Creative Budgeting – Home Redistribution

January 26, 2010

The Colorado legislature introduced a series of tax credit reductions with the goal of saving the state money.  Eliminating the tax credits will save the state money, but the loss of tax credits will cause prices to increase, which means people will have to pay more, which means they will either spend or save less or both.

I commend the legislature for pursuing options, but we, as a state, still need to look for options that create revenue without hurting individuals.  Specifically, we need solutions for education funding.  K-12 education funding in Colorado is already near the lowest in the country according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  Those schools are funded largely through property tax revenue, and the state doesn’t have enough of it. 

A possibility that could be looked into is for the state to claim foreclosed homes by eminent domain, rent or give those homes to state citizens, and create jobs through an agency responsible for overseeing the program, repairing, and maintaining the homes.

Redistributing foreclosed homes would:

  • Increase state revenue through rental income or property tax;
  • Create jobs in a state oversight agency;
  • Create more jobs through a state home repair and maintenance service; and
  • Discourage banks from foreclosing on homes.

Yes, of course, there are downsides.  The home redistribution program would be big government at its biggest, but that, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  And, the program would require some state constitution amendments.  Homeowners who are meeting their responsibility by making mortgage payments are sort of left out to dry.  I’m sorry, but this is for the greater public good.  Without help, those people won’t have schools to send their kids to; at least they won’t have very good schools. 

I’m only half joking.  It’s laughable until you think about it.