Incentive Taxation
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Recent Posts

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

Most Popular Posts

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

National Tax Policy

Land Value Taxation in Jamaica: Now More Than Ever


What They Want You to See



What They Don't Want you to See Behind the Green Curtain
 


For 500 years, Jamaica has been a byword for lush tropical beauty, pristine beaches and the Parrot-Head lifestyle deluxe.  Dozens of nonstop flights from North America and Europe land daily to whisk away carefree tourists to fabulous resorts carefully cut off from the everyday life of Jamaica. Therein lies the problem.
The Jamaica fantasy rarely references the elimination of the Taino and Arawak people.

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.

Homeownership: Dangling a Contrarian View From a Land Value Tax Perspective

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.  

By 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.

Land Value Tax in Britain: Progress While the Rear Guard Digs In

Time for a Sea Change: UK Business Secretary Vince Cable

The drumbeats for land value  tax are louder in the United Kingdom, and coming from all corners of the nation. As UrbanTools hasreportedon severaloccasionsover the pastyear, land value tax is being mooted by a veritable rainbow of the political and economic spectrum.

The latest very good news is that Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary in the coalition governmenthas clearly come out for a serious policy debateabout the introduction of a national land value tax.

Go Ask ALICE: A Progressive Resource for model legislation deploys LVT models.







ALICE: Legislation for the rest of us

Some years ago, noted journalist and public servant, Walter Rybeckworked with Bill Filante, a California GOP State Senator to prepare and disseminate model legislation to enact land value taxation.  The venue at that time was ALEC, which at the time prepared legislation with a conservative and free market bent, much in line with GOP philosophy at the time (ALEChas changed quite a bit since the 1980s, and the entry has disappeared.)

Now, there’s an active group providing Progressive model legislation.

The Economist returns to Its roots (most often found in land)















Glasgow: time to stop the private warehousing of land

In 1843, a newspaper named"The Economist"came into being with amission that promisedto discuss and promote ideas of fair trade, liberal economics, free markets and issues of taxation and rent. 

Astoundingly, the Economist stuck to its mission, more or less, although one may - and one does - quibble with its flirtations withflailing neo-classical economics, coupled with some infatuation with permanent Keynesianism.

Rising home prices: who on earth thinks that's good news?


Pop it now!

Moseying through the tinny yet strident “news” from the real estate markets that housing is on the rebound.  To the real estate industry and theirflacks in the press, we're meant to believe any increasing equity will redound to the benefit of homeowners.  Not quite.  

Remember where it all started: the unholy triangle between activist government (everybody gets a house with NO money down) crooked to lazy lenders, and banks who wanted a piece of the action (even though they had no clue

Land Value Tax: UK Rules OK

The drum beat gets louder for serious and sustained debate on all sides of the political spectrum - and all areas - of the UK for land value tax.  From those of us in the US, the pace is dizzying, and is in stark and disgraceful contrast to the fear of all political sides to grasp the nettle, and fix the long retraction that affects all parts of the nation.

This week, the Guardian, a reliably left-of-center newspaper of record has yet another articleengaging LVT,  (Coincidentally, the Economics correspondent of the Guardian

Land Value Tax: it's not Just for Cities Anymore



















Two UrbanTools directors, have struck again in the editorial pages of the Financial Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.   In the June 28 edition of the financial Times,Nicholas Rosenchallenges Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz to posit a solution to the problem of growing wealth inequality and economic dysfunction in the United States.  Dr. Stiglitzaccurately names rent seeking as a prime culprit.  Curbing the abuses of rent seeking is not just a matter of changing the law however; it is a matter of changing our tax system in the manner of the

Who owns the Air (waves)?
















Radio Activity: It's in the Air for You and Me*

Land Value Taxation is not just about tax revenue collected from property values in cities.  It's also about identifyingrent-seekingandmonopoly privilegethat increase burdens on communities, commerce and citizens.  LVT addresses these universal issues: wherever one looks for it, one can find it.

A superb example is the periodic tussles over the air, specifically, the bandwidths of thebroadcast spectruminherent in nature.

Should I Stay or Should I go?

 What do we mean when we say we must tax that which is immobile?

In our reality of disappearing borders, a global interplay of commerce, capital and labor, a sensible urban society wants to tax that which is immobile.  If we want to maintain cities as the engines of our culture, they need to have a reliable source of revenue.  Land and land values are the textbook definition of immobile.  It is understandable that some may insist that the traditional property tax - falling on land and buildings – is also immobile; yet a closer examination informs us that buildings can suddenly become very mobile indeed.

How to mend the Property Tax

Assaults on the property tax have been commonplace in the US (and Australia,New Zealand, etc.) in the past few decades.  We think that the property has a lot wrong with it; but its a situation that calls for a scalpel not an atom bomb.  Here are some basic alternative solutions, including the land value tax as a way to abolish the tax on buildings.


Four Ameliorations for Assessment Increases or Tax Increases: an Analysis
William Batt, Ph.D., Joshua Vincent, ED

Taiwan to reform property values, will help revenue and tax transparency.

Abandoning outdated land values will harmonize Taiwan's many species of land and property taxes...
Christine Liu, Taiwan's Finance Minister









(photo: CW)

The tax policies of Taiwan has always made it a successful outlier, one of the few Asian Tigers to prosper right after World War II, and doing well until the recent global slump.  A lynchpin of that policy is value-based land taxation.  Even though the agricultural land tax is moribund (since 1985), it has been argued that the goal of that tax, to free up large estates (in the manner Denmark's

Cymraeg treth tir gwerth (Welsh land value tax)

Welsh Land Value Tax

Wales AP Member Mark Drakeford

Without fear of contradiction, it is easy to assert that the concept of tax reformnowfrom global to local has taken off in the past three years.  The global economic downturn still lasts, and postindustrial areas in North America, Europe are in particular need of a way to level the playing field with more efficient and competitive Asian, African and Latin American markets.
Although governments may dither, leaders have emerged all over the world ready to challenge dominant, smug yet failed policies.

UK's Institute for Fiscal Studies Agrees with OECD (and us): Tax Land Values for a Healthier Economy





The clocks ticks on bad tax policy as the big dogs jump in.


Not too long ago, a Blair wallah sniffed at a land value tax as akin to the window tax  of 18th Century yore. In the face of a very possible  recurring recession, the easy condescension is increasingly out of place...

Background: UrbanTools always looks internationally to developments in other think tanks and nations for a sense that old methods taxation and finance cease to be based in terms of left or right, but rather on what works and what doesn't.

Ireland's New Property Tax: Not Ready for Prime Time

Kim Broughton/Polaris
Quick quiz: what's the best use of this Irish land?
Irish property bust provides literal fodder.

The New Year brought the first iteration of the property tax in Ireland.  In one way, it is a welcome advance in a nation where a land value bubble still reverberates like so many Block Buster bombs. 

Hectares ofhalf-built or abandoned"luxury" condos and homes littler the greater Dublin area, after the spectacle ofwild-eyed lending that led to property loans making up easily mare than 2/3rds of all bank lending.

Tax Revenues: Is it Time for Government to cut out the chase?

Since the Great Recession of 2008 (To Present)  is still afoot, many national governments have tried to plug perceived loopholes in tax policy at the level where trans-national corporations and super-earners can re-domicile (think Bahamas, Isle of Man, etc.) and avoid tax, while other revenues have faded.




So far, bills introduced to stop the practice of using tax havens have been rolled out in the US, with little progress.  The