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

Public Resources

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.

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.

Pittsburgh: Land Bank proposal needs an endgame

Aproposed land bankin 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.

But It's so Expensive: Commuter Rail Grinds to a Halt in Deep Pockets Connecticut

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?

University of Connecticut chooses downtown Hartford, may boost what once was blight.

The Hartford Couranttoday editorializesin 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.

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.

Philadelphia's New Real Estate Values: Land Value Tax to Cure AVI Blues?





















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 levieson 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.

The Oregon Trail...To land value taxation
















The expansion of land value tax from its bases in Pennsylvania cities and jurisdictions all over Australia and New Zealand, may have just taken a strong step forward in the state of Oregon, where LVT advocates have been studying the legalities and thepractical administrative steps to implementationof the past decade.  

The Salem Statesman Journal published acomprehensive policy pieceby Kris Nelson ofCommon Ground OR/WAandTom Girhing . The op-ed provides solid theoretical underpinnings and empirical reality to make the case that Oregon cities, and indeed the whole Northwest have to join their Red State brethren and find ways to reduce traditional property taxes on labor and investment as well as pull back on taxation of wages.

News Flash: High taxes on valuable land puts land back into use in Montreal

Montréal's tax on parking lots: cause-and-effect

Montréal: land of the lots no more?



One thing city governments ( and most people) can't stand but feel helpless to remedy is the ubiquitous and metastasizing presence of surface parking lots on the most valuable land in town: center city (or Centre Ville in this case).  

Almost the definition of parasitism, think of the parking lot business model as a twisted Seven Pillars of Wisdom. 

1. Buy an old business building downtown.

Neighborhoods and Community: How tax policy can be the glue.

Three Cheers for Clairton
UrbanTools' parent, the Center for the Study of Economics is happy to make the theoretical, as well as the empirical case that land value tax helps communities directly to rebound and recohere.
 
In the  American Journal of Economics and Sociology (Volume 71, Issue 4, October 2012)  CSE's Executive Director,Joshua Vincent, demonstrates how, through the adoption of a land-value-taxation in Clairton, Pennsylvania, neighborhood revitalization was realized.

Mission Creep: the tax-exempt sector threatens to engulf older cities

The November 2012 Governing magazine edition provided a very rough overview of the extent of nontaxable real property in major American cities.
 
What properties are most often exempt? Generally property owned by charitable organizations (Code section 501(c)(3)), Public charities, Private foundations, Social welfare organizations (section 501(c)(4)), Agricultural/horticultural organizations (section 501(c)(5)), Labororganizations (section 501(c)(5)) and Business leagues (trade associations

Namibia's land value tax: a powerful voice speaks out and says "more."

In the US, the 2012 election season has made us here in the states even a bit more isolated from the ideas and events that shape our neighbors across borders. With our quadrennial angst ending soon, it's time to check out what our brothers and sisters are doing.
 
UrbanTools has been reporting on the evolution of land value taxation in Namibia sinceindependence in 1990.
 
Alexactus Kaure:
the conscience of Namibia's land value tax
 
 
As we wrotelast July:
In Namibia today, land value taxation is specifically used to accomplish two things:

New Jersey's Night: Rebuilding the community by opening the Community Chest



















Darkness in Moonachie, NJ

As this piece is being written, millions of citizens in the Northeast are without power, 
gasoline, water or even food.  The nightmare that was Hurricane Sandy has blown apart communities and broken hearts. 

The first order of business is of course tooffer reliefandcomfortfor our fellow citizens and neighbors. The second step is to rebuild people's homes and lives as much as possible. New Jersey can serve as an example of how markets can be used to strengthen the recovery effort, and not just for a lucky few.

The Planning Paradox: Eds and Meds, Municipal Revenues and Power






















Spreading Like Kudzu


Historic reality: in 1950, Cleveland Ohio had a population ofnearly 1,000,000.  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 amenitiesbecame 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.

An enemy of the state? Philadelphia developer treads on an Empire of Dirt

The Name of the Place Is I Like it Like That: 20th and Annin Streets, Point Breeze

There's neighborhood in Philadelphia called Point Breeze.  By any measure, it’s been abandoned and abused by the economy, government and the larger community for decades.  The neighborhood itself is essentially no longer owned by the people that live there. 





























Point Breeze: Overwhelmed by absentee owners

It's not surprising that residents who are left see how fragile things are, and can't be blamed for being suspicious of change.

Regional tax base sharing and the subject of wealth disparity in Berkshire County Massachusetts

Remember tax base sharing?













South Berkshires                                                 North Berkshires

Popularized byMyron Orfieldand others in the late 1990s, regionaltax base sharing(TBS) is one of those ideas that seem logical, fair, and efficient on the surface.  The idea is pretty simple: take an area likeBaltimore city and its surrounding suburbsand equalize the tax burden by allocating property tax revenues across municipal and county boundaries.

Monroe County New York: Tax breaks for me but not for thee

The Flatiron Building: Revitalized by investment, not abatement.

The city of Rochester New York and the County of Monroe have been facing challenges in keeping both commerce and population over past two decades. Nothing is really stopped capital and human flight. it's great essence,the Kodak Corporation, has been reduced to demolishing its buildings to save on taxes and ensuring cash flow byselling off its patents.

Like most troubled regions, tools for renewal follow fairly standard script: put together a redevelopment authority, receive land from corporations (who get a tax break), and offer