"To talk about 'good' and 'tax policy' in the same breath when you're talking about the New York City property tax is impossible," said Dick Netzer, an emeritus professor of public administration at New York University and a leading authority on city's property taxes. "It's a foul institution."
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.
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.
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.
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.
The article concentrates on one of the cities that implements a version of land value taxation:
The Australian Capital Territory is rapidly becoming the state government most willing to experiment with forms of taxation that serve the interests of both the public, fair play, and economic logic. Generally, it is trying to move away from taxes that burden workers and business and crater the economy to a more classical approach of its self funding cycle of revenue.
No More either/Or: What's Philadelphia worth?
For years Philadelphia Pennsylvania has been an outlier among American cities (and internationally) for its menu ofstrange taxes
on business andonerous levies
on residents that have savage effects upon the local economy. For years, people who think about tax issues have proposed over and over again reducing reliance on these corrosive and self-destructive levies, that have driven jobs and capital out of the city squeezing the traditional middle class in particular.
2013 heralds something considered cataclysmic in
Philadelphia but is routine in the rest of the world: a new assessment for
property tax purposes. From Podunk to
Portland (Oregon or Maine), assessment officers and departments apply land and
building values to each property, the community figures out how much revenue it
needs and divides it by those values. Voilà, you get a property tax rate, and then
send out a bill.
A very little history
Nothing is ever quite that simple in the city that
Story One - Take a Peep at This
Our perceptive friends atKeystone Politics
, haveposted an observation
about the latest embarrassment on the Philadelphia land-use front. Long story short, for years a patch of Market Street has been infested (literally and figuratively) by some low-rise, low-rent, low class buildings housing one of the few porno "palaces" left in Philadelphia. The anchor of the Keystone post isan article
in the Philadelphia Inquirer by the redoubtable
Council member Keith Bromley marked the difficulty of the achievement by highlighting the trouble so many other cities run into trying to pass a balanced budget, saying,"You look at other communities. They haven't been able to do this. It's a significant thing for us." December 2012
Since 1991, the city of Titusville Pennsylvania, the city of the third class in the northwest corner of the state has used land value tax as its primary source of municipal revenue. So far, through two recessions and a general innervation of the Northeast states, Titusville has achieved what some might think is boring, but any municipal government would love: stable revenues with no need for tax increases.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania has been staring hard into the
face of essential tax reform. Unhappily, it's been doing so since at least the
late 1980s. The newest twist was last
spring's budget process, wherein new values meant to establish meaningful tax
rates were delayed.
The legislative body of Philadelphia was split into many
groups with different concerns.
Some Council members understood fully that their
constituents had been getting away with paying almost nothing in property taxes
An item that has been making Front Page news lately has been the mess into which Scranton, PA has sunk. Wecommented
, and got lots of response. The nicest was fromDavid Madeira
, a talk show host for 94.3 FM. He asked UT director Joshua Vincent to come on and make sense of the fiscal and economic history behind Scranton's woes and our proposal to let Scranton return to fiscal sanity by using a tool it already, but barely uses: the land value tax.
Strawberry Mansions Forever?
Since the early 1990s, the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors has endorsed and advocated for land value tax in Philadelphia to both boost capital and property markets. After all, brokers make their earnings on a living - not a moribund - market.
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