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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2019, 7:48 PM
atxsnail atxsnail is online now
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Arrow Gentrification and Austin Housing Prices

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Originally Posted by zrx299 View Post
If someone doesn't own, then they have no say in what their landlord does. If that is important to them, then save up and buy-in. Actually invest in the community instead of just paying rent and complaining about things when other people show up who are willing to pay more for something; whether that's land, rent, or a building.
this is a pretty cruel view IMO. much of the working poor has very little realistic opportunity to buy property, particularly in the rapidly changing parts of town such as this one.

this attitude diminishes the importance of people who don't own property as though their presence never contributes meaningfully to a neighborhood. it's this same kind of feeling that pervades most central austin neighborhood associations as they discriminate against renters and enforce ownership requirements for membership/voting rights.

i don't like defend our hoodz though I am sympathetic to plight of economically disadvantaged people who are getting pushed towards the edges of our region. people who have very little legal claim to the land on which they live are left to try to exercise what political power they can muster. hoodz is just going about it in really stupid and self-defeating ways.
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2019, 8:04 PM
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Originally Posted by atxsnail View Post
this is a pretty cruel view IMO. much of the working poor has very little realistic opportunity to buy property, particularly in the rapidly changing parts of town such as this one.

this attitude diminishes the importance of people who don't own property as though their presence never contributes meaningfully to a neighborhood. it's this same kind of feeling that pervades most central austin neighborhood associations as they discriminate against renters and enforce ownership requirements for membership/voting rights.

i don't like defend our hoodz though I am sympathetic to plight of economically disadvantaged people who are getting pushed towards the edges of our region. people who have very little legal claim to the land on which they live are left to try to exercise what political power they can muster. hoodz is just going about it in really stupid and self-defeating ways.
This is spot on.
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  #3  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2019, 9:12 PM
zrx299 zrx299 is offline
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It's not meant to be cruel, but unfortunately that's the way the world works.

What IS cruel is our (and especially Texas & Travis County) property tax scheme where someone can quite literally be taxed out of their own home or business. It's absurd and just wrong to tax the paper value of something that is not an income producing asset, based on some mythical value that a city/county appraiser says it *should* be, which always goes up every year. State and local reform is long overdue.

The path to meaningful solutions are removing obstacles for economically disadvantaged people so that they are no longer disadvantaged instead of treating them like a charity case, including property tax reform, personal development where they can maximize their earnings, and not simply picking a handful of "winners" that get to live in taxpayer-funded "affordable" apartments or forced rent control. All the last one does is prevent people from moving up the socio-economic ladder "Oh I can't take that new job, I'll lose my housing benefit since I'll be over the minimum income threshold".
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Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 3:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zrx299 View Post
It's not meant to be cruel, but unfortunately that's the way the world works.

What IS cruel is our (and especially Texas & Travis County) property tax scheme where someone can quite literally be taxed out of their own home or business. It's absurd and just wrong to tax the paper value of something that is not an income producing asset, based on some mythical value that a city/county appraiser says it *should* be, which always goes up every year. State and local reform is long overdue.

The path to meaningful solutions are removing obstacles for economically disadvantaged people so that they are no longer disadvantaged instead of treating them like a charity case, including property tax reform, personal development where they can maximize their earnings, and not simply picking a handful of "winners" that get to live in taxpayer-funded "affordable" apartments or forced rent control. All the last one does is prevent people from moving up the socio-economic ladder "Oh I can't take that new job, I'll lose my housing benefit since I'll be over the minimum income threshold".
I think the underlying point being made against you is that if it weren't for people who have your mentality, the world would NOT be like that. And, frankly, it shouldn't be like that.
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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 12:31 PM
hereinaustin hereinaustin is offline
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
I think the underlying point being made against you is that if it weren't for people who have your mentality, the world would NOT be like that. And, frankly, it shouldn't be like that.
Meh. I’m with zrx299 on this. I think there’s probably a balance between these points that most communities fail to find. The point zrx299 made on property taxes is actually spot-on. The main reason people are no longer able to afford the home they’ve lived in for fifty years is because they can’t afford the fixed percentage tax on their property as it appreciate in value. Property taxes are particularly devastating to the poor and those on a fixed income. We are taught to blame developers for making our neighborhoods into places we actually want to live. For renters, property taxes have the same effect on making rents higher (except the market also plays a role in the price).
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 4:16 PM
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Putting all the onus on the poor to change property tax laws (when they can't even afford to live) is a covert endorsement of the systemic aggression being put upon them. It's a slick way to slip out of any accusation of cruelty.

