Suburbs - General Topics

Twin Cities Suburbs
winterfan
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby winterfan » May 26th, 2016, 1:06 pm

mattaudio wrote:
winterfan wrote:Sure, and then your taxes would go up even higher when reassessed.
Not if the improved school quality results in improved neighborhood desirability that inflates everyone's home values. Then it would stay flat.
You mean as a percentage? Sure, it will stay flat, but you will pay more if your 300K house is now worth $375K due to the improved schools instead of $325K due to normal inflation. I do realize that house values reflect many other things however.

Property taxes are low in PL (assuming you're not on the lake!) compared to other metro suburbs. The 300K house in PL might be 3200/yr, whereas the same house would be 3800 or 4000/yr in other suburbs. Maybe people buy there for that reason. I don't know. The extra tax owed may impact their budgets significantly. Or maybe they think the trade off isn't worth it. Maybe they just want a good enough school district for their kids and don't care if their kiddo's first grade class has 28 kids instead of 22.

I have no dog in this fight, btw. My city prop taxes are higher than any suburb, lol. I'm just playing devil's advocate as to why people would vote no. I have no idea why they didn't pass it. The only thing I read was that the vote no contingent thought the cost of the six new gymnasiums was excessive.

LakeCharles
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » May 26th, 2016, 1:17 pm

winterfan wrote:
mattaudio wrote:
winterfan wrote:Sure, and then your taxes would go up even higher when reassessed.
Not if the improved school quality results in improved neighborhood desirability that inflates everyone's home values. Then it would stay flat.
You mean as a percentage? Sure, it will stay flat, but you will pay more if your 300K house is now worth $375K due to the improved schools instead of $325K due to normal inflation. I do realize that house values reflect many other things however.
If everyone's house went up the same amount, and the school district was bringing in the same amount of money either way, then the absolute price of your house doesn't matter at all, only the relative price. If everyone's home value in Prior Lake school district was cut in half, everyone would pay the exact same amount in school taxes (just a greater percentage of your home value), and if they all doubled, everyone would pay the exact same amount (just a lower percentage of your home value).

winterfan
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby winterfan » May 26th, 2016, 2:53 pm

LakeCharles wrote:
winterfan wrote:
mattaudio wrote: Not if the improved school quality results in improved neighborhood desirability that inflates everyone's home values. Then it would stay flat.
You mean as a percentage? Sure, it will stay flat, but you will pay more if your 300K house is now worth $375K due to the improved schools instead of $325K due to normal inflation. I do realize that house values reflect many other things however.
If everyone's house went up the same amount, and the school district was bringing in the same amount of money either way, then the absolute price of your house doesn't matter at all, only the relative price. If everyone's home value in Prior Lake school district was cut in half, everyone would pay the exact same amount in school taxes (just a greater percentage of your home value), and if they all doubled, everyone would pay the exact same amount (just a lower percentage of your home value).
Right, I'm referring to the point about good schools improving the value of your home. If you live in a 300K house, but now your neighbors are selling theirs for 400K because the school district is in high demand, your house will be assessed at a higher value based on the comps, correct? This higher value will result in higher property taxes overall (not the school district allotment, but the other components- county taxes, city taxes, park taxes, what have you).

Or do I have this all wrong?

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby FISHMANPET » May 26th, 2016, 2:57 pm

It depends how everybody else's value changes. If every property in Prior Lake doubles in value, the absolute amount of taxes paid to the school district and city (assuming the boundaries are the same) will not change. If everything else in the county stays the same, then the value of your property relative to the entire county would go up, so your county and possibly park (and soil and water conservation!) taxes would go up.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby David Greene » May 26th, 2016, 3:16 pm

To hopefully make this simpler, property tax is a levy, which means the city sets an absolute dollar amount it wants to collect. That amount is spread over all properties according to value. Your property tax is not directly related to the value of your property at all. It's related to the *difference* in value of your property relative to other properties. If your value goes up faster than other values, your tax will increase. If your value goes up (UP!) slower than other values, your tax will *decrease*. Either way your property value went up but the change in tax depends entirely on how other properties fared.

