Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Making towns work together

One of the main points of the Smart Growth Working Group's agenda is working to create incentives to promote cooperation between towns. Call it voluntary regionalization; to avoid the self-destructive race for new development that municipalities have to engage in due to the broken property tax system, we help towns work together to get these projects they were fighting for and to share the benefits.

It is a good way to bypass a lousy tax system; not a perfect fix, but a fairly good one considering how reluctant towns can be when the word region gets tossed around. The package unveiled Monday is a good first step. It is important to stress, however, that it won't be useful if no efforts are made to include all towns and cities in these agreements; if the inner cities are left out (again) by their suburbs when vying for development, the cooperation will still be pretty much useless in terms of smart growth.

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