Kacin Council position on taxes has always been
if we want to retain community as it is now then we will have to raise taxes.
They says we need to a diverse tax base by bringing in retail commercial
development in order
Douglas Splitstone, wrote a long and extremely thorough analysis of tax income to the Municipality & F-R school system of having a "Market-Place-on-22" VS Residential Development on the former Buncher property. This analysis was prompted by the errors made in the slide presentation by Theo Van de Venne at the Council's Town Hall Meeting last summer. Neither Van de Venne, Larry Nicolette, who is a CPA, nor any other of the five council members who voted in favor of the GBDO seems to have the ability to assess which kinds of development are in the best interest of Murrysville
2001 study of Concord, N.H. by RKG Associates
Despite 2.8 million square feet new development over 12 years, town suffered a 19% decline in tax revenue and property taxes soared as a result
2004 study of 8 different Ohio communities by four different analysts
Retail development, especially Shopping Centers and Big Boxes, generated a net annual deficit of $0.44 per sq.ft.
Declining Tax Base is due, in part, to increased demand on public services, decreased property values due to traffic, noise and light pollution, and the dissolution of local businesses.
Not only do direct competitors suffers, but since local businesses tend to support other local businesses, support businesses such as local banks, attorneys, printers, web designers, suppliers, accountants, etc suffer as well. Local businesses keep more of their profits within the community:
54% local businesses revenues are respent instate
14% large chains revenues are respent instate (most of which is payroll) 2002 study of Barnstable, MA by Tischler and Associates
Big Box generated net annual deficit $468/1000sq.ft.
Shopping Centers generated net annual deficit $314/1000sq.ft.
Independent businesses generated net annual return $326/1000sq.ft.
Article in Home Advantage, June 2008
Retail vacancies are at a 12 year high
Estimate at year’s end there will be 1.2 billion sq. ft. or 40 sq. miles of empty retail space (city of Miami is 36 sq. miles)
2005 Evaluation of Columbus, Ohio found 70 empty big-box stores
“In their quest for market share, chains like Wal-Mart, Target, and Lowe’s have built far more retail space than the market can support. Flooding towns with an excess of retail space make it easier to capsize small businesses and grab market shares from competing chains.” Institute for Self-Reliance ‘Big-Box Blight – The Spread of Dark Stores’, 2007
Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Manual estimates:
General Merchandise store (Target) generates 7,000-13,000 weekday vehicle trips
Home Improvement store (Lowes) generates 4,000-7,000 weekday vehicle trips
Total: 11,000-20,000 weekday vehicle trips (does not include any satellite stores or increased weekend traffic)
2006 study by G.M. Vivian in the ITE Journal reported that the Trip Generation Manual may underestimate traffic by up to 42% for larger ‘superstore’ big boxes
Home Improvement store can generate 35 tractor-trailer trips per day alone
Health of the Turtle Creek Watershed:
Big box can require a 17 acre parking lot:
Every 1 acre of impermeable surface produces 25,000gallons of runoff during a one inch storm / one acre undeveloped land generates 2,700gallons of runoff during a one inch storm
12 acre parking lot produces 9 times the pollutants of a 12 acre field
Loss or Fragmentation of open spaces:
Each year 3.2 million acres of land are developed, or 365 acres per hour
Large increased demand on energy and water supplies
Air quality, light and noise pollution
Manor Development Group II (MDG II) has stated their development of the Buncher property would bring in to the Municipality about $1,000,000 per year, the implication this would be far greater than if the property were developed as Residential (which it is zoned).
I went to the Courthouse Friday morning July 25, and talked with “Danielle” the supervisor at the tax assessment office (they do not give their last names). The area of a building on a site is part of their assessment equation, but the type and quality of the construction is another factor. For example, a $750,000, 3000 ft-sq. house on 5 acres would have a far different assessment than a 3000 ft-sq. $75,000 house made of cinder blocks (my example) on half an acre. After I explained the Murrysville situation, she came up with the following information:
Hempfield Plaza on Rt. 30, has a Target, Lowes, Giant Eagle, TGI Fridays, Petco, a Get-Go station, Firestone store & maybe something else. The stores are assessed individually. However, the total assessment for the entire site (one very much like MDG proposes, acreage and all) is $4,745,630. She calculated this assessment and multiplied by Murrysville’s mileage rate for just the municipal and school taxes, they would be:
$57,660 for the municipality
$386,200 for the school district, or
A total of $443,860
Those figures would be the tax income to Murrysville of a Hempfield Plaza on the Buncher property.
According to Chris Rearick, 130 single family homes could be placed on this property. Based on a $200,000 home on one-half acre such as where I live, the Municipality would have a tax income of:
$ 553 for the municipality
$ 3,397 for the School District
A total of $ 3,950
This would result in total tax income of ~$513,500.
In addition, 130 duplexes or 260 homes could be placed on the same property. A fair tax comparison would be Colony Court, which is part of Georgetown Commons near the Cozy Inn:
Example “A” $372.40 for the Municipality
$2494.30 for the School District
A total of $2876.70 or
$746,382 at the low end for 260 homes if they are the smallest,
$586.85 for the Municipality
$ 3930.65 for the School District
A total of $ 4517.50 or
$1,174,550 at the high end for 260 homes, if they are the largest.
Colony Court has residences ranging from small to large. The above two sets of figures are actual taxes paid by two residents and the numbers come from the GIS Tax map of Westmoreland County.
I was surprised to find that residential property exceeds the tax income of commercial property on the Buncher site in every case. I do not know if this holds true for the entire county.
I’m not certain, but I think Colony Courts caters more to seniors and couples. A residential development of this type may not affect the School District by much (John Cardwell’s “no kids!” pitch).