Likewise, your value can go *down* and your tax still go *up* if most other properties went down more than yours did.

A levy increase will likely, but not necessarily, increase your taxes. Similarly, a levy cut will likely, but not necessarily, decrease your taxes. It all depends on how the value of your property sits relative to others.

People generally don't understand how property tax works and it's a big problem when these referendums come around. People don't actually know what they're voting on.

This is why referenda in general are bad ideas. We have representative government so that not everyone *needs* to know every fine detail of proposals. A referendum assumes everyone is an expert. Or more cynically, those proposing referenda are counting on people being misinformed.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby min-chi-cbus » May 26th, 2016, 9:13 pm

Well said! I guess at the end of the day if your home value rose by $75k, would you really be angry about paying a little higher incremental taxes (if that were to occur)? I'd take that trade-off.

winterfan
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby winterfan » May 26th, 2016, 10:06 pm

Thank you for the explanation! I get it, but I have never seen it in practice, except maybe during a recession, then the taxes still increase while the market value goes down. Maybe it does happen. I’ve never seen a decrease.

I find property taxes so confusing! My assessed market value jumped 10%. Most Mpls neighborhoods except maybe North are hopping. There’s lots of new development and people moving in. The tax base has increased, compared to overhead (I’m assuming). Has the commercial tax base stabilized?

Home prices have increased the same amount percentage wise in other south Mpls neighborhoods (Nokomis, Powderhorn for instance) compared to my neighborhood (Kingfield), but their property taxes didn't jump as high or even decreased in some cases (at least the random properties I checked). Their assessed market values didn’t correlate with the housing price increases either. I thought I read that historical housing prices are used to evaluate market value. Or is that just one part of it?

Is there a secret Lake Harriet/Calhoun/Isles proximity formula used? Number of new restaurants opening formula? Availability of grass fed beef formula? Airplane noise formula? Quality of potted plants on the porch? I have no idea. I checked random houses in Kenwood, ECCO and Lynnhurst. Their assessed values are higher, but taxes decreased in all cases.

If I called city hall would they tell me the subjective measurements assessors use to gauge market value? Or is that not public information? I looked at similar properties in my neighborhood and the values are all over the map.

I've just accepted that they will always go up, up, up, just like college and health care.

This rant has nothing to do with the PL/Savage schools btw, nor does it have to do with property taxes in the general sense. I get that they go up. I get that they go up when your house is worth more. I'm OK with that. I don't get why there is so much subjectivity involved.

LakeCharles
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » June 9th, 2016, 8:49 am

Land O' Lakes planning an $80 million expansion in Arden Hills:

http://www.twincities.com/2016/06/08/la ... -new-jobs/

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » June 17th, 2016, 12:55 pm

This could go anywhere I suppose, as declining congregations faced with merging or ceasing to exist are everywhere, both urban and suburban: https://current.mnsun.com/2016/06/16/fa ... s-team-up/

Jesus, just merge already. Could these people be any more parochial? ;)

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mattaudio
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » June 29th, 2016, 9:13 am

Traffic is so bad on 169 that Plymouth could definitely use another Automobile Abandonment Zone.

Image

QuietBlue
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby QuietBlue » July 1st, 2016, 7:28 am

Didn't see a specific thread for it, so posting this here -- via the MSPBJ, the Renaissance Festival has renewed their lease for their current site through 2019:

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/b ... -2019.html

Since the reason for moving was that the land under the festival grounds was being used for sand mining, I wonder how much of this was due to low oil prices creating less demand for the sand.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » July 11th, 2016, 6:45 am

The incredible shrinking American yard: https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/20 ... story.html

CC: sdho

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Anondson
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Anondson » July 11th, 2016, 7:27 am

I agree with the quote in he article, people are just using the backyard much less. Just as interior use of homes has changed, so architecture has changed to give more focus around the kitchen and family room and diminished dining rooms and living rooms. Massive expanses of grass are seen by more as a burden to pay someone else to care for.

