entrance. The buses will arrive at 4 p.m. and depart at 4:30 p.m. One bus will make stops at the Kensington, Riverdale, Ivanhoe, 147th Street, Harvey, Hazel Crest, Calumet and Homewood stations. A second bus will make stops at Flossmoor, Olympia Fields, 211th Street, Matteson, Richton Park and University Park. A Metra manager will be on board each of the buses to assist Metra passengers.
Is Randall O'Toole becoming a Georgist?
Randall O'Toole is well known as a guy who doesn't believe public transportation is a wise public investment. He seems to come to this conclusion by neglecting the willingness of people to pay up for locations with good transit service. The one time I heard O'Toole speak, at a Heartland event, he reminded me of the automated guy who announces stops on the 'L' trains -- not wrong, but incomplete and awfully loud.
But Fred Frailey writes some great columns, so I did want to read his interview with O'Toole in the current issue of Trains. (It's probably behind a paywall, but your local public library might be able to link to it.) O'Toole of course still doesn't generally support spending tax money on trains, but regarding the northeast corridor Amtrak service he says "The only taxes that I think ought to go to support those trains would be taxes from property owners who benefit from the density that the trains support."
Sounds Georgist to me. He just said "property" when he must have meant "land."