Today we've got the video and audio (if podcast is your style) from a recent Ask Strong Towns webcast conversation featuring friend of Strong Towns and Principal at Urban3, Joe Minicozzi, and hosted by Chuck Marohn. 

Here are the questions discussed on this episode:

  1. What inspired Joe to do his initial analysis of Asheville’s financial productivity and start thinking about city finance in a different way?
  2. What software should you use if you want to produce your own value per acre map for your region?
  3. What are the different approaches for accounting for sales tax in your models, and how do they vary across different communities? By way of example, how did you do that in your analysis of Strong Towns focus city Lafayette, LA?
  4. How do you take the data and insights from a value per acre analysis and tell a compelling story that will convince and motivate a local community to change how they operate?
  5. How do you account for liabilities in a property tax value per acre model?
  6. How can the everyday planner use their annual budget to assess the solvency of their city?  What is good rule of thumb, if any, for understanding solvency?
  7. Are there any municipalities who differentiate their tax rates and other revenue streams to reflect the fact that they encompass both urban and suburban regions? Can you charge the suburbs more for their water and property taxes since their dominant development pattern costs more to maintain?
  8. Why would a broke county ever approve another permit for a development out on the edge that requires the county to maintain the infrastructure? How do you get staff and elected officials to understand the high cost of free money?
  9. Which cities are really running with the insights they get from Urban 3’s analysis, and how can they serve as models for the rest of us? Are cities and towns in crisis more open to this approach?
  10. What is Joe working on now? I hear a book is in the works…

Listen to the audio:

Visit the Ask Strong Towns page to learn more about this webcast, submit a question and get info about the next episode.