Myself, while not expanding our home with additions, I've reduced my lawn to a quarter of its original size by expanding the garden with perennials and veggies, patios, and a larger paver path. Mowing unused grass is a drag, and a garden that grows food and attracts wildlife and insects is much more valuable. There is a park with a block full of grass less than a block away for when I need that much space.

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mattaudio
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » July 11th, 2016, 9:39 am

On my block, it's actually been interesting to see sort of a common form develop over the last few years. We have normal 40 ft lots, the occasional 50-60 ft lot. Mostly SFHs, some "nice" up-down duplexes. And we have alleys with garages in back.

For the most part, people have restored front yards to mostly be lawn, so that the dozens of kids on my block can play across multiple lawns without fences or obstacles. We've had two neighbors on our block actually remove significant front yard landscaping. Back yards, however, are more of the "private room" space with extensive hardscaping and landscaping to create outdoor "rooms."

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » July 11th, 2016, 10:00 am

Relevant to the suburbs (particularly where I work, in the first ring suburbs) the part of the article that initially got my attention was the front yard driveway expansion issue. TBH I kind of skipped over the parts about "yard use" youse guys are talking about :geek:

The article didn't go exactly where I thought it would, but I could write a whole thing about front yard driveway regulations. If the rules in place aren't just right, you tend to get some ugly front yard driveway expansions, especially on busier streets (usually county roads) where on-street parking is prohibited. Heck, even on some neighborhood side streets where parking is allowed, people still do some weird, ugly shit, paving over their front yards when they could easily just park their 2nd, 3rd, 4th car (etc.) on the street, instead of trying to cram 4 cars onto the driveway.

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mattaudio
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » July 11th, 2016, 10:16 am

We had dinner with friends who own a rental property on Portland in Richfield. Their property is on a block without alleys, and Portland (ridiculously) does not allow on-street parking (because 200 feet of useless center left turn lanes was supposedly a better use of expensive asphalt on every block). So not only do they have no other options for parking, but their driveway was actually shortened by the current Portland project resulting in two less driveway spots for visitors. Honestly I don't blame people for having some concerns about parking a) when they don't have alleys and b) when on-street parking is prohibited.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » July 11th, 2016, 10:25 am

There really is no good answer for existing SFHs and duplexes along streets like Portland Ave in Richfield, short of tearing everything down and rebuilding with alleys. Sure, theoretically the street could have built differently (say like South Lyndale, with mid-block on street parking instead of block-long left turn lanes), but you likely would have had to sacrifice some width of the sidewalks, boulevards, etc. But that's all irrelevant now that the street has been rebuilt. Hopefully they do better on Nicollet and Lyndale, which face the same exact challenges.

In a perfect world, all of the arterial streets which prohibit on-street parking in Richfield (and other first ring burbs) would have been built with alleys to avoid the current unfixable problem. Having given this a lot of thought, that is probably the #1 thing I would change, because it's basically impossible to fix now.

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mattaudio
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » July 11th, 2016, 10:29 am

Couldn't they still stripe the traffic lanes like South Lyndale, and at least add parking to one side of the street?
Bonus: This "gentle weave" is traffic calming.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Mdcastle » July 11th, 2016, 12:29 pm

Did they tear out landscaping for kids to play or because they didn't want to maintain it? I have a couple of flower beds out front, but nothing more. Easier just to mow grass once a week in part of the house I never see unless I'm on my way to my car. I don't care particularly if it dies back in the heat or gets dandelions, so the only maintenance is running over it with a self-propelled mower once a week. I'd like to build a pad for off-street parking due to my tandem garage, but it will be tight doing it per code with the layout of my yard.


he deck, 4-season porch, main gardens and such are out back. I actually spend a lot of time out back and so do my neighbors, but not on the grass really. The author seems to define "yard" as "grassy area", not the permanent improvements where people tend to spend time. I'm out on the deck daily.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby seanrichardryan » July 11th, 2016, 4:19 pm

mattaudio wrote:...
For the most part, people have restored front yards to mostly be lawn, so that the dozens of kids on my block can play across multiple lawns without fences or obstacles. ...
Same here. The kids use the front yards a huge safe space to play. I often find toys littered about and know which houses to drop them off at. :)
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