2012 February FIRE Policy News

Issue Date: 
February, 2012
Newspaper PDF: 

The February 2012 issue of FIRE Policy News opens with Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Wendell Cox’s analysis of the 2010 American Community Survey, which finds 79.2 percent of new households in U.S. metropolitan areas opted to live in single-family detached houses, rather than multi-unit (apartment and condo) buildings or duplexes.

Also in this issue:

  • The Federal Housing Authority now backs one-third of all residential mortgages being written, up from 5 percent just five years ago.
  • Jefferson County, Alabama’s financial struggles have forced the local government into the largest municipal bankruptcy in national history while nearly two dozen people associated with the county’s financial troubles have been convicted of criminal conduct.
  • A “sweeping document” that critics fear would give Maryland state government officials “control of everything” related to land development in the state has gone into effect. Local dissent is strong.
  • After issuing shares, companies are increasingly saving the proceeds as cash instead of spending the money to build new facilities or hire additional employees.
  • Even though Florida has managed to avoid a direct hurricane strike in recent years, property insurers in the state continue to go belly-up. The latest casualty is Tampa-based HomeWise Insurance Co.
  • Given the currently prevailing rates of interest, rate of inflation, and tax rates, a small investor who earns a nominal yield of 1 percent and pays a 20 percent marginal tax rate, while the rate of inflation is 3.5 percent, actually ends up paying a real tax rate of 370 percent.

Newspaper Articles in this Issue