Friday, December 17, 2010

Why Republicans Love Zoning

Over at PrawfsBlawg, Rick Hills has a post outlining Governor Christie's attack on the Mt. Laurel doctrine.  Hills then discusses why Republicans, who otherwise endorse private property, love local zoning rules. Hills says:

I think that there are two ways to understand this odd conservative solicitude for suburban zoning. . . . First, race and class might take priority over property rights in conservative ideology. Libertarian rhetoric against intrusive government is just fine -- but not when it allows low- and moderate-income housing to invade your suburban enclave. Second, hostility to redistribution of wealth might trump hostility to regulation in conservative ideology. By insuring that each resident live in a structure of similar value, restrictive zoning insures that each resident pays a similar property tax bill, thereby transforming ad valorem property taxes into an annual fee reflecting the average costs of living in the jurisdiction.

A thoughtful, well-argued post.

Steve Clowney

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