Big-box stores are going to court to get big concessions on their property taxes

Some big-box stores are claiming that, for local property tax assessment purposes, their buildings should be valued at the fair market value of a vacant store of similar size -- buildings that are notoriously hard to sell. Often, that fair market price is a fraction of the value of the new store's building. The strategy is called the "dark store tax tactic" and it's a terrible deal for cities.

Does building affordable housing affect market-rate prices?

Here's a neat little primer on the arithmetic behind affordable/inclusionary housing requirements. It's by Rick Jacobus, someone we teamed with many years ago when we were developing urban Main Street programs in the Bay Area. Spoiler alert: Affordable unit requirements don't affect market-rate prices, but they may serve as a disincentive to new production. Rick illustrates the simple equation with an elegant diagram.