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Old 12-09-2019, 01:59 PM
 
961 posts, read 1,120,497 times
Reputation: 1165

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
So you fall back on the "to be fair, they let themselves get screwed" defense. Yikes.
Yep. The articles have all of these sob stories about poor, hard-working homeowners who have had the American dream yanked out from underneath them. But, if you look at it objectively, these people shouldn't have purchased the homes to begin with. They couldn't afford the mortgage and the property tax at all. That's is a pretty clear sign that these are house poor and cavet empor cases.

Quote:
As wasteful as suburbs are, infrastructure is affordable when slimy developers aren't underhandedly tacking on two layers of high interest debt payments then lying about it.

It's kinda horrifying to think that there are people out there who see the world as zero-sum then celebrate dishonest accumulation of wealth.
To be honest, I've read these articles and see some degree of malfeasance in some of the districts. But I see that as local government failing to do their duty in providing oversight either due to lack of oversight or simply because they don't care. The areas where these sob stories are coming from seem to be where there are weaker local governments either by design (Colorado Springs, unincorporated counties, etc) or due to lack of resources by small cities (Thornton). Highlands Ranch is (mostly) a success story, Stapleton has a huge metro district that's shelled out ~$1.5B in TIF and mill levy backed debt to build a community of 30,000. Both seem to have strong oversight in place due to strong bylaws and local involvement. The economics in both communities make sense as well due to the larger scale of the districts. The cases that the Post's articles have covered seem to be far smaller developments.

A metropolitan district isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if the wolves are left with the sheep and the sheepdog is asleep where does the blame lie?
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Denver
4,010 posts, read 7,354,478 times
Reputation: 5457
Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
A metropolitan district isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if the wolves are left with the sheep and the sheepdog is asleep where does the blame lie?
Luckily we’re all humans, eh? This analogy is troubling because it assumes predatory behavior by humans toward humans is natural law like a food chain. That sort of behavior and culture only comes about through self-fulfilling prophecy.

Being unable to handle your tax bill unexpectedly quadrupling because of an entity you have almost no control over isn’t caveat emptor or poor management of finances. Both the stories posted in this thread suggest deception and malicious intent.

Metropolitan districts are necessarily bad things. Most of the power of a municipality with almost none of the accountability. People shouldn’t be on the hook for not knowing the nuances of Colorado’s failing libertarian experiments.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
246 posts, read 318,756 times
Reputation: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
To be honest, I've read these articles and see some degree of malfeasance in some of the districts. But I see that as local government failing to do their duty in providing oversight either due to lack of oversight or simply because they don't care. The areas where these sob stories are coming from seem to be where there are weaker local governments either by design (Colorado Springs, unincorporated counties, etc) or due to lack of resources by small cities (Thornton). Highlands Ranch is (mostly) a success story, Stapleton has a huge metro district that's shelled out ~$1.5B in TIF and mill levy backed debt to build a community of 30,000. Both seem to have strong oversight in place due to strong bylaws and local involvement. The economics in both communities make sense as well due to the larger scale of the districts. The cases that the Post's articles have covered seem to be far smaller developments.

A metropolitan district isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if the wolves are left with the sheep and the sheepdog is asleep where does the blame lie?
All of the "success stories" you've mentioned are communities that are fully built out. Well established neighborhoods = homeowner management of HOAs, no major infrastructure tasks to finance, and a stable tax base.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:15 AM
 
1,604 posts, read 1,167,527 times
Reputation: 1946
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoYoSpin View Post
All of the "success stories" you've mentioned are communities that are fully built out. Well established neighborhoods = homeowner management of HOAs, no major infrastructure tasks to finance, and a stable tax base.
The Front Range has grown so much that the inventory for older homes doesn't keep up with the demand. Its almost impossible to not find a home in a newer build MD community.

The hood I am in has changed designs quite a bit over the last 6 years. Originally there was supposed to be more commercial and a town feel but that seems to be scrapped and they keep adding more homes. Its pretty impossible to get in under $500k but Arvada is trying to get a broad range of home pricing so the lots zoned for commercial are now zoned for townhomes and duplexes. However they aren't building more amenities to support the growing community ie pools and fitness centers. They're basically useless at this point due to the amount of people there now.

TBH I think MD's are BS. The county and city get the increased tax revenue from property owners without footing the bill for utilities. The developer buys and sells the lots and uses the tax payers to foot the bill via MD's. I am not sure how this is defensible. If the city/county want the increased population they need to budget and plan for it and use the increased taxes to finance it all. The land is sold privately to a developer who then sells the lots to the home builders.

The board and MD's are shade and try to keep the residents out of the loop.

I do love our house and hood we have good fiends close by but I don't trust any of this process and i cant say I will be here longer than 10 years.

