Incentive Taxation
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LVT in Los Angeles? Op-Ed says go for it.
Welcome to the Zany World of NYC's Property Tax
Land Value Taxation in Jamaica: Now More Than Ever
Part 1, Land Value Taxation: Politics, Persuasion, and Practicality - A How-To
2016: Another Year of Advances and Retrenchment

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Noted UK Think Tank: Tax Land Values
Eliminating the property tax? It must not happen, but we’ll see what happens.
Altoona, PA: City tax wholly on land values = normality
Land Value Tax in Britain: Progress While the Rear Guard Digs In
Dr. Herbert Barry's Proposal to Really Reassess Allegheny County

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Incentive Taxation

Economic Policy

Part 1, Land Value Taxation: Politics, Persuasion, and Practicality - A How-To


An Idea Worth Implementing

Ask nearly any economist. Discover what left and right can agree on. It’s the political and economic philosophy that reconciles and validates the needs of both community and the individual.  What do you have?

Land Value Tax

Land Value Tax; also called site value rating, the single tax, economic rent, incentive taxation, the Smart tax, well you get the point.

It’s a Great Idea, Now What?

One of the most important questions that the Center for the Study of Economics – a.k.

2016: Another Year of Advances and Retrenchment


1.       Education. Most of the world is not aware that there are alternatives to our current system of taxation and looking at how society functions. Most especially, the collection of economic rent as propounded through the centuries by Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Tom Paine, Henry George all the way down to Joseph Stiglitz as an alternative to the failed policies of Socialism and Neoliberalism.

Pittsburgh: The disappearing Black community and land value














Homewood: A Storied History


In the middle of all the nonstop happy talk about the revitalizing urbanification of older Rust Belt cities likeBuffalo, Cleveland and our old friend Pittsburgh,UrbanTools notes that the benefit falls on a very narrow slice of the body politic: the development "community" and other hustlers who ask that government pays for their slick new condos and apartments for transient Millennials.  Meanwhile, all of these cities are losing population and unemployment rates are still high.

To Where will the Sugary Drinks Spill?


Philadelphia. A great city strategically placed on the East Coast halfway between New York City and Washington DC. 

Yet, it's fiscal crisis has been a fact of life for decades, with no end in sight. Philadelphia is a great paradox, and explaining why takes patience and the willingness to question great assumptions.






Philadelphia. Of the 10 largest cities in the United States, it is the poorest. It has problems such as crumbling infrastructure, ballooning expenses, and struggling schools and neighborhoods.

The US Environmental Protection Agency Recommends LVT in new publication



UrbanTools is pleased to see that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recommending exploration of land value taxationfor distressed and struggling communities, the number of which are increasing exponentially even after the supposed end of the Great Recession. 

Titled “Attracting Infill Development in Distressed Communities: 30 Strategies” and published by the Office of Sustainable Communities Smart Growth Program, the document describes how land value tax works and highlights the fact that Pennsylvania is the leader in the effort (we note modestly).

A national solution for local government finances?


Doctor Herbert Barry, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, is always looking for a better way. Joining thinkers like Joseph Stiglitz and James Galbraith, here is a recent submission by Doctor Barry into the marketplace of ideas, from the Pittsburgh post-Gazette:














Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Friday, March 27, 2015

 Unimproved land tax
 
     A   March 19 article described a proposal by Gov. Tom Wolf to increase revenues for the Pennsylvania government to support early education (“Wolf: Billions in Revenue From Proposed Sales Tax”).

Quick movement on LVT Extension Legislation in Connecticut



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.

Butt Out: Philadelphia’s cigarette tax will fail and make the city more fragile.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania even after decades of heavy lifting by the taxpayers is still lurching from crisis to crisis, with the root cause based in fiscal uncertainty.  Philadelphia and its nearly insolvent school district still has not discovered a true “fit for purpose” revenue source that will provided - at the very least - revenue stability.  Poor, working and middle-class people pay a larger share of their incomes on tax than in nearly any other American city.  Turning to those who can least afford to pay ought to be the last choice, but ironically in Philadelphia it’s nearly always the first choice.

Land Value Tax featured in the Financial Times

Altoona's Future Includes a land value based policy.


The September 24, 2014 edition of the Financial Times features an article on a subject not often covered by the mainstream media: land value taxation.  Interest in LVT has been highlighted in the past several years in the UK by such respected columnists as Martin Wolf.

Now the US edition of the FT has weighed in with an article entitled"Land of Opportunity" by Robin Harding, a well-respected economics writer and editor.

The article concentrates on one of the cities that implements a version of land value taxation:

Urban Taxation: Deadweight Loss for the Weakest

Wage and Sales Taxes: a Curse on Low Income Citizens and Their Communities

"The middling and superior ranks of people, if they understood their own interest, ought always to oppose all taxes upon the necessaries of life, as well as all direct taxes upon the wages of labour." Adam Smith An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume 2, p.289

As many public policy makers know, we've always considered government taxes in a descending order from destructive, to not so good, better and then best.

Property tax caps for user fees; what could be better? Almost anything

Tax Caps and User Fees: Caution Needed

Six Houses all in a row, assessed at the same value of $100,000 at a tax rate of 1%. Taxes still rise, while local government seeks alternative funds in flat fees for services, such as trash pick up.










Regressivity is a more common outcome of user charges than is commonly acknowledged. That ought to change. City services based on value (i.e. a user charge on publicly created land values) can be made more progressive than resorting to invisible charges or flat fees.

Land Value Taxation in Connecticut: UrbanTools' televised interview

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.

The property tax needs respect but repair

The implosion of revenues for local and state governments over the past seven years, and a stalled, weak recovery leaves public discussion on funding the public/civic sector in the tired old debate between tax-and-spend and cut and slash. In weak regional economies and in times of recession, the first tax revenue to slide are income taxes, then sales taxes, then business taxes, and lastly property taxes. Property taxes are built upon a far more stable base than other forms of tax, and they are now understood to be generally progressive in impact.

To Piketty or not to Piketty? Michael Kinsley and the Echoes of Henry George
















Kinsley, Piketty and Henry

Michael Kinsleyhas had a long and distinguished career writing about politics and sometimes economics from the left-center perspective. UrbanTools has noticed that for decades he often prefaces an essay or column with " my favorite economist, the 19th-century AmericanHenry George, and his best-selling book, Progress and Poverty (1879)." Well, we like Henry George too, so it's always nice to see how Kinsley uses Henry George situationally.

Transportation Leaders want more transit, wonder how to pay for it.















Expending Wealth to Create Wealth: But for Who?

The National Research Council (US) is the parent of the Transportation Research Board, a consortium of state transportation departments, academia and the private sector in the US Department of Transportation www.TRB.org. 

"Using the Economic Value Created by Transportation to Fund Transportation"released this year is the synthesis and analysis of various methods of returning the value created by public investment in transportation to the project, its maintenance or at least reducing the tax load on ratepayers.