a recent post,
UrbanTools/CSE broke the ice with some short snippets of an
interview conducted by Jacob Schwartz Lucas ofEarthsharing.org
that describe what we
believe are critical first steps in discussing land value taxation, how to
interest people, how to maintain momentum, and finally how to implement LVT. Produced by Earthsharing, it links to three
distinct avenues to LVT understanding and acceptance.
The question then arises what to do if interest is piqued?
If the reader has time (and no need to watch
it all at once), here’s a presentation/discussion that UrbanTools/CSE gave at
the invitation of the
It Used to be a Hilton
Hartford Connecticut while perhaps not the wealthiest
city in the US during the Gilded Age
, came close to the ideal of the
American City and the American Dream: a city where wealth was created, work was
plentiful, public amenities dotted the city landscape and optimism never ran
Now, in the year 2016, the Hartford paradox – one of thenation’s
surrounded by the nation’s wealthiest state – is flirting
. It limits the city’s ability to act independently to revive
In living memory, Connecticut was the Gold Standard for how
a state could be run for all the people from poor to middle class to wealthy. Starting in 1991 with the advent of state
income tax, and increased business taxation, Connecticut started a barely
noticeable decline that hasaccelerated dramatically
in recent years.
On February 4, 2015 , just a few days into the Connecticut legislature's 2015 session, the Land Value Tax expansion bill was accepted for action and testimony by a unanimous bipartisan vote of the joint Planning and Development Committee voted in favor this time. This is particularly quick considering past practice.
With the 2015 Legislative Session open, Connecticut faces a structural fiscal deficit of nearly $175 million, under-performing tax receipts, crumbling infrastructure, and declining aid to municipalities.
The remedy is just as Henry George prescribed. CSE has been on the ground working to supply the research and analysis to motivate Legislative action.
Connecticut's Financially Stressed Cities: let's talk about LVT
We believe that a useful way to embrace of further understanding of land value taxation Is to have a conversation. On June 17, 2014, the director of the Center for the Study of Economics Joshua Vincent sat down withRonna Stuller
, A long time member of the new London Connecticut Board of Education and activist within the Green Party, Ronna Stands for healthy communities,a fair economy, and more opportunities for citizens In all sectors of society.
By law, municipalities must tax land and any improvements made to the land (e.g., buildings) at the same rate.The act, which went into effect October 2013 increased the maximum number of municipalities that, under an OPM pilot program, may develop a plan for taxing land at a higher rate than buildings (i.e., land value tax) from one to three.
The newcriteriafor municipal participation does not restrict the pilot program
It's déjà vu all over again for theMetro-North Railroad
. Right now, about 125,000 users of the rail commuter line going through some of the wealthiest towns in the United States ispretty much shut down
. The Metropolitan Transit Authority managed to scrounge up some diesel trains that will run into New York City from Connecticut, but the number cannot meet the demand.
Is the disintegration of this essential transit system something that came out of nowhere like a plague of locusts?
The Hartford Couranttoday editorializes
in support of the University of Connecticut establishing new headquarters in downtown. The former Hartford Times office, still gleams through the grime and decades of neglect.
The Times of Hartford: Then and Now
Is this good news? Nearly unquestionably. Existing businesses will see more foot traffic and more dollars spent in their stores. The residential sector will undoubtedly get a boost, as workers, faculty and students populate the southern end of a fairly empty downtown.
Published 05/09/2013 12:00 AM
But Finizio, who took office in 2011, said that if New London were chosen to participate this time, he would focus on the downtown area and exempt waterfront properties and large lots.
"I support it because I believe it will remove one of the largest disincentives to revitalization in downtown New London," Finizio said Tuesday.
The LVT proposal is one idea that working group chairman, state Rep. Jeffrey Berger, D-Waterbury, said he would like to see passed this session.
Our team was on the move this week throughout the State of CT. The Municipal Tax Authority Working Group Meeting of April 2, 2013 provides a glimpse of the work CSE is involved in at this time Video of the meeting
Connecticut's 2013 General Assembly meets for a six month
session in January. Odd-numbered years
generally concentrate on local laws and statutes for municipalities and
relations with the state government in the so-called "long sessions."
Spreading Like Kudzu
Historic reality: in 1950, Cleveland Ohio had a population
. It had a tax base that
was compact and served all sectors of the city well. Great fortunes were made, along with the success
of the working and middle classes. From the 1900s to the 1950s,great civic
became possible with this wealth.
John Rockefeller was only the largest source of foundations and gifts that
made Cleveland not only a gritty industrial hub, but a place where one could
become a more educated, cultured and involved citizen.
How significant can taxing
land values to a community? Can it replace all other taxes, including sales and
wage taxes? Would a land value tax be fair
(i.e. progressive), without morphing into a California-style redistributionist
Let’s start with some basics,
and explore these issues in an ongoing series of what potentialities land
Let’s travel the I-95
corridor (In the US Mid-Atlantic) and stop in Norwalk, CT. It’s a combination of an old industrial
working city with desirable waterfront property and yacht clubs.
Failure is not an option: Connecticut Building Permits Slide
There is no state as well situated for growth and prosperity than Connecticut. Just beyond reach of New York's staggeringly high taxes and overlooking the placid Long Island Sound, crossed by rail and Interstate connections, and with one large airport, Connecticut has parlayed these advantages into a couple of centuries of growth, jobs and wealth.
Yet, slippage in the US economy as a whole coupled with a growing rich/poor divide (
Connecticut, a state blessed with great wealth but also great poverty, has examined the idea of permitting Connecticut cities - almost by definition poor and dis-invested - to have the option to enact property tax reform in the shape of a land value tax, which Governor Jody Rellsigned into law for New London
in 2009. The reasons were clear: the decay of Connecticut towns was proportional to the damage that sprawl has wrought on the formerly bucolic countryside, with farms replaced by subdivisions, and bank-breaking infrastructure costs.
After the election of Daryl Finizio to the mayor's office in New London, CT,The Day
, the local newspaper offered an opinion byDavid Collins
on the lack of activity in New London's downtown - after heavy government spending on a refurbishment of the city square known as"The Parade"
- most visible in the boarded up storefronts on the main Streets in the downtown (State and Bank).
Mentioning that New London's land value tax proposal is part and parcel of a downtown revitalization plan
Daryl Finizio wins New London Mayor's race
In a crowded field of six candidates, Mr. Finiziohandily
to the first strong mayor post in New London after a
governmental reorganization. Land Value
Tax had beenthe
for much of the campaign. Mayor-elect Finizio has pledged to revisit the program on LVT, in the face of concerted but sparse opposition.
New London’s previous missteps withKelo vs. New London
, a tax abatement program for the
Pfizer pharmaceutical firm, that ended
The vote took place onMarch 23
, after the bill had been redefined to permit up to three cities to enact LVT as a pilot. The bill
is far more flexible than 2009's LVT bill, and UrbanTools has pinpointed several cities that may be able to take advantage of this exciting new development in the effort to help Connecticut cities who are in deeper fiscal waters along with the state government.
SB130, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney has made the grade,a nd is not set to get a vote on the main Senate floor in the very near future.
Last year's bill for New London Connecticut was a first step in enabling legislation for Connecticut municipalities. This year, more may be coming Connecticut General Assembly Acts
With important changes in the Planning and Development Committee, a new bill permitting land value taxation to allow all town to use Property Tax 2.0 is in the hopper. Sponsored bySenate Majority Leader Martin Looney
, SB130 has been referred for public testimony (rare for not-a-chance bills) by the Planning and Development Committee.