Oh and the K-8 school they built in our hood is already over crowded.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:46 AM
 
23,346 posts, read 42,864,470 times
Reputation: 24168
Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
...., but if the wolves are left with the sheep and the sheepdog is asleep where does the blame lie?
I heard that it's all Obama's fault....
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:48 AM
 
961 posts, read 1,120,497 times
Reputation: 1165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
Luckily we’re all humans, eh? This analogy is troubling because it assumes predatory behavior by humans toward humans is natural law like a food chain. That sort of behavior and culture only comes about through self-fulfilling prophecy.
I assume that predatory behavior is the natural state in the absence of the social norms that are codified by law. It might be jaded, but it's my experience. The strong pray upon the weak and you have to have mechanisms in place to prevent this.

Quote:
Being unable to handle your tax bill unexpectedly quadrupling because of an entity you have almost no control over isn’t caveat emptor or poor management of finances. Both the stories posted in this thread suggest deception and malicious intent.
I disagree on the objective substance versus the emotional catchers of the articles. My takeaway is that this is an oversight problem of a legitimate funding mechanism. Not that the funding mechanism itself is bad.

Quote:
Metropolitan districts are necessarily bad things. Most of the power of a municipality with almost none of the accountability. People shouldn’t be on the hook for not knowing the nuances of Colorado’s failing libertarian experiments.
This is the wrong viewpoint IMO. Metropolitan districts can have accountability, but the local municipalities where they are being setup aren't requiring it. You could have a requirement that all district budgets be audited and submitted to the city finance department for analysis. You could require that a board have a city-appointed board member. But these things aren't happening in the geographic areas that have been mentioned. Government's abdicated the role due partially to TABOR (and the neutering of government rule in financing infrastructure) and, in a larger part, to the desire to get a piece of the growth pie without any of the responsibility. There's a reason all of the sob stories in the articles are in places like unincorporated Adams County and Johnstown: weak rule of law.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:51 AM
 
961 posts, read 1,120,497 times
Reputation: 1165
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoYoSpin View Post
All of the "success stories" you've mentioned are communities that are fully built out. Well established neighborhoods = homeowner management of HOAs, no major infrastructure tasks to finance, and a stable tax base.
They didn't start like that and the $40M issuance that just occurred in Stapleton suggests that the infrastructure tasks aren't quite done- probably because there's still another 1,000 or some homes to build along with a number of multi-family infill spots that need to be developed.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:00 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 333,617 times
Reputation: 1130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
https://www.denverpost.com/2019/12/0...s-foundations/

"For the past five years, residents of the Thompson Crossing Metropolitan District in Larimer County who sell their homes have paid the district a fee. At Thompson Crossing, the transfer fee is 0.5% of the sales price, so a house that sells for $250,000 would owe a $1,250 transfer fee to the district.

Three-quarters of that amount — or $937.50 — goes to the developer to help cover expenses for building the community.

The rest, about $312, goes into a nonprofit foundation at the metro district that is called the Thompson River Ranch Foundation."

I had never heard about such fees.

This whole thing stinks of political corruption. If I "own" a house, what right do you have to force me to pay you a fee when I decide to sell?
You never, ever "own" a house anywhere. You are renting it, since it can be taken from you if you don't pay the rent, i.e. taxes. I was suggesting for a long time to outlaw the term "homeowner" since this is just a deception, an outright lie.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Denver
4,010 posts, read 7,354,478 times
Reputation: 5457
Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
I disagree on the objective substance versus the emotional catchers of the articles. My takeaway is that this is an oversight problem of a legitimate funding mechanism. Not that the funding mechanism itself is bad.


This is the wrong viewpoint IMO. Metropolitan districts can have accountability, but the local municipalities where they are being setup aren't requiring it. You could have a requirement that all district budgets be audited and submitted to the city finance department for analysis. You could require that a board have a city-appointed board member. But these things aren't happening in the geographic areas that have been mentioned. Government's abdicated the role due partially to TABOR (and the neutering of government rule in financing infrastructure) and, in a larger part, to the desire to get a piece of the growth pie without any of the responsibility. There's a reason all of the sob stories in the articles are in places like unincorporated Adams County and Johnstown: weak rule of law.
You strike at the heart of the issue here, which is that metropolitan districts, in practice, are often just developers acting as loan sharks and profiteering from TABOR. Municipalities play ball because of TABOR. The law has allowed them for decades, but it wasn't until after TABOR that they became fiscally and politically viable entities.

The administrative costs of oversight (which is performed yearly by the state, not municipalities), the two layers of interest being paid on the infrastructure, and the piecemeal nature of the planning and construction of infrastructure under special districts are wildly unnecessary, inefficient, and prone to abuse and corruption.

This is an objectively bad method of providing infrastructure and services:
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:37 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,462 times
Reputation: 18
Metro districts are taxing authorities created by subdivision developers, with the consent of the local government, for the sole purpose of selling government-like bonds to finance their projects. Repayment of the bonds is tied to future property taxes assessed to the homes that will eventually be built.
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