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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Friday, December 30, 2011

PG 418-12 could provide property tax reductions for adaptive re-use

               Daniel Leaderman reports that Prince George's County Executive Baker seeks tax break for projects that spur growth. According to the Gazette article the county executive claims that the measure would give Prince George's County another tool to attract business.[1]  The legislation, PG 418-12, Prince George's County - Property Tax - Exemption for Economic Development Projects is sponsored by Delegation Chair Griffith at the  request of the County Executive.[2]  

               To compete with other cities and counties and attract businesses Prince George's County could offer incentives to businesses to locate to a particular area. Among the possible incentives are tax abatements, loan guarantees, municipal bonds and tax increment incentives.[3] For a company to invest in a particular location, it must assess the risks of conducting business there and not somewhere else. Jurisdictions use economic development incentives to attract and retain business in the expectation of inducing the production of goods or services that drive a local economy towards prosperity. It should be kept in mind as noted by De La Cerda." that much research shows that economic development incentives do not bring prosperity to local economies; rather, using incentives results in unfair competition among businesses. Businesses begin pitting cities and counties against each other in battles of who can provide the better development incentive."[4]

               PG 418-12 would provide property tax reductions for projects located "...within one–half mile of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority transit station or one–half- mile of a Maryland area regional commuter transit station, as measured from the main entrance of the building to the nearest entrance of the transit station"[5] , revitalization tax credit districts, and designated urban renewal areas. The legislation would permit consideration of relief from property taxes over a fixed period time for real estate development projects that consist of newly constructed or rehabilitated commercial or multifamily residential property if  the real estate development project consists of at least one of the following:  

  •      a hotel project a private capital investment of equity and debt combined of at least $20,000,000 that will provide at least 100 full–time equivalent job opportunities; and
  •        an office building project with  private capital investment of equity and debt combined of at least $20,000,000 that  provides at least 150 full–time equivalent  job opportunities
  •        a retail facility with a private capital investment of equity and debt combined of at least $10,000,000 that  provides at least 100 full–time equivalent  job opportunities
  •        multifamily residential facility with a private capital investment of equity and debt combined of at least  $5,000,000
  •        an off–street parking facility that a. contains at least 250 parking spaces  and has a private capital investment of equity and debt combined of at least $2,500,000

               County executive Baker is on the right track. PG 418-12  needs careful consideration and review, but could be a helpful tool for the adaptive re-use and revitalization of our established communities . Now we need to dream big - of projects more than just parking garages like hi-tech agroscience research centers, alternative energy industries and information technology  companies.[6]  

·        Prince George's: County of Limited Vision -

[1] Daniel Leaderman. December 28, 2011. Baker seeks break for projects that spur growth. [accessed December 30, 2011]
               For the purpose of providing certain exemptions from county property tax under certain circumstances for certain economic development projects located in certain designated focus areas in Prince George's County; setting forth certain requirements in order to qualify for the property tax exemption; requiring certain annual reports on projects for which Prince George's County has entered in payment in lieu of taxes agreements; defining certain terms; and generally relating to a property tax exemption for certain property located in Prince George's County.
[3] De La Cerda, Joeseph E., "Economic Development: An Economic Impact Analysis of Tax Incentives on a Local Economy" (2010). Applied Research Projects, Texas State University-San Marcos. Paper 341. [accessed December 30, 2011]
[4] Ibid.
Discussion: Overall, the research indicates that the construction and opening of
Cabela’s had a significant impact on the immediate surge in sales tax revenue. Although, minus
the secondary benefits to quality of life and stronger business presence, the presence of Cabela’s
did not lead to a significant increase in the trend of sales tax revenue after Cabela’s opened.
[5] Op. cit. PG 418-12  
[6]  I note that this legislation does not address small business needs and hope that some incentives for small and medium size business might be considered

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