Eric Schneider

Eric Schneider 8 months, 3 weeks ago on The Yes 2 Steamboat School Committee: Yes on Referendums 3A, 3B

Scott, I’m trying to replicate your math showing an 11% increase in total property taxes but am coming up with 14.59% myself. Can you show me the steps you’re taking to get to an 11% increase?

“If the bond issue and mill levy override both pass, school property taxes on a $500,000 house will increase $270 in the year 2016. This represents an 11% increase in total property taxes and a 39% increase in school property taxes thanks to current historical lows.” http://www.yes2steamboatschools.com/how-much-will-my-taxes-increase/

$500,000 house x 7.96% assessment = $39,800 assessed value. $39,800 x .046512 (46.512 mill levy) = $1,851 estimated 2015 property taxes. $270/$1,851 = 14.59%

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Eric Schneider 8 months, 4 weeks ago on Robert Ball: Support 3A, 3B, future

I have to believe people are interested in this level of “detail”. The entire $92 million plan was designed to address concerns raised in the demographer’s report. All the back and forth on the merits of the plan is based on the assumption that the demographer’s report, and the concerns it raised, are accurate. If the report is flawed and we’re not facing the capacity issues we thought we were then the whole issue becomes a moot point.

You’ve done a good job of bringing issues in the report to light and now at least one other person experienced with analyzing data sets has agreed with your findings. That should be more than enough to warrant further investigation and since you’ve already done the work it boils down to a simple fact checking exercise. The idea that this most basic level of investigation wouldn’t be completed before asking people to vote on a $92 million bond issuance is concerning.

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Eric Schneider 8 months, 4 weeks ago on Robert Ball: Support 3A, 3B, future

The debate over whether to move the high school out of downtown is one worth having but I’m confused by the lack of response to Scott W’s findings after digging into the demographer’s report. For weeks now he’s been explaining, in detail, why the demographer’s methods result in exaggerated projections and how, using other methods he’s outlined, he’s arrived at very different projections.

We can go back and forth all day about the subjective stuff but Scott has outlined flaws in the demographic report with enough detail that they can be checked and either his findings are correct or they’re flawed for X, Y and Z reasons. I don’t believe anyone on either side of this debate would want to move forward with a $92 million plan based on a faulty demographic report and researching Scott’s clearly stated issues and assumptions would be a relatively easy thing to do at this stage. So why hasn’t it been done?

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Eric Schneider 2 years, 8 months ago on New committee helping city of Steamboat create transfer of development rights program for Yampa Street

Scott, I agree it can be tricky but it can and will work if done properly. The pricing is set on the free market, so that shouldn't be an issue. In the event that an acceptable price cannot be agreed upon (because the ability to development another square foot is worth much more in the selling zone than the receiving zone, for example) the ratio can be tweaked. That means instead of selling at a 1:1 ratio you could say that the ratio is 1.2:1 so that 1.2 square feet can be developed for every square foot purchased.

In any event, I agree that the process can be tricky and must be handled as carefully and as transparently as possible.

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Eric Schneider 2 years, 8 months ago on New committee helping city of Steamboat create transfer of development rights program for Yampa Street

Steve, I was referring to the idea of simply increasing allowable density in the receiving zone. That would only serve to increase density in one area while doing nothing to decrease it in another.

But yes, through a TDR program you would decrease density in the sending zone while at the same time increasing it in the receiving zone. It's really a win-win when implemented properly!

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Eric Schneider 2 years, 8 months ago on New committee helping city of Steamboat create transfer of development rights program for Yampa Street

Here's a great primer for anyone who wants to read more about what a TDR program is all about:

What is a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program?

Essentially it's a market driven approach to moving development away from an area you'd like protected (e.g. downtown riverfront) to another area where development is more acceptable. Simply increasing the density zoning in the receiving area would allow for increased density but would not do anything to decrease density in the sending zone.

Basic concept of government trying get something of value without spending any money is always problematic and is hard to do without creating even worse side effects.

I don't know what you're referring to when you say the government is trying to get something of value without spending any money. The TDR transactions would be between property owners. The "value" to government (and the entire community) is the protection of sensitive areas from increasingly dense development.

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Eric Schneider 2 years, 8 months ago on Commentary: Vote ‘yes’ on 2A for trails and park

John, there's nothing in the language that speaks to funding past the 10 year mark. I was making the personal observation that if the trails are a big hit we could choose to continue funding them in the future. Of course if other great projects are being proposed in 10 years the money could just as easily go to them.

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Eric Schneider 2 years, 8 months ago on Commentary: Vote ‘yes’ on 2A for trails and park

What makes you think the city council would choose to fund trails on an annual basis if 2A were to fail? Forgetting for a moment the downsides of short term funding, if people vote against 2A, effectively saying "don't fund these projects", I find it hard to believe the council would then turn around and fund either of those projects.

No, if I were to join you in this guessing game of "what if..." I would say the city council either A) lets the money accrue until the process repeats itself and a new plan is accepted or B) uses the money on projects currently funded through parks and rec, freeing up revenue to use elsewhere (again, until the process is repeated and a new project is accepted). Using the money to fund the very projects that failed to pass the vote? That's near the very bottom of my list of "probable outcomes".

And yes! If and when the trails project goes wonderfully well, we can decide to continue funding trails projects in 10 years! Doesn't that sound great? Who knows, maybe after 10 years of work the trails can be funded on an annual basis since such a comprehensive framework would already be in place.

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