Three Cities, One Tax: Altoona, Sydney, Copenhagen
The beginning of 2011 saw the introduction of a city property tax that fell on land values only, unique in the history of US cities. Altoona joined Sydney, Copenhagen and hundreds of other cities that have found land value taxation a simple, effective and reliable source of revenue without causing the distortionary effects of other taxes such as sales, wage or building taxes.
The budget for 2012 has just passed, with the Altoona Mirror reporting the rationale for the land value tax, as well as challenges that lie ahead for the city. It looks as if land value tax may be here to stay, if adjustments are made each year for changing revenue needs and real estate values. Altoona may now be ready to start replacing such taxes as the local income tax or business taxes with LVT, to better position itself for a devoutly desired economic recovery.