From the Collar City: You are Invited to a discussion on a new way to tax
Can your town use a new approach to in finance, planning and its relationships with citizens?
Property taxes are both the main source of revenue for local governments, and at the same time the most unpopular. Economically, property taxes as they are currently structured, reward blight and disinvestment, while discouraging real estate markets from operating in more urbanized areas. One tool used by dozens of cities in the US in hundreds of cities elsewhere is the land value tax is the land value tax. What is the land value tax (LVT)? LVT reduces the tax rate on all buildings, and is implemented in a revenue neutral manner by increasing the tax rate instead on land values.
LVT has two effects: it lessens the impact of ever-increasing taxes on neighborhoods. It makes the holding of vacant or blighted land harder for speculators. LVT would remove much of the problems with current unfair assessments, and can help transition to the new assessments.
Much of New York's state tax system also serves as a disincentive for growth. Yet, towns and cities can benefit from a restructuring of their property tax in a revenue neutral manner, yet in a way that rewards those who "do" for the city. CSE provided a convincing study of LVT in 1996. The city passed on the project, assuming times would get better. Sixteen years later, it seems that much still needs to be done.
An overview of this program which is been used to great success in older towns in Pennsylvania will be presented on Monday, March 12 at the Oakwood Community Center, 313 Tenth Street, Troy, NY 12180 starting at 7 PM.
For more info: http://rcpc.swapspace.com/2012-03-12-vincent/flyer.html
The cost of blight is too large to ignore, and the old standbys are not working (Here's a Troy-specific piece) or the funding is gone for good. Give us a listen next Monday!