New Thoughts

Voice Card  -  Volume 26  -  Roger Card Number 4  -  Wed, Nov 11, 1992 11:15 PM

Bill Clinton has been elected president. New actions will be debated. Homelessness discussion rage around here (Calif). We need a new way to solve the problem. Percentagewise, more and more people are unable to afford a home of their own. The government should and can do something about it.

1. Fewer (%wise) and fewer people can afford a house of their own.

2. They can't afford them because all of the houses being built are too expensive.

The answer is simple: builders should concentrate on building less expensive smaller houses. Of course they can make more money by building larger houses, so they build larger houses. However, if they could make more money building smaller houses, they would build smaller, less expensive houses. Then there would be more less expensive houses and few, dramatically fewer homeless.

Remember the famous saying "Taxes are too powerful a tool to be wasted merely raising money" (anon I guess).

The suggestion is this. The federal government should place a tax on land size and house size used for living space. The tax should be something like this...

The basic land and house combined should have a tax of 5% of the current value of the house and property or all of the increase in value for the current year which ever is greater.

Secondly, houses of minimal size should be exempted to a rate of 1% of the current value per year without regard to the increase in valuation. Minimal house and property is defined as 600 sq ft floor area per house plus an additional 200 sq ft per inhabitant. Allowable property area to qualify as a minimal house is defined as twice maximum allowable area of the house. An example: A house with two parents and two children would be the basic 600 SqFt plus 4 (two parents and two children) x 200 SqFt = 1400 Sq Ft. sitting on a property of not greater than 2800 square ft. (say 50 x 54). (After roads and rights of way this would amount to about ten house per acre).

There should also be an intermediate size of house which is taxed at 3% of the value of the House and property or half of the increase in value which ever is greater.

The benefit of these taxes is that only a person who is wealthy and wished to show off would buy a house larger than the intermediate because it is a losing proposition. (You are guarenteed to lose money if you buy this kind of a house and hold it.) The intermediate size would be avoided because you could make more money with the smaller house (increase in value thru inflation and population growth). The biggest plus would be that most people would want the smaller house so all the builders would go into building smaller houses and the stock of small house would build up - giving more area for houses to be built on near each city.

There are lots of problems with this idea. The tax would have to be phased in over a ten year period because too many people are depending on a house for a savings plan. A clearer definition needed to define residential land and business land and farm land. But the basic idea is that land near a city is either business or residential and if business it needs to be clearly business.

What do you think of this as an idea for conservation (building smaller houses means less materials used and less heating required), lessening dependence on non-renewable energy (less energy to heat houses, houses in smaller area reducing transportation costs and energy requirement), reducing homelessness (more smaller houses will be built and they will be cheaper and prices won't be raised by the rich and moderaterly rich to looking for investments), and putting more money into the business part of the economy?