Roads and highways are just freaking expensive-- but thats only a part of the cost that you have to make up for when you build in an undeveloped area.
Roads, and even schools, are built in a large part by developers. I know from working with several developer in Duval surrounding counties, getting permits, licenses and all the assorted fees ( a majority of the other revenue of the city, which existing development produces a very small amount.) after a certain size and scope you either kick in development costs, or do the work yourself. Also regulated public service providers also provide for expenses in the same manner for keeping up these areas that house their capital as well. So there isn't quite the direct correlation you are implying there.
Here is a quick bit of data for you.
The City of Jacksonville has among the lowest taxes in the country.
50% of the city budget is spent on public safety---meaning police and fire.
but only 30% of the revenue comes from property taxes. Where does that additional revenue come from in the suburbs?
I would once again have to point out that 30% of new development in place like mandarin, intercoastal and surrounding counties would be substantially more money than the 30% of an equally populated piece of the urbanized areas. So right now this is being redistributed to favor the more urbanized areas, not the other way around. And, in all honesty, if you look at where the Police and fire and other publicly funded services are performed and utilized this distribution might be skewed even further.
When you build new development you have to construct new plumbing, new drainage, new roads. For the roads you have to install lighting and signage, and then you have to maintain them every year. The medians have to be maintained with lawn service guys. New cops have to be hired. Those cops need cars, uniforms, computers, supervisors and weapons. A new firestation has to be built. Schools have to be constructed and staffed. Libraries and parks have to be installed.
Do you honestly think that property taxes from the new houses pay for that expense? They don't. It has to be shifted over from already built out areas, and then it takes decades of property owners paying their taxes regularly just to pay off the initial infrastructure expenses. Who is paying for the maintenance of all that infrastructure in the meantime?
Once again, after working in construction and development, dealing with the city on permitting, fees, licesning and regulation, this argument falls apart. Most drainage, plumbing and even hardware for easements are covered in the permitting costs, or built outright as part of the project. It might not have always been that way, but for at least the last 20 years it is. You might convince me in an argument about maintaining infrastructure, but once again... there is a reason people moved that far away and those people get taxed accordingly.
I will be glad to provide you with the data you are asking for, much of it is already available here on this site, if you look around.
I like your site, I enjoy reading the updates and I appreciate the information you provide. I think you do a great job that is severely lacking traditional news sources in this city, and hope you keep up the great work. I respect what you, and others are trying to do and I hope for this City that it is successful. But i think you are missing some big picture items. Jacksonville needs rethinking, we need an identity. We need similar solutions as other cities, but we need to make things work here. The pockets of preservation societies and development groups are doing good, but need to work together.
But I was responding to your statement that the suburbs were created by collective action working in the self interests of the collected individuals.
That comment was aimed at a cheap shot at the Tea Party, and blatant generalizations which the opponents claim they represent. You at least have to admit that the majority of the vocal supporters of downtown development will personally benefit from investment in this area. I do not personally think there is anything wrong with profiting from investments, but if the capital comes from the public purse at your persuasion something isn't kosher.
They werent. Suburbia was created over a period of about 40 years by liberal Progressive Era city planning notions in order to demassify the urban areas. It was believed that overcrowding, rather than bad design was the major cause of death, disease, crime and poverty. They created zoning laws which basically made it impossible to build family homes in the urban cores and forced new development to move outward on non dense land tracts that were zoned for single family use.
Havent you ever wondered why things are zoned the way they are?
No, people with means will escape regulation and find a place where they can follow their own rules. If this is a bad thing, well... we would all still be living in 13 colonies, or even back in Europe. Regulation is needed, but somehow the "unintended consequences" always come around to bite good intentions in the arse. Big picture... it is what I am preaching.
Keep up the good work.