Thursday, July 19, 2007

Myths and Realities on Taxes and Population

The Folkbum folk(s) have apparently decided that P-Mac will be a perma-target. Fred Thompson gets the same treatment from both Dems and Pubbies; the consensus is that the "target" designation is awarded to folks who are feared.

While P-Mac never struck me as "fearsome," I've also never engaged him in combat.

But when a poster is irrational, it can be fun to joust a bit.

Here, Folkie attempts to demonstrate that Scott Walker's tax freeze is somehow connected to a reduction in Milwaukee County's population, using P-Mac as a foil:

Then McIlheran goes on to show that the bustling metropolis of Mequon is looking at another tax freeze and links to the U.S. Census Bureau's website regarding that fine city to show that people want to move there. That made me wonder, how did Milwaukee County size up while under Scott "I should have been governor" Walker. The results weren't as pretty, with a loss of 25,000 people.

In the real world, tax "freezes" have little or nothing to do with the desirability of a home's location, nor with population gains and losses. Tax freezes have to do with the perception (and often, the reality) that there's too much spendin' goin' on out there--and too much taxing to support the sailor's habit.

REAL people often purchase a "first house" in the City of Milwaukee and have a family. As that family grows, the 'city house' becomes less accomodating to the family; or the investment required to install 21st century amenities (air, cable, dishwashers, etc.) becomes problematic; or the yard or garage is too small, or the school system is not what they'd like it to be.

Sometimes, REAL people get a job in a distant suburb (like Germantown, Sussex, or Pewaukee) and decide that reducing commute-time/expense (in combination to the other items above) is worth a move out of the County.

Conversely, REAL people are moving into the City of Milwaukee's river-front apartment/condo complexes at a rapid rate. These are (likely) people who do not have a need for yard-space, or who find that the amenities provided at the price represent a value which cannot be matched in a detached suburban home. (These people pay large tax dollars relative to the value of the property, by the way.)

Summarily, it ain't the taxes which drive these decisions, if all other things are equal. Anyone who thinks so is not living in the real world.

Why did Milwaukee County lose population? Who knows?

But it is not simply "taxes."

1 comment:

Billiam said...

Since it's Walker, or any other Repub/Conservative, it'll always be his fault. Haven't you figured that out yet, Dad?