Wednesday, November 30, 2005
A Disconnect in the Brain
This week's column by Barratt American CEO Michael D. Pattinson is about city fees and taxes associated with new development projects.
At first I thought Patty Boy and I were going to see eye to eye on this one but it didn't take long to realize that this man has a serious disconnect from reality.
Pattinson just can't grasp that if he comes into an old neighborhood and builds a bunch of new homes that the new people impact the area. He complains that Oceanside is helping itself to new traffic lights, well gee, why would they need those? Because everyone in the new houses drives cars.
Should all this come out of the general fund? Yes. But these developments are so big and happen so fast that if "improvements" (it's really hard to call a stoplight at the end of your street that used to be a quiet stop sign an improvement) aren't made then it leads to congestion, chaos and a lower quality of life for everyone.
In Riverside County, child care is the fourth largest industry, taking in $230 million per year. But even that is not enough to support the cost of their own facilities, supervisors say. That is why they are talking about forcing developers ---- I mean new home buyers ---- to foot the bill.
What they don't say is that excessive government fees have raised the cost of housing so much that most families need both parents working, hence the need for child care.
To hear Pattinson tell it the reason both parents have to work is because the fees are too high on new homes. Pattinson's company recently reported record revenue, $131.2 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. This an all-time record for a fiscal quarter since the founding of the firm. All you Moms out there, are you swallowing this tripe?
Take a look at Barratt's website The gross over ornamentation of their homes is ridiculous. If Pattinson wants to cut cost on home building he could start by streamlining his projects. Construction cost are extremely high in California with labor, worker's comp. Insurance and materials. Imagine the extra hours and materials it takes to build pseudo-castles and faux shutters. Why all the widgets and gimmicks Mr. Pattinson? Do you like wasting money?
Pattinson says new homebuyers who are taxed have no say in where those taxes go. Taxation without representation? Time for another Boston Tea Party? Let's start by sending euro trash Pattinson back across the Atlantic.