Thursday, April 1, 2010

Car Squatting

Make Paradise, Tear Down a Parking Lot
A massive recall on land illegally given to automobiles
Here's an interesting article from the Project for Public Spaces, link HERE.

Cars illegally occupy prime real estate in Atlanta.
It was recently discovered that cars have been squatting on some of the most valuable land in America—sometimes for as long as seventy years. The land will now be returned to the American public.

Officials at the International Downtown Association discovered that landmark legislation from the 1930s has been misinterpreted since the day it was signed into law. Congress unanimously approved the 1937 Urban Improvement Act, which states that free parking in towns and cities must be taxed at an annual rate of 10 percent of estimated real estate value. But a General Motors lobbyist impersonating a Commerce Department official altered the document so that it appeared to offer tax breaks to businesses that provide free parking to their customers and employees.

Calculating that parking lot operators and shopping malls now owe the American people a staggering $986 billion in back taxes, the Treasury department decided it would be easier and more compassionate for parking lots to be turned over to local governments to create thousands of new parks, squares, public spaces and civic institutions.

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