Urban Fold

How Do We Pay For City Services?

Inspired by the revelation that Oakland, CA is stepping up their traffic and parking enforcement to make up a budget shortfall, Geoff Manaugh rethinks the entire process of how we fund our cities.

"That is, what method of payment do we wish to use when it comes to living in a functioning metropolis? If we find ourselves paying no tax at all, for instance – no income tax, no sales tax, no property tax – would we be happy to pay parking tickets that hit upper limits of, say, $2000 or more each time, if this is what it takes to keep the city running? Conversely, would we be happy to pay more sales tax in order to avoid things like road tolls altogether? How exactly do we mix and match these urban outlays and receipts?"

Full Story: City of Fees and Services

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