Archive | Economics

Placemaking and Animal People: Why “Night in the Woods” Rocks

Night in the Woods is a video game about an anthropomorphic cat. It’s also one of the most insightful explorations of the challenges struggling communities face today — and the hidden strengths that bring those communities together. Night in the Woods tells the story of a college dropout named Mae who returns to her hometown […]

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It’s Crossing the Street, Stupid

First off, apologies for the insult. The title is of course a riff on the famous 90s political truism, “it’s the economy, stupid.” It’s amazing to me how easily we forget this little fact. Facilitating safe easy street crossings should be “job one” for any urban street design, and yet so many of our streets […]

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Seven Ways Automobility Undermines a City’s Bottom Line, from Least to Most Direct

Earlier this month, both Minneapolis and Saint Paul released their property tax levy numbers, and for both cash-strapped core cities, they went up quite a bit. Despite the recent development booms in both downtowns, the fiscal facts on the ground remain stubborn. Saint Paul and Minneapolis have a lot of needs, and funding them is […]

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Minnesota Property Taxes Explained, Part 2: How are Property Taxes Calculated?

In Part I I covered the basics of what property taxes are.  This time I’ll dive into how exactly property taxes are calculated, starting with (for Minneapolis) the half billion dollar question. What is tax capacity? In its simplest form, the tax capacity of a property is its taxable market value (explained below) multiplied by its class […]

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Minnesota Property Taxes Explained, Part 1: What are Property Taxes?

It’s budget season in Minneapolis, and the rest of the state. This is a complex process, but the question on everybody’s minds is “how will my property taxes be impacted?” A simple question with a rather complicated answer. Hopefully I can shed a little light on it. In this first part of a planned three-part […]

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Chart of the Day: Land’s Share of US Home Prices

Via Visualizing Economics, here’s a cool chart showing the percentage of a home’s value that is tied up in land (as opposed to the house itself). Here’s the chart: The chart’s maker, Catherine Mulbrandon, doesn’t say much about this other than to point towards the dataset, which comes from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. […]

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Chart of the Day: Small Business Turnover vs. Gentrification in New York City

From City Observatory, here’s an interesting chart ripped from a study about small business turnover and gentrification in New York City. It compares the number of businesses that close, go vacant, or are replaced with new businesses in gentrifying and non-gentrifying neighborhoods (gentrifying neighborhoods were defined as meeting a certain change in income within a census tract). Here’s […]

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Chart of the Day: Shopkeepers Travel Mode Share Estimates (Bristol UK)

Alex Schieferdecker turned me onto an old Citylab article about parking perception versus parking reality called Four Reasons Retailers Don’t Need Free Parking. It cites a (hard to find) study out of the UK which charted perceived mode-share versus actual mode share for a shopping street in Bristol, UK (a medium-sized city in the Southwest, population 450K). Here’s the chart […]

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An Open Letter to Saint Paul Business Owners from an Average Millennial

Dear Saint Paul Business Owners, My name is Dan.  I’m 31 years old and I lived in Saint Paul for nearly 8 years.  During that time, I was a patron of many local businesses (I still am actually), as it’s a personal value of mine to support local businesses and give back to my community.  […]

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Map of the Day: Workforce Population Change, 2010 – 2040

Here’s an interesting map from a blogpost by the terrific Chicago-based writer, Aaron Renn. The map comes from a Pew Charitable Trust report that offers some population projections. This one shows the “workforce” data, the number of people in the peak working demographic of 25-54. Here you go: It’s interesting to me because Minneapolis / […]

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