Friends of Patrick Eagan Park

Letters to the Editor

Submitted to:
Eagan Sun-Current
Eagan This Week
Friday, October 18, 2002

Plenty of Reasons to Vote for the Open Space Referendum

To the editor:

The heck with nature, it gives me a rash. Why should I vote for the Dakota County Referendum on November 5th?

One answer is that saving some nature and farmland will probably raise property values and may lower property taxes. Quoting "Economics of Open Space Conservation" by Paul Kerlinger-"The National Association of Home Builders estimates that parks and recreation areas can increase the value of nearby building sites by 15-20%." I am sure realtors rarely meet someone who wants to pay extra for a home that is surrounded only by lots and lots of really similar looking houses without some wooded or open natural areas nearby.

He also notes "...the fact that building houses costs a community more than these homes generate in property tax revenues (called rateables). Fifty years ago, taxes generated from housing developments helped to finance roads, public schools, police departments, fire departments, and other community-driven expenses. As the cost of these services rises, property taxes rarely cover them,..." We will have a chance to find out how true this is as Dakota County's population (by Dakota County statistics) is expected to increase by about 100,000 people to more than 450,000 by 2020.

I think it will be well worth investing the cost of a pizza or two a year for the next ten years hoping to get more than pizza money back.

John Ward

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