Reason's Annual Privatization Report, 2006

Reason's Annual Privatization Report chronicles and analyzes the most important developments in privatization, outsourcing, and government reform.

Edited by Reason's Leonard C. Gilroy, the report is divided into 11 sections, from a federal update, to 'Growth and Land Use.' The section of the report on 'Growth and Land Use' is 16 pages, and includes the following topics:

  • Eminent Domain Update
  • Protecting Landowners From Regulatory Takings
  • Do School Impact Fees Make Sense?
  • Denver Launches Permit Reform Effort
  • Privatizing the Inner City? Urban Homestead Zones Can Help Revitalize City Centers

"The protection of private property rights continues to be a hot button issue a year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Kelo vs. City of New London. This APR features an update on eminent domain reform in the states, as well as state-level efforts to replicate Oregon's Measure 37, a voter-passed initiative designed to protect property owners from regulatory takings via land use regulation."

An excerpt from the section of the report on Denver Launches Permit Reform Effort:

Bureaucracy is driving up the costs of development in Denver, according to the city's multi-agency Development Council. The Council, established by Mayor John Hickenlooper to revamp the city’s slow and burdensome development review and permitting process, released a report in July 2005 that found that delays in the process increase the cost of development in Denver by approximately 3 to 5 percent. The Council likens these delays to a tax that drives developers to Aurora, Lakewood, Douglas County, and other jurisdictions that compete with Denver for development investment.

With over $1.4 billion worth of permits issued in 2004, the Council estimates that Denver's 'bureaucracy tax' totaled roughly $40 to $60 million of added costs for developers in that year alone. And this is no small concern. Regulatory delays and uncertainty increase the costs of development in communities nationwide, which in turn places upward pressure on housing prices, reduces housing production, and limits the market's ability to provide affordable housing.

To address this issue, the Council's report outlines a series of reforms intended to streamline the development review process and create a more certain regulatory climate for developers to operate within. For example, the Council found that there are currently no city-wide performance goals or standards for how long development review should take. Not only would such standards be created in the reform effort, but the Council also recommended creating a citywide project tracking system and project management database that would allow city staff, elected officials, developers, and other stakeholders to see exactly where a project stands under the new development review scheme."

From the introduction by Margaret Thatcher:

"All too often the state is tempted into activities to which it is either ill-suited or which are beyond its capabilities.

Perhaps the greatest of these temptations is government's desire to concentrate economic power in its own hands. It begins to believe that it knows how to manage business. But let me tell you, it doesn-t -- as we discovered in Britain in the 1970s when nationalisation and prices and incomes policy together deprived management of the ability to manage. And when we came to privatise and deregulate in the 1980s it took
some time before these skills returned."

Thanks to Reason Alert

Full Story: Annual Privatization Report 2006



Would Reason Please Explain the Following?

The Growth and Land Use chapter's part B, on Measure 37 and sons/daughters-of-Measure-37, includes a "Debunking Prevalent Measure 37 Myths" section. The given debunkings amount to little more than "it's not true!," but, more importantly, how is it not true! that Measure 37 prevents "regulat[ing] public health and safety," yet "waiving regulations rather than compensating successful claimants" does not "decimate land use regulation"? This is what is asserted on page 203, or 5 of the PDF.

And, back to a familiar polarizing issue, are publicly-funded private-school vouchers not actually money that public schools need? If they come from tax-increment financing, shouldn't public tax receipts fund public facilities such as public schools? And are we certain that private schools are so much better than public counterparts as to warrant public funding for private institutions? (See page 214, or page 16 of the PDF.)

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