Gentrification and Tax Breaks

A couple of interesting segments on NPR’s “Marketplace” broadcast yesterday seem to have some applicability to Scottsdale issues:

The “York and Fig” story line about gentrification of an older Los Angeles neighborhood strikes a chord.

In addition, the story, “Why temporary tax breaks remain temporary,” says of year-end corporate tax break renewals voted on by the US Congress every year at this time:

“These temporary provisions become very efficient tools for members of Congress to raise money, ” says Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor. He says that members of Congress want to keep these tax breaks temporary so they can tell corporate donors: Give us campaign contributions so we can stay in office and renew your tax breaks. This keeps lobbyists busy too, according to Lessig.

“So everybody inside the beltway wins in this Christmas gift process, which we call the extension of these temporary provisions,  he says.

I’ve been saying for years that zoning and the rezoning process in Scottsdale which were supposed to protect land uses of lesser intensity (e.g., residential) from uses of greater intensity (e.g., the Scottsdale Airport, Scottsdale’s bar district, etc.) to nurture our quality of life, has devolved to a mechanism for extracting campaign contributions for the mayor and city council.

Thus, the two themes become one.

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2 Comments

  1. Nothing about politics surprises me except when something is honest and actually is of benefit to the voters.

    Quick sidebar: The beat goes on downtown as gunshots were fired at the Mint nightclub on Camelback last night. I have an idea ! Let’s build MORE nightspots.

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