Idea of the Day: Dealing with empty lots

15th Ave. & McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ

From time to time, we’ll throw out an “Idea of the Day” culled from sources here in Arizona and elsewhere.  The following idea comes from a recent article in New London, Connecticut’s daily newspaper, The Day, about their city’s attempt to deal with vacant, dormat lots in their downtown, a problem experienced in many cities across the U.S., including Phoenix:

“Frank McLaughlin, a downtown developer, and Penny Parsekian, the New London Main Street CEO, said some people have started talking about reverse taxation: levying a higher tax on a property that is vacant.  ‘What happens is, that vacancy devalues the property around it, and so there should be a fee for that,’ Parsekian said.  ‘It’s been that way in Germany forever — you get taxed on the land instead of the property.  And vacant land gets taxed at a higher rate.'”

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