Center for the Study of Economics - Company Message
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Recent Posts

Butt Out: Philadelphia’s cigarette tax will fail and make the city more fragile.
Land Value Tax featured in the Financial Times
More evidence confirms the error of stopping land value tax in Pittsburgh
Urban Taxation: Deadweight Loss for the Weakest
Property tax caps for user fees; what could be better? Almost anything

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
Dr. Herbert Barry's Proposal to Really Reassess Allegheny County
How to mend the Property Tax

Categories

Act 47
Africa
Agricultural Policy
Allegheny County
ALTER
Altoona
Australia
Australian Capital Territory
Baltimore
Berkshire
Canberra
Clairton
Connecticut
Current News Item
de Blasio
Economic Development
Economic Policy
Economic Rent
Economist
Education
Federal Tax Policy
Fiscal Policy and Taxes
Gentrification
George Osborne
Global Taxation
Harrisburg
Hartford
Healthy Communities
Housing
Housing Policy
Hurricane Sandy
India
Ireland
Jimmy Tayoun
Kenyatta Johnson
Land Policy
Land Value Tax
Lanesborough
Larry Deutsch
Law and the Constitution
Legislation
Liberal Democrats
Maria Quinones-Sanchez
Martin Looney
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michael Kinsley
Michigan
Model Legislation
Monroe County
Montreal
Moonachie
Namibia
National Tax Policy
New Jersey
New London
New York City
NY
Oregon
Parking and Transportation
Patricia Dillon
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Portland
Property Assessment
Property Tax Reform
Public Opinion
Public Resources
Public Works
Regional Tax Base Sharing
Regionalism
Rhode Island
Rochester
Sales Taxes
Scranton
Senator Jan Malik
Smart Growth
Taiwan
Tax Exemption and Abatment
Thomas Piketty
Titusville
Transportation Funding
Transportation Policy
Uncategorized
United Kingdom
Urban Rejuvenation
Urban Tax Policy
Vince Cable
Wage and Income Taxes
Wales
Wealth
Wilson Goode Jr.
powered by

Incentive Taxation

Butt Out: Philadelphia’s cigarette tax will fail and make the city more fragile.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania even after decades of heavy lifting by the taxpayers is still lurching from crisis to crisis, with the root cause based in fiscal uncertainty.  Philadelphia and its nearly insolvent school district still has not discovered a true “fit for purpose” revenue source that will provided - at the very least - revenue stability.  Poor, working and middle-class people pay a larger share of their incomes on tax than in nearly any other American city.  Turning to those who can least afford to pay ought to be the last choice, but ironically in Philadelphia it’s nearly always the first choice.

Land Value Tax featured in the Financial Times

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.

Now the US edition of the FT has weighed in with an article entitled"Land of Opportunity" by Robin Harding, a well-respected economics writer and editor.

The article concentrates on one of the cities that implements a version of land value taxation:

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)

Urban Taxation: Deadweight Loss for the Weakest

Wage and Sales Taxes: a Curse on Low Income Citizens and Their Communities

"The middling and superior ranks of people, if they understood their own interest, ought always to oppose all taxes upon the necessaries of life, as well as all direct taxes upon the wages of labour." Adam Smith An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume 2, p.289

As many public policy makers know, we've always considered government taxes in a descending order from destructive, to not so good, better and then best.

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.

The property tax needs respect but repair

The implosion of revenues for local and state governments over the past seven years, and a stalled, weak recovery leaves public discussion on funding the public/civic sector in the tired old debate between tax-and-spend and cut and slash. In weak regional economies and in times of recession, the first tax revenue to slide are income taxes, then sales taxes, then business taxes, and lastly property taxes. Property taxes are built upon a far more stable base than other forms of tax, and they are now understood to be generally progressive in impact.

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.

Cui Bono? This time in Australia.







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.

Case in point:the ACT has committed to avery ambitious light rail program, expected to boost the regional economy dramatically in the coming decades.

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.

Are your municipal leaders falling behind?

LAND VALUE TAX PILOT PROGRAM - Where is the movement in CT?

By law, municipalities must tax land and any improvements made to the land (e.g., buildings) at the same rate.The act, which went into effect October 2013 increased the  maximum number of municipalities that, under an OPM pilot program, may develop a plan for taxing land at a higher rate than buildings (i.e., land value tax) from one to three.
The newcriteriafor municipal participation does not restrict the pilot program

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?

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.