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The City of Corcoran planned to use building permit fees to finance its city hall renovation

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to a local city council about the obstacles to the construction of affordable housing which state and local governments erect in terms of in terms of taxes, fees, and regulations. According to a report from the Housing Affordability Institute, some localities are using these fees, which are meant to be for services rendered, to pad their general funds. I referred to the example of the city of Corcoran, which had been reported as using building permit fees to finance a city hall renovation. This, according to one of those present, was "a lie". Well,...

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Rochester’s High Property Taxes Threaten Small Businesses

You know it's bad when a former New Yorker says the property taxes on his restaurant in Rochester, Minnesota make his tax bill from the empire state look good. But Pasquale Presa told the Rochester Post Bulletin he'd have looked for another place to start his pizzeria had he realized how much of a bite of his sales would go to the government. Presa, who owns and operates Pasquale's Neighborhood Pizzeria on Fifth Street Southwest, a block off Broadway, has been advocating for himself — and looking for a little help from the city, county and state — when it comes to property...

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When a liberal got a tax demand

Carl Solberg's excellent biography of Hubert Humphrey - the liberal Mayor of Minneapolis, Senator for Minnesota, and vice president to Lyndon Johnson - contains the following story. Until he became vice president in 1964, Humphrey was perennially short of cash. When the candidates released statements of their wealth in 1964, Humphrey was the only one to have to pad his to make him look richer than he was. He topped up his salary with speaking fees, but these dried up during his unsuccessful run for the presidency in 1960. Then, as Solberg tells it, he was hit with an "unbelievable" $225 [$1,950 in...

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