Friday, September 14, 2012

Europe's great untapped revenue source: property taxes

The piece I've been working on for most of the summer, about the financial health of cities, was accepted and published today by

Europe's Great Untapped Revenue Source: Property Taxes 

Its key point: Headlines about financial crisis focus on nations, but it's on city streets that the trauma plays out. And local government experts say for cities in the U.S. and Europe, things are going to get even worse before they get better. And in Europe, economists are urging more reliance on property taxes, which typically make up far less of a local government's revenue stream.

The article emerged from a conference in Paris sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University International  Urban Fellows Program.

Among the many lessons I learned there was this small observation: In Paris, when a regional planning agency offers a lunch to a visiting conference, it will include pate de foie gras. Not what you'd see at a Council of Governments or MPO meeting in the U.S., I think.