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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The Hartford Couranttoday editorializes
in 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.
Glasgow: time to stop the private warehousing of land
In 1843, a newspaper named"The Economist"
came into being with amission that promised
to discuss and promote ideas of fair trade, liberal economics, free markets and issues of taxation and rent.
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.
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 implementation
of the past decade.
The Salem Statesman Journal published acomprehensive policy piece
by Kris Nelson ofCommon Ground OR/WA
. 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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
for 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.
Spreading Like Kudzu
Historic reality: in 1950, Cleveland Ohio had a population
. 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
became 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.
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
Remember tax base sharing?
South Berkshires North Berkshires
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