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July 11, 2010



The "good" news is that as of late yesterday nothing had happened yet. I feel like this is very wait and see--permit issued, but when will it start, how much time do we have to fight it. All very interesting/sad/infuriating.


Friday morning I emailed all the city council, the mayor, the city manager and the landmarks commission.... have heard back from NO ONE.... the city that works my fanny.... many thanks for this posting though....


The idea of charging vacant buildings a higher tax because of the increased public costs, or "Reverse taxation," is an intriguing one. The concept has been around for years. I'm not sure if this is allowable under Missouri law, but is certainly worth investigating.


"Abandoned buildings cost the city money. So let's tax them that way. If a building is sitting empty, it should get taxed at a higher rate than one that is at full occupancy. This will encourage people to to fill up empty store fronts or apartments by lowering rents. It will help incent people to DO SOMETHING with their buildings vs incenting them to do nothing and allowing the building to fall in dis-repair."

HERE HERE! Our tax policy currently is ridiculously stupid. We tax to IMPROVE buildings while abandoned buildings sit as speculators hope to cash in. While I think this property owner is behaving like a petulant child, the policies we have in place give him every incentive to let the place rot so he can demolish it and turn it into a parking lot. If we want to end this practice, we need to change the way we tax property (this may require state-level changes in tax codes)


The demo is on hold "pending further review" by the city.


The idea makes sense. How quickly could the city enact a tax change like this?

My original thought was that this tax would instead lead to owners simply demolishing the abandon buildings for surface lots. But then I remembered the $100k+ price tag.

I also don't understand the motivation behind owners leaving buildings to rot. Can someone please tell me what they think will happen?


" Can someone please tell me what they think will happen?"

The city will help pay for demolition costs and they will put up a surface parking lot, which will reap them tons of income while requiring next to nothing in operating costs.

Gabrielle Jeromy

Good point. Historic buildings should be preserved, and more initiative should be put forward for their protection. These aren't just buildings, anyway. They're a part of the local residents' legacy.

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