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

Tax Exemption and Abatment

Can Connecticut Regain Traction?





















In living memory, Connecticut was the Gold Standard for how a state could be run for all the people from poor to middle class to wealthy.  Starting in 1991 with the advent of state income tax, and increased business taxation, Connecticut started a barely noticeable decline that hasaccelerated dramaticallyin recent years.  

Forbes magazine is just the latest harbinger of “for whom the Bell tolls” bad business environment rankings for Connecticut.  Both sides of the aisle are just now starting to realize that growth that does not involve private investment and personal work is not real growth, it’s a debt or an obligation put off for later.

UrbanTools in action and on the road

With the 2015 Legislative Session open, Connecticut faces a structural fiscal deficit of nearly $175 million, under-performing tax receipts, crumbling infrastructure, and declining aid to municipalities.

The remedy is just as Henry George prescribed. CSE has been on the ground working to supply the research and analysis to motivate Legislative action.

Outcomes: 

More evidence confirms the error of stopping land value tax in Pittsburgh

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 1997which 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)

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.

New York Mayoral Race: Can Bill de Blasio Capitalize on a fresh approach to generating revenue from blighted and vacant land?

Bill De Blasio: in the Ascendant

Tomorrow Tuesday, June 10, 2013, the Democratic voters of New York City will choose their candidate for the fall mayoral election.  The early betting fell on Christine Quinn who is currently New York City Council President.  She had done the traditional sewing up of many unions, social constituencies, Wall Street, Mayor Bloomberg (with whom she engineered a Disposal of voter imposed term limits), and the Real Estate Board.  

Also running is Bill Thompson, a respected former Comptroller of the city, John Liu the current Comptroller, and of course the explosive Anthony Weiner.

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.

A Surprise From Rhode Island: Daring to Change Taxes to Help Everybody

HOPE

Rhode Island is a small place of many charms. Its history is stirring, its connection to the oceans enriching, and the culture is a wonderful mix of Portuguese, French Canadian, Asian, and other cultures – and cuisines – that make Little Rhody a delight to visit.
Living and working there is not so easy though.  Population isin long-term declineand business is contracting.  The ironically named“Superman Building” has lost its last tenantand the crown jewel of Providence’s skyline will be a looming reminder everyday that something has to be done, but what?

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 Philly Assessments Cometh, Part One

 
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 UrbanTools loves.

You're so respectable: two stories about terrible land use in Philadelphia


Story One - Take a Peep at This

Our perceptive friends atKeystone Politics, haveposted an observationabout 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

A year-end gift of land value tax and good management: stable revenues


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.

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

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.