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Tax Incentives

Provide tax incentives to attract new business and and inspire property owners to liven up the property that they currently own.

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In looking at the way this has functioned in many ciites, owners of property fail to keep their properties up because in some regard it benefits them to show a loss or that the penalty for neglect property is so little compared to the profit that owners stand to make if they sell the property.

My thought is that if we extend tax benefits to the owners of these properties (or business that decide to occupy/lease up) these  properties it could be a catalyst for development, but at the very least will raise the quality of life and vibrancy from an aesthetic point of view.

I have seen this work with some level of success in a few places..I have seen this at work in Belfast Northern Ireland where owners of the vacant space were given tax incentives to display art in vacant windows and office space. I have also seen it work fairly well in here in DC as well, although we have not gotten to the point of incentivizing (not in  the form or tax benefits) the displaying of art. My thinking is that we municipalities can penalize owners of vacant building for neglect why not reward them for add vibrancy and potentially adding to the local creative economy by exhibiting local artists..

What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?

-(money/time/people/)- Buy in from local govt and municipalities -(money/time/people/technology) -if the area is in a state of decline and neglect chances are it's transportation and infrastructure may be too, so it is important to get the local officials involved to know what their plans are to improve or revitalize those elements -(time/people) Coordination with the community to make sure that they feel some level of input and feel, in some regard served by the business. A community could organize a TEDxSalon series type of events to brainstorm ideas from the community. -(cost/technology) - attempt to get the city or municipalities to foot the bill for Free community Wi-fi , for a finite but extended period of time. this could help draw small mom and pop coffeeshops or other "3rd spaces" to hang out or work for those who telecommute/freelance/consult.

What steps could you take to implement this idea today?

-Talk to local, city-wide, and state wide government, to look at all the angles: infrastructure -mobilize artists to have work ready to exhibit -target struggling or small business in other more expensive parts of town to try to entice them to -get all of these people in the same room to talk about how they can support one another an the community.

How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?

I have seen it work in Belfast, Northen Irleand and I am hopeful that we can convince city officials in DC (the Anacostia neighborhood in particular), that this is a good idea and will work.


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Ironically, this is the most considered proposal presented thus far. It is also the most historically successful. However, because it's neither a quick fix, nor a techno-cool solution, it may be seen as a tired solution. But in truth, any successful proposal should include tax incentives as a fundamental component. By marginally reducing the tax burden on properties, Cities can leverage many times the resources from property owners than simply spending the money themselves.

Photo of Fred Joiner

thanks for chiming in Carlo and for the the way, i checked out your book on Amazon, i am definitely going to pick it up and give it read

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