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Recent Comments

Date Title Body
08/03/2018 - 7:13pm yep!

yep!

07/30/2018 - 11:48pm that "taxable value" thing…

that "taxable value" thing keeps getting thrown around but it is also entirely false. Ann Arbor's general fund is around $100M. Detroit's is $1B.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/02/23/dugg…

I do pay AA taxes. As a homeowner, even. 

07/28/2018 - 8:54pm You're describing …

You're describing "inclusionary zoning," which is a common approach to addressing affordability issues. IZ is controversial amongst wonky housing types because it drives up the cost of new buildings, raises market rates, and doesn't require anything of existing landowners. But it does produce units. 

IZ's prohibited by state law but the city gets a version of it by offering zoning bonuses to developers. A couple of projects on the docket, Lowertown and the Library Lot, would create about 80 affordable units in exchange for getting zoning that makes their projects viable. That's not that many but it's more than the city's managed to do over the last few years. 

I very much agree that housing of all types is necessary. Almost all of Ann Arbor is zoned for the two most expensive types: single family detached and high-rises. Small apartment buildings up to six stories are the cheapest to build per unit but the small amount of land zoned for any rise makes it more practical for developers to build high and charge high prices. 

Public housing has issues but I don't know if it causes those issues or just houses them--kind of think the latter. It's rough being poor in America. The proposed Y-Lot workforce housing is a different kind of project that I think would be good; it would largely be aimed at people who work downtown and wouldn't have the same sort of issues, I think. 

07/28/2018 - 8:44pm So is Liberson. I dunno what…

So is Liberson. I dunno what it is about Burns Park. 

07/28/2018 - 8:43pm That keeps coming up and is…

That keeps coming up and is completely untrue. The spaces are being rented 24/7 at 125% of the current hourly rate. The net present value of that is $24 million, which is more than it takes to expand the Ann-Ashley deck by three floors and replace all of that parking. 

07/28/2018 - 5:54pm No, there's no real chance…

No, there's no real chance they lose in the general. Ginyard might be okay? 

07/28/2018 - 5:31pm Since when do we post…

Since when do we post offseason non-commit recruiting news on Saturday? Pay 24/7 its money, man. 

07/28/2018 - 5:30pm I'll probably vote for…

I'd probably vote for Hughes in the main election (I'm in Ward 3), but the top priority is Not Hayner. 

07/28/2018 - 5:29pm referencing SF prices and…

referencing SF prices and traffic

07/28/2018 - 3:59pm I thought you had AA…

I thought you had AA politics related objections. 

If you can't take an average of one post a year in the offseason, this one on a Saturday, that is not on a topic you care about then, sure, I'm trolling you. I have a platform and care about the direction of my city and want to use that platform to do what I can to help. If that annoys people oh well. 

07/28/2018 - 3:42pm I just can't support someone…

I just can't support someone who clearly doesn't want even downtown development. It's one thing to not want your neighboorhood upzoned, that's understandable even if I think it's ultimately a bad thing.

Ramlawi has consistently complained about putting a big building in a narrow mid-block lot on top of a parking structure designed to hold a big building. Anyone who wants a plaza the city has to pay for right next to another plaza instead of a slightly smaller privately funded plaza and a bunch of hotel rooms, office space, retail, and condos that should produce 2 million in taxes every year should not be on council. 

This remains the definitive piece on the economics of the Library Lot:

https://treedowntown.com/2016/06/22/the-library-lot-get-busy-living-or-…

07/28/2018 - 3:37pm it's on the list

it's on the list

07/28/2018 - 3:15pm I read a fair few of them…

I read a fair few of them but it's not often I feel compelled to respond since I've already laid out my POV in the post itself, especially in the offseason. I tend to reply to a lot of UFR comments since people are pointing out errors or I feel like I need to defend my work sometimes. UVs and recruiting profiles not so much. 

07/28/2018 - 2:55pm i'd love to address any…

i'd love to address any specific objections you have

07/28/2018 - 2:48pm i'd love to address any…

i'd love to address any specific objections you have. 

07/28/2018 - 2:02pm promise 

promise 

07/26/2018 - 5:52pm My wife is pregnant and her…

My wife is pregnant and her due date is the 12th. I expect to resume duties next year. 

07/24/2018 - 2:55pm a lot of the bad things…

a lot of the bad things about the class don't show up in these posts because they're air. Michigan got zero DTs. They got zero interior linemen. They got one linebacker. They got one wild-card WR. 

07/21/2018 - 12:42am et tu, stephen

et tu, stephen

07/19/2018 - 9:14pm I scratched him because he…

I scratched him because he'll be 34 and the only guys that old I even thought about are guys with a long history with the national team. Also Ream has been pretty bad in his appearances with the USMNT. 

07/16/2018 - 2:22pm It is relatively new, and…

It is relatively new, and there are also loopholes. The most prominent is that if you have an EU passport FIFA can't stop you. Pulisic had one and went at 15. Gio Reyna is trying to do the same thing. Sargent doesn't have the right relatives to follow suit. 

07/03/2018 - 12:48am I don't have a huge problem…

I don't have a huge problem with Headlee, actually. I think it should be a little less strict but without it you would see some huge tax bills in Ann Arbor suddenly. It's the combination with Prop A that's bad. If it was inflation plus 2% or something along those lines you'd strike a balance between preventing huge spikes and completely insulating homeowners from their zoning choices. 

