What If We Shared?

 How can you lower taxes for three quarters of the people of a metropolitan region, reduce incentives for “big box” developments like Wal-Marts, and improve life in core urban areas? According to Carl Anthony and Myron Orfield, a state representative from Minneapolis, the solution is to share tax revenues. In wealthy communities, the tax base is high and the social needs are low, while poor communities tend to have a low tax base and high needs. Yet all communities benefit from being part of a thriving metropolitan area in which city services are available to all residents and businesses.

“Our current pattern of inner-city abandonment is being fueled by people who are frightened and trying to get away,” notes Carl Anthony. If revitalized inner-city communities can be reintegrated into a city that people don't want to escape from, the impetus for sprawl is reduced.

A region-wide sharing of tax revenues also opens the possibility of building collaborative approaches to solving other problems a metropolitan region faces. Says Anthony: “There's the potential for building a political culture where people can actually communicate with each other across these previously almost unbreachable racial and social boundaries so we can solve problems as opposed to running from them.”
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