Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Bureaucrat's Aside

Is the city's transfer tax on property sales really what's driving young folk out of the City of Pittsburgh, as suggested by the Propel Pittsburgh Commission or, as I suspect, (a) a zero sum game to be played with the rest of the region, which itself is losing youth and (b) a tragedy of misguided groupthink?


Anonymous said...

As a young person in Pittsburgh, I would like, with only slight embarrassment, to say, "the city's whoosit whatsit on the thingajagig sales huh?"

It costs a billion times less to live here than anywhere else. I don't think anything called a "transfer tax" is killin' me here.

Matt H said...

I'm on that commission and I don't agree with it.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Missed the report. Where is it? Pointer welcomed.

I've said for years that the single worst tax is the deed transfer tax. Is that what they said too?

illyrias said...

Completely agreed. I bought a house in Pittsburgh (moving from the East Coast) and I had no idea there was a transfer tax and it really didn't affect the bottom line of what I was buying - it was so reasonable.

I assume this is focused on folks that live in the suburbs and it's just an excuse.

I think we need to recruit city people to live in Pittsburgh. Suburb people are afraid of the crime and the higher prices - valid concerns. City people realize that comes with the benefits of living in the city. Suburb people don't see the benefits.

One change I suggest is that the city actually responded to all the people who applied to be on the Propel Pittsburgh commission. I applied and got absolutely no response.

IOZ said...

Pittsburgh doesn't actually have a youth retention problem. It has one of the highest youth retention rates of any major US city. The relative aging of the city has to do with earlier, not current, declines in the young and middle-aged populations. In any event, since "youth" remain a small demographic tranche, it's pretty innumerate to look at their retention or departure as having much to do with larger population declines.

Also, yeah, um, the whodidwhatnowtax? I signed the forms and handed over the big 'ol cashier check. Still beats a million-five for a one-bedroom in San Francisco, or $3,600 a month and 5 roommates in Williamsburg.