07/03/2018 - 12:45am Did you read the post? In…

Did you read the post? In real terms city taxes have gone down. If a significant number of people were being taxed off their property the real estate market wouldn't be so tight. Meanwhile most of the people in question have paid-off properties and enough net worth to endure an increase, which hasn't happened in any case. 

07/03/2018 - 12:42am Because he'd like to fix it…

Because he'd like to fix it and isn't explicitly running on a platform of not fixing it. 

07/03/2018 - 12:40am I don't think Taylor is a…

I don't think Taylor is a bad candidate. As I mentioned, crime is down, buildings are getting approved (at a rate that is too slow for me, but I get that there are electoral concerns), and the road stuff is getting handled. I have a couple big-picture issues with Taylor and in a world where he was up against someone who was more aggressive about adding housing I'd really think about the choice here. But he and the council party are good representatives for the city and are pushing it in the right direction.

You are correct that my contempt for Eaton outstrips my enthusiasm for Taylor.

07/02/2018 - 4:21pm ok

ok

07/02/2018 - 4:12pm Just for the record anyone…

Just for the record anyone bitching about the fact this is not about sports is going to get banned. Get bent. 

06/28/2018 - 9:39pm The state has a mechanism…

The state has a mechanism already in place that would take care of much of that. The Headlee amendment automatically rolls back millage rates when taxable value goes up faster than inflation. 

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/what_is_the_headlee_amendment_and_how_does…

Removing the Prop A limit would be revenue neutral because of Headlee. It would no longer protect long-time homeowners from the consequences of local zoning, though. That would encourage booming areas to build more and maybe induce some long time residents to downsize, thus increasing the efficiency of existing housing. Something like a quarter of Seattle bedrooms in single family housing areas are empty because of empty nesters. 

In Ann Arbor specifically the vast majority of the seniors who would see their taxes go up without Prop A have paid off their houses since they bought them before 1988 and could use that equity to stay in the house via a reverse mortgage or what-have-you. 

"Market forces" driving up property values is only part of the story. More of it is areas with a lot of jobs not building enough housing. 

06/28/2018 - 7:21pm Prop A limits property tax…

Prop A limits property tax increases to the rate of inflation so when a city undergoes a big spike in home values existing owners are shielded from the consequences of the housing limitation policies they generally support. Tax burden shifts to newer residents.

Older ones considering moving closer to work or downsizing or what have you are strongly discouraged from doing so because selling your house and buying one of equivalent price would result in a 50% property tax hike. 

06/28/2018 - 5:33pm the no politics rule is for…

the no politics rule is for you

I can do what I want

04/27/2018 - 5:45pm it also has clayton thorson

it also has clayton thorson 5th, soooooo

04/22/2018 - 1:03pm (No subject)

There's a patch; new site launches by the end of the month.

04/13/2018 - 5:17pm also i really did mean

also i really did mean "might." I dunno. If Nunez ends up in a bench role he'll probably play with both.

04/13/2018 - 12:21am (No subject)

yes, in a couple weeks

04/12/2018 - 3:58pm next time I'll just make up

next time I'll just make up some crap to make you feel better?

04/11/2018 - 5:34pm because i am an idiot.

because i am an idiot. section added.

04/05/2018 - 7:04pm He's done for the year.

He's done for the year.

03/23/2018 - 2:56pm They play four-out and only

They play four-out and only have one C on the court at a time, so they're a bit more modern, but the overall size and lack of shooting is similar.

03/21/2018 - 1:23pm (No subject)

to me it seems like a closeout is a closeout

03/13/2018 - 10:53am there were several edits made

there were several edits made to create this illusion 

03/03/2018 - 5:18pm (No subject)

02/21/2018 - 1:42pm Kenpom rankings

Kenpom rankings

02/16/2018 - 12:46pm Schwab is new, FWIW, and

Schwab is new, FWIW, and Matrix only puts guys with three years of track record in their rankings. 

02/15/2018 - 1:48pm this is a post discussing

this is a post discussing college basketball, a game in which shooting is a common activity. if I can't call "shooting" shooting after a school shooting, I can literally never do so. Call your congressman instead of coming with Thoughts and Prayers about usage. 

01/15/2018 - 4:13pm I don't actually have an

I don't actually have an anti-bourbon stance. I sometimes lose track of reality when I am trolling the south. 

01/05/2018 - 12:59pm (No subject)

the ! designation is in-season only. Since Solomon is listed as a sophomore it would be redundant.

01/05/2018 - 11:09am Oh. Ed says various bonkers

Oh. Ed says various bonkers things and I react to them like many people would react to a person who says things like that on a regular basis.

01/05/2018 - 11:02am I have no idea what you're

I have no idea what you're talking about. Are you conflating Ira with some doofus who emailed the show about how Don Brown sucks? Because there was an exchange there where Ira read that and I declined to engage with said doofus. That's about doofus, not Ira.

12/03/2017 - 2:23pm (No subject)

Yes

11/27/2017 - 2:42pm every o'korn related thread

every o'korn related thread was a sewer.