Slow: No-Construction Zone
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Slow: No-Construction Zone

Failure is not an option: Connecticut Building Permits Slide

There is no state as well situated for growth and prosperity than Connecticut.  Just beyond reach of New York's staggeringly high taxes and  overlooking the placid Long Island Sound, crossed by rail and Interstate connections, and with one large airport, Connecticut has parlayed these advantages into a couple of centuries of growth, jobs and wealth.

Yet, slippage in the US economy as a whole coupled with a growing rich/poor divide (New Haven at 25.2% of persons in poverty versus adjoining Hamden at 7.8%.) are all part of a larger hard truth: construction and building permit issuance has come to a halt, as this article from the New Haven Register makes clear.

As Smart Growth polices take hold to preserve Connecticut's exurban areas, construction activity ought to be centered where it has traditionally been: in the large urban centers.  Yet, it's still not happening.  

Clearly, the act  of building ought to be incentivized, but at lower cost to hard-pressed governments and taxpayers shy about awarding abatements.  What to do?  As the Home Builders Association of Connecticut has said:

"We support this bill because land value taxation has been used successfully to reinvigorate and encourage economic development in other jurisdictions. We believe the authority should be extended statewide."

The HBA has been joined other prominent public policy advocates in this effort in the past. We think  perhaps 2012 is the year that barriers to profitable and affordable housing are finally tackled through tax reform via land value taxation, much like SB130 as sponsored by Senator Martin Looney and the Connecticut General Assembly.

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