Affordable Land in LA, it's only 40 Miles Away
In this case, the
editorial rightly decries “linkage fees.”Linkage
also known as “impact fees” charge developers a set price for anything
they build that goes into a fund for affordable housing.
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,
One of the most important questions that the Center for the Study
of Economics – a.k.
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
As always, the answer is in the numbers...
It's nowadays accepted that beverages with added sugar are bad. New York City a few years ago had it's own psychodrama on Big Gulps and Frappuccinos, when the unlikely nanny state of Michael Bloomberg tried to impose a tax on sugary drinks as a public health measure.
It was eventually defeated in court, but the idea is still very popular by those who have no problem telling other people what to put into their mouths.
Certainly, soda probably not the best thing one could drink.
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.
We are happy to present a new integrated diary/blog brought
to you by the Center for the Study of Economics, using our street name
“UrbanTools.” That’s where we spend most
of our time: traveling, meeting with communities, doing outreach, performing
research and overall presenting an alternative way of looking at political
economy in the real world.
The best place to start? Most likely CSE’s annual meeting of
the Board of Directors[i]
on November 19, 2015. With attendees in person at our physical HQ at the
friends service Center at 1501 Cherry St.
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.
Revisiting the land value tax in Lancaster
For some years, the visionary Mayor ofLancaster
has worked tirelessly with his team to return one of the oldest and most distinguished of American cities to its rightful place as a muscular economic and cultural hub of Lancaster County and Amish country.
Mayor Rick Gray: I've got an Idea.
Mayor Gray has also been a firm advocate of land value tax, yet peculiar valuations imposed on the city by Lancaster County have been a political barrier.
Downtown Frederick Maryland: No More Lights Out?
has been around 30 years, covering that beautiful old city in Maryland and the surrounding countryside. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the travel tips, restaurant coverage, and its beautiful visual explorations to visit, live, and work.
The magazine also covers the not so pleasant realities that any city of any size must deal with. People may be surprised that such a lovely city near the center of national wealth in Washington DC also suffers from commercial and residential blight.
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.
Q. What happens when a city taxes buildings more at the beginning of the greatest building boom in American history?
A. Not much.
One of the best examples of the efficacy of land value tax (LVT) was careful study of the city of Pittsburgh culminating in theOates/Schwab study of Pittsburgh published in 1997
which concluded all things being equal land value tax policy had the effect of unleashing construction demand – especially downtown construction –just as the steel industry collapsed, and just as the US entered a significant recessionary period (late 1970s and early 1980s)
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.
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.
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 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.
Kinsley, Piketty and Henry
has 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.
The American Dream: Levittown 1948
UrbanTools (as the outreach arm of the Center for the Study
of Economics) has successfully helped communities discover that land value
taxation is a fair and equitable way to reduce the tax burden on the poor, the
middle class and productive citizens.
deploying local LVT, we demonstrate in policy the fact that there is an
alternative to tax systems that keep people down in force communities to
struggle to pay for the basic bills to keep our local societies going.
Aproposed land bank
in the city of Pittsburgh has been introduced by councilpersonDeb Gross
, and a couldn't come soon enough. Pittsburgh has an oversupply of city-owned blighted buildings and lots that suck up revenue, and produce none for the city. Once the land bank comes into operation, one existential question arises: what is the purpose of a bank?
If we take away the word "land", then we know the purpose of a bank is to dispense of assets in order to create a return for both the bank and – in this case – the community.