Comment 30489

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted April 24, 2009 at 22:59:58

Jason >> LRT is absolutely the best option to accelerate downtown renewal.

Then why did Boston lose population from 1950 to 1980, suffer tax rates over 2%, even though rail transit had been in their city for decades? If rail is the best way to improve a city, how do you explain it's complete failure in Boston?

Furthermore, why did it take a cap on government spending to reverse the exodus of the city's population, reduce tax rates in half and increase assessments by over 500% since 1985.

>> more is involved in the death and life of cities than whether the tax rate is 1.7% or 1.2%

Your probably right, but what's most important is how each factor affects a city on a relative basis. As the Boston example shows, reducing government spending was FAR more important to the city's renewal than was rail transit. Therefore, while LRT may be a net positive to promoting private investment, which I don't necessarily agree with, it was not nearly as effective as were lower tax rates and increased capital in the hands of the private sector. To argue against this does not recognize the truth of what actually transpired in Boston, or Portland for that matter.

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