Round Table Discussion with Philly Educators and Mitt Romney

Interesting round table discussion with Philadelphia educational leaders, Mitt Romney, and a Fels Professor Nicholas Torres.

http://www.c-span.org/Events/Mitt-Romney-Holds-Education-Roundtable-at-Philadelphia-Charter-School/10737430983/

–Joe Semsar

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NY Prisons for Sale!

NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo plans to sell off old prisons to cut costs and spark economic development… Seems as if this is becoming a trend, as Philly is working to rid itself of its vacant properties, too.

–Last year, Governor Cuomo formed a facility closure team, composed of agency commissioners, that meets weekly to go property by property to find more that can be sold.“Instead of spending millions maintaining facilities we don’t need,” said Howard B. Glaser, director of state operations, “the governor’s approach saves taxpayers millions and opens up transformative economic development and investment opportunities in communities across the state.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/28/nyregion/closed-new-york-prisons-prove-hard-to-sell.html?_r=1&hp

— Joe Semsar

Property taxes in Philadelphia

Suddenly, I see articles and commentary on the property tax reform plan in Philadelphia everywhere. I’m so glad we discussed it in class on Saturday. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it too much and now I want to see what the tax structures are in Louisiana, where I’ll be moving to in late July, and their impact on school quality. I know schools in Louisiana are not supposed to be great overall — maybe the tax structures have something to do with that?

There was an editorial in the Inquirer today about the property reassessment, arguing that the tax reform and reassessment should not be tied to raising revenues for schools.  While the editorial made a good case for the need for the reform, it didn’t explain why specifically it was not a good idea to tie it to funding schools.  Maybe because it distracts from the fact that the tax reform was long overdue?  Or, what occurred to me was that residents may be less in favor of the tax reform if it is tied to school funding…but I have no idea.

Matt, do you know why the editorial’s authors made this argument?