Just like how racism is white people's problem, systemic bias against the poor is the problem of people with money and they (we?) need to be the ones to solve it. Capitalism can't be the only way to choose winners if a society is going to be compassionate and ethical.
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 7:08 PM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
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Originally Posted by hereinaustin View Post
Meh. I’m with zrx299 on this. I think there’s probably a balance between these points that most communities fail to find. The point zrx299 made on property taxes is actually spot-on. The main reason people are no longer able to afford the home they’ve lived in for fifty years is because they can’t afford the fixed percentage tax on their property as it appreciate in value. Property taxes are particularly devastating to the poor and those on a fixed income. We are taught to blame developers for making our neighborhoods into places we actually want to live. For renters, property taxes have the same effect on making rents higher (except the market also plays a role in the price).
If they have lived in their home for 50 years, they likely have no mortgage and are going to be illegible for the over 65 tax discount rate which basically means they no longer pay the school portion of their tax bill and get a 10% deduction on the balance in addition to the homestead exemption. I pay a little under $3,000 on a property appraised at $315k. Without the senior discounts, my tax bill would be way north of $6,000. I do plan to appeal my next appraisal since my home has not been significantly improved in any way since I bought it 7 years ago, and the appraisals are based the skyrocketing sales prices on identical homes (it is a late 1980s cookie cutter subdivision with 7 basic models) that have been tarted up for recent resale with new kitchens, baths, siding, etc.

Last edited by austlar1; Mar 30, 2019 at 8:24 PM.
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 7:42 PM
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Yes, property taxes are "high." And, I do believe the legislature could work out some sort of relief. However, one must look at the whole picture and not one aspect of it. The state (and other localized governmental entities) must get revenue from somewhere. As we do not pay state income taxes, property taxes are one way for them to secure capital.

When compared to other states, overall, I believe Texans are taxed less than most.
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  #9  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 7:59 PM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
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Originally Posted by ILUVSAT View Post
Yes, property taxes are "high." And, I do believe the legislature could work out some sort of relief. However, one must look at the whole picture and not one aspect of it. The state (and other localized governmental entities) must get revenue from somewhere. As we do not pay state income taxes, property taxes are one way for them to secure capital.

When compared to other states, overall, I believe Texans are taxed less than most.
Not really. Our sales tax is higher than most, and I'm pretty sure our RE taxes are in the top ten nationwide. Residents of states with a high state and local income tax rates probably have a bigger tax burden, but most state income tax rates are quite modest. I think the overall tax rate for most Texas homeowners is a bit above the national average when everything is taken into account. Renters arguably come out ahead, but RE taxes must factor into the amount of rent they pay.

Last edited by austlar1; Mar 30, 2019 at 8:19 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 8:55 PM
urbancore urbancore is offline
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Is there proof someone has been "forced" from their home. Sure taxes go up, they all have and always will. But I don't like when we say, someone sold their tear down house for $500K, that they bought years ago for a few thousand and are walking with a huge pay day...."that person was 'taxed' out of their home".

The county just files a lien on your home and collect the money when you pass away. The news crews would line up their trucks around the block at the first little old lady in Austin who was "taxed out" so they could record the Marshall's evict her. Travis County knows they will get their money...when eventually the owner will pass away or sell, and they just increase the size of the lien with interest, btw.

I have many elderly neighbors (some not so elderly----just aging in place hippies that don't work- not kidding)in Zilker and sure they bitch about taxes like the rest of us. Some sell and walk with a boat load of money, and some stay.....but it's not the narrative that "people are being forced from their homes".

Its a convenient scapegoat, if it wasn't taxes, it would be "I had to sell my house because health care costs are too high....or I can't afford to repair my aging house, so I'm selling out and moving".

If you walk hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's hard for me to be too sad. Sure you had memories, but then again, we all do.

This gentrification thing is all bs. What would they propose?
You have to be a certain race to live in a certain neighborhood? They don't offer solutions, just want to blow up the system, without any back up plan. In America, you are allowed to purchase/rent wherever you want if you can afford it. That's it. That is the only rule....and it should be the only rule.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2019, 10:49 PM
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I don't want my income taxed. I don't really like my property being taxed. I don't like that a piece of property could be paid for decades ago, owned outright, and still be taken away.

But I know the govt must be funded. I'd prefer a more robust sales tax, and even a higher gas tax.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 4:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
I think the underlying point being made against you is that if it weren't for people who have your mentality, the world would NOT be like that. And, frankly, it shouldn't be like that.
Where is this utopia you speak of? Part of the problem of the far left is they fail to recognize this is a prosperous country because of property rights, not in spite of them.

I could not afford to buy a home where I grew up so did the very rational thing and moved.
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 6:53 PM
StoOgE StoOgE is offline
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Jeeze there are some cold-hearted people in here.

You can both respect property rights and acknowledge that it's super shitty that working poor (often from historically marginalized minority groups including LGBTQ communities) are being forced from the urban core of cities as property values rise. Very regularly from historical poor areas that have become important cultural hubs for different groups with deep roots and a sense of pride in their communities. Often the very groups that made areas desirable to live in are no longer able to afford rents in those areas. This also obviously affects creative communities and artists as well who are often part of making areas or cities more desirable in the first place as well.

It's especially disingenuous to scream "PROPERTY RIGHTS" and ignore historical subjugation of some of the people involved as though centuries of both social and government policies didn't push certain groups into lower socio-economic status. Like, google redlining/blockbusting and then look at gentrification, it's not as simple as "property rights" when you understand that property rights have never been equally available to all people and still are not.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.955d5a97c10c

Like, these situations are complicated. Lots of poor people of color couldn't GET loans because of bank and government policies. And so they wound up having to rent from landlords who are now the ones reaping the upside of property rights.

This is a complicated issue with complicated answers. Defend our Hoodz is obviously not the answer, but I totally get where their frustration comes from.

Cities nationwide need to tackle affordable housing in serious ways. And they need to police who is getting access to affordable housing. Students (and GRAD STUDENTS) should not qualify as low-income because they are presently not working if they are being supported by grants or family.

Look, lots of anti-gentrification people wind up looking a lot like NIMBYs. They don't want their neighborhoods to change, and they certainly don't want working-class Hispanic neighborhoods to turn into fine dining hubs. I get that, but that's not reasonable. Wanting to be able to continue to afford to live in the same area you and your family have lived in for generations? That seems like something we can tackle

We need more density (and change to get there), requiring a certain % of new units to be low-income, tying a certain % of low-income units to those displaces recently and giving bonuses for retaining locally-owned or historic neighborhood business in new developments. A more robust public transit infrastructure is a big help to poorer people in increasingly more expensive cities as well. There are solutions to this, and unless we want Austin to be 99% upper-middle class tech bros in 20 years these are problems that need to be tackled now.
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 8:42 PM
zrx299 zrx299 is offline
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We need more density (and change to get there), requiring a certain % of new units to be low-income, tying a certain % of low-income units to those displaces recently and giving bonuses for retaining locally-owned or historic neighborhood business in new developments.
That's picking winners and losers. Why do 25 "special" people out of 400 (for example) get subsidized rent while everyone else must pay full market rate? Who gets to decide these "winners"? What happens when the recipients of free/subsidized rent turn down opportunities to advance themselves because they will lose their housing benefits by now being over the "low income" threshold?

If the counter point is that those people are just simply "low income", then why are they low income? What obstacles need to be removed for them to better themselves? Just coasting through life largely free of responsibilities, expecting cheap housing and things to be given to you is the fantasyland of Millennials and hippies.

Last edited by zrx299; Apr 1, 2019 at 8:54 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 8:50 PM
chinchaaa chinchaaa is online now
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Just coasting through life largely free of responsibilities, expecting cheap housing and things to be given to you is the fantasyland of Millennials and hippies.
lol
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 9:04 PM
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This one is going to get hot fast.
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 9:05 PM
StoOgE StoOgE is offline
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Originally Posted by zrx299 View Post
That's picking winners and losers. Why do 25 "special" people out of 400 (for example) get subsidized rent while everyone else must pay full market rate? Who gets to decide these "winners"? What happens when the recipients of free/subsidized rent turn down opportunities to advance themselves because they will lose their housing benefits by now being over the "low income" threshold?

If the counter point is that those people are just simply "low income", then why are they low income? What obstacles need to be removed for them to better themselves? Just coasting through life largely free of responsibilities, expecting cheap housing and things to be given to you is the fantasyland of Millennials and hippies.
Cool. I'll let you talk to the mother of my little from Big Brothers Big Sisters who works two jobs to support her kids and you can tell her about fantastyland for millennials as she has to drive an extra 90 minutes round trip to work because they got priced out and had to move to Manor.

Low income isn't a disease and laziness is not the cause of it in the vast majority of cases. I grew up in a trailer park, and I promise the people who live there work every bit as hard as the people who live in Zilker.

There are people who for myriad reasons make less money. Some are personal, some are societal. And given that you are unlikely to solve "being poor" in an individuals lifetime it seems that the richest society in the history of Earth can probably afford to subsidize the rent to ensure that cities can support people of all socioeconomic status.
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 9:57 PM
zrx299 zrx299 is offline
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Originally Posted by StoOgE View Post
Cool. I'll let you talk to the mother of my little from Big Brothers Big Sisters who works two jobs to support her kids and you can tell her about fantastyland for millennials as she has to drive an extra 90 minutes round trip to work because they got priced out and had to move to Manor.

Low income isn't a disease and laziness is not the cause of it in the vast majority of cases. I grew up in a trailer park, and I promise the people who live there work every bit as hard as the people who live in Zilker.

There are people who for myriad reasons make less money. Some are personal, some are societal. And given that you are unlikely to solve "being poor" in an individuals lifetime it seems that the richest society in the history of Earth can probably afford to subsidize the rent to ensure that cities can support people of all socioeconomic status.
Works 2 jobs to support her kids... Why have kids when you aren't financially ready? What kind of a life is that? Life is about choices.

I grew up poor myself. Put myself through school while working. Kept looking for ways to better my situation, made sound choices in life, and now do pretty well for myself. Was it easy? Absolutely not! But its certainly possible.

I'll bite my tongue and not respond to the political ideology messages.

That's all from me on this topic. Carry on
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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 10:28 PM
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Edit: Triggered.

Last edited by lzppjb; Apr 1, 2019 at 10:49 PM.
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2019, 10:55 PM
StoOgE StoOgE is offline
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Pulling yourself out of poverty in one lifetime is definitely possible.
Sure. It's possible on a micro-scale. But these are not repeatable across every single person in America nor are they a solution to poverty or people being priced out of cities which are very real issues.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-de...-their-country

American's vastly overestimate the probability of socio-economic movement. It can happen, and for those of us who have made it out it's fantastic. But every person who is poor can not "work harder" and be rich next week. And being poor is not something that should come with punitive measures. One of the things that I remember most about where I grew up was people acting like being poor was a disease or a symptom of laziness. Felt really good as a kid to have people assume all kinds of things about you and your family because of where you lived or what your parents did for a living.

I'm also smart enough to know that free school lunches, free after-school care, a donation to my school that made it possible for me to travel to debate trips for free, a hardship scholarship to UT and tons of other assistance that my parents had helped get me where I am. I didn't pull myself up by my bootstraps. I had help, and I got lucky.

Other kids in my neighborhood had good parents, and they worked hard. And a handful of us made it out. Most didn't. Every one of us that "made it" were white in a neighborhood that was predominantly Hispanic and Black. I can't ignore that success in America isn't equally distributed.

But none of this is even relevant to the problem at hand. There *are* poor people in Austin. They are not all going to magically make enough money to remain living in neighborhoods they grew up in tomorrow.

So, we either figure out a workable solution that allows for growth, recognized the realities of the demand to live in a nice neighborhood, deals with rising rent and helps these people remain in the city. I refuse to believe that we cannot find ways to understand that there are citizens of our city who are being pushed out of it. Gentrification is a complicated problem. It's one of those issues where people on both sides of the equation are right. It both deals with property owners rights, but recognizes that increased economic pressure is presently white-washing vast swaths of central Austin. You can't stop progress and that isn't the answer, but I refuse to believe that all that we should do is suggest people become more successful.

Or we're going to find ourselves in a sterile Randian "meritocracy" where only those with the most money can afford to live here and the vibrancy that has helped make Austin the city it is now will wither and we'll be a really rich tech enclave with all that that entails.
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