I find myself stuck in a Flagstaff city council meeting. I am listening to a truly irritating public comment. She is currently pounding on absentee landlords (apparently a large number of Flagstaff residents, as many as 50%, rent from out-of-town landlords. She just said basically that these landlords should get no consideration in such and such ordinance because they contribute nothing to the city but a thin sliver of property taxes.

Well, my guess is that "thin sliver" of property taxes pretty much funds all the schools, but I really wanted to stand up and ask - what about the capital they have invested in the city? Obviously half of the town is unable to construct their own house and have housing by the grace of these evil out of town landowners who have invested capital in the city to build out the housing stock.


  1. T J Sawyer:

    You don't really understand what "Taxation without representation" means until you own vacation property in another state! You get to pay inflated property taxes, have no vote in local affairs and then watch the vacation-state government raise your out-of-state hunting and fishing license fees to extravagant heights as a sort of "salt in the wound" entertainment for themselves.

  2. Stan:

    Hah. I lived there for a short time, a bit pricy in many areas, but nice town. The last local issue I remember during my stay there had to do with keeping out Big Box stores. And God knows that town needed them. The politics of Flag is laughable if a little sad. The only thing I miss is watching the elk.

  3. m:

    Why don't you stand up and say that? It would be a good comment?

  4. Allen:

    If Flagstaff is such a wonderful place why aren't more locals investing more money in it? :)

  5. Ian Random:

    Taxation without representation, didn't that irritate a bunch of folks a few hundred years ago?

  6. morganovich:

    it would seem that in fact, an absentee landlord is providing exceptional beneficence, no?

    they pay taxes that cover police, fire, schools, and public parks. yet they are not present to consume these services.

    this benefit increases dramatically if it's a vacation house that is not rented out as not even the renters will consume such services.

    it seems to be that the city ought to be grateful for such behavior.

  7. Methinks:

    "idiot" is the only word that comes to mind.

  8. Thomas:

    One of of my best paid jobs was a few months of working govt relations for the local chamber of commerce. The job didn't work out and frankly I thank my lucky stars for that. I love that sleepy little mountain town, but the lack of basic logic in the town's people, especially those who show up for the council meetings. They really don't understand how a market economy works at all. They got rid of a successful independent nonprofit for job and economic development to bring it in-house to the city under the reins of someone who had no experience to the job. The ignorance is astounding.