The LuLac Edition #3364, November 30th, 2016
This week’s piece comes from Michael Giamber who was one of the people that helped put the Charter government together. Giamber ran a very good race a few years back and is still very much interested in how the County runs. He also, as a citizen of Luzerne County continues to offer suggestions and innovations that can make things run smoother. Here are his thoughts on the stagnant market in homes as well as helping current home owners protect the value of their properties.
Continuously increasing county property taxes in a stagnant housing market suffering from years of negative appreciation is a weapon of mass destruction. The notion that increasing taxes on depreciating real estate assets, many already functionally obsolete, will somehow improve the real estate tax base or sustain future revenue growth is absurd.
An alternative approach to help defray the cost of county home rule government may be to develop minimum standard county-wide ordinances that protect property values. This approach not only contributes to cleaning up and making the county more appealing but also rewards those who maintain their properties while penalizing those who don’t. (Also reference: Broken Window Theory.)
A sample list of county-wide ordinances adopted in more progressive counties include, spot blight, dump heap/trash storage, illegal placement of temporary advertising signs, graffiti, tall grass and weeds, over occupancy, inoperative vehicles on private property, permanent storage of items outside in the public view on porches or decks or inside a carport such as couches, trash containers, car parts, tools, construction materials, etc.
It should be noted that revenue generated by civil penalties imposed for home rule county ordinance violations are generally paid without an enforcement action being necessary; the violator simply receives a citation and then pays it.
To reinforce this proposal, results from the recent citizen survey conducted by the Manager Search Committee found blight reduction as the most important community issue.
To many outsiders Luzerne County conjures up a negative image. Let’s turn that image around and make our county more attractive and a great place to call home.
For more….here’s the link: http://citizensvoice.com/opinion/let-s-make-our-county-a-great-place-to-call-home-1.2123979