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Comment: Re:And still nothing in the US (Score 1) 89

by Ichijo (#48043083) Attached to: Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

the highways ALREADY EXIST, and the buses displace cars, so no additional capacity is needed.

So the cars will magically disappear and make room on the highways for buses? I think you made that up.

Even if you accept the lowest of the projected costs for California high speed rail project, the cost is over $500,000 PER SEAT. Show me a bus that costs that much.

First show us where it says the cost is $500,000 per seat, because I think you made that up.

Comment: Re:And still nothing in the US (Score 1) 89

by Ichijo (#48041757) Attached to: Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

But in either case, a bus...is more flexible when commuting patterns change.

That's circular logic, because commuting patterns only change when something as flexible as a bus is in place. Putting in something as permanent as a rail line gives developers confidence to make investments along the line in a way that doesn't happen around bus stops. So commuting patterns changing is a non-issue with rail.

Comment: Re:And still nothing in the US (Score 2) 89

by Ichijo (#48040867) Attached to: Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

The SF-to LA run alone is projected to cost $300 Billion

No, it's projected to cost $53.4 billion in 2011 dollars. Meanwhile, it would cost $123 to 138 billion in 2011 dollars to move the same number of people by air and highways (4,295 to 4,652 new lane-miles of highway plus 115 new airport gates and 4 new runways). Also, like every HSR system in the world that has been open for at least a few years, California's won't require any operating subsidies, unlike airports and freeways. So high-speed rail is a really good deal.

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by Ichijo (#48000169) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

Your frontage proposal puts the ratio at the home owner paying 50x as much, when the real differential is MUCH MUCH less.

If a foot of street costs $10 per year to maintain, then how much does 500 feet of street cost per year to maintain? I'm saying it's $5,000, but you're saying it's less than that. Is this some kind of new math?

And remember, we're talking about making only "the assessment for street maintenance on the property taxes" proportional to street frontage, not the entire property tax bill.

Addtionally your link doesn't factor in the fact that the 'urban developments' were mixed use...its not really comparing apple to apples with respect to our debate.

Ok, then please locate a new, single-family residential mixed-use development so we can compare it with urban mixed-use.

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by Ichijo (#47998837) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

the highrise produces 50x as much trash. So instead of 10 trashcans once a week they need to haul away 5 dumpsters worth every day.

Let's say a single dumpster handles the trash of 25 apartment units. So you'll need 20 dumpsters for the 500-unit apartment block. For 500 single-family homes, you'll need 500 trash barrels. Which do you think is easier to service, 20 dumpsters or 500 barrels?

In the suburbs you can put up a couple pylons and just dig a hole to do what needs doing. Downtown you'll need flag people to help redirect traffic, you may need coordinate access to buildings, or involve other utilities etc.

Despite all that, dense development is much more cost-effective in city services than single-family homes. For example, per unit, a mixed-use development produced a total of $3,370 in public revenue annually, while costing the local government about $1,400 per year in infrastructure maintenance, policing, fire response, and other general fund obligations. In comparison, the traditional suburban development...generated only half the revenue â" $1,620 per year â" and cost more to service â" $1,600.

So my question is, why should poor renters subsidize middle- and upper-class homeowners? By defending this kind of reverse welfare, you come off as being in favor of it.

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by Ichijo (#47997993) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

The 10 families in the 10 homes should each pay 50x the property taxes as the high rise tenants?

The assessment for street maintenance on the property taxes for the 10 homes should each be 50 times that of an apartment unit.

But water?

Yes, water infrastructure costs less per unit in an apartment building than a single-family home. But this should be on everyone's water bills, not their taxes.

Garbage removal?

Yes, it's easier to haul away trash from a single dumpster than from trash barrels serving the same number of homes. But this should be on everyone's trash collection fees, not their taxes.

schools? Libraries? Recreation centers? Parks?

These things are probably about the same cost for condos as for single-family homes.

Sewers?

Yes, like water. Remember, the cost of sewers also depends on the amount of impermeable surface on each property.

Cities tend to divide costs by an assessment of value. Within a strata that works out pretty close to being the same thing

That's a pretty clumsy and inexact way to assess property taxes, and it encourages urban sprawl when the property's burden on infrastructure isn't properly reflected in property taxes.

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by Ichijo (#47997193) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

The value of education isn't proportional to the property's value. Law enforcement probably is.

Fire protection should be billed to the property owner's insurance in order to provide the proper incentive to use fireproof building materials, and to clear away brush in areas prone to wildfires.

In California, we make a distinction between taxes and fees. For example, a fee is:

A charge imposed for a specific benefit conferred or privilege granted directly to the payor that is not provided to those not charged, and which does not exceed the reasonable costs to the local government of conferring the benefit or granting the privilege

I would rather pay such fees than taxes, wouldn't you?

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by Ichijo (#47996819) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

The township has a certain set of fixed costs which it has to meet every year.

Stuff like street maintenance, right? Is a property's burden on the streets proportional to the property's value or the property's street frontage?

Cities and towns usually get this answer wrong, and that causes a lot of problems such as those we saw in the real estate crash.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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