Harrisburg comeback: it never went away
Center for the Study of Economics - Company Message