The Cape Cod Times has a new editor. You can tell from today's editorial. Instead of marching in synchronized goose-step with the Cape Cod Commission, as was their usual want under Cliff Schectman, they have instead taken to applying reason to a critical Cape issue; housing.
The Commission staff is recommending that they tax commercial real estate developers for creating low-wage jobs. Aside from the obsurdity of that notion, their (il)logical extension of that thought suggests to them that they use the tax to subsidize housing (as opposed to subsidizing wages).
After exercising a host of alternatives to taxing commercial developers, The Cape Cod Times comes up with the most obvious solution to the housing issue; tax those hoarding the housing.
We have plenty of housing. We don't have to build more houses. They're just not available to full-time residents, because the Cape's part-time residents have bought them and keep them off the market.
[One correction to the Times editorial: the locals are not competing with high incomes when it comes to second home-owners, we are competing with high amounts of equity. And that's no contest. ]
But after the Time's dissertation, the Editor suggests correctly, that we should be taxing second home owners that are not renting their homes, for taking up the supply, driving up the prices, and forcing out the locals.
Congratulation to the Editor. You're off to a great start. In the immortal words of Oliver Twist, "...more please!". Reasoned logic returns to the Times.
Post-script: Or maybe it's just self-interest. The Times advertisers are commercial businesses. Maybe the new editor took a look at the rest of the paper and noticed that neither homeowners nor the Cape Cod Commission take out full page ads.
Either way, we'll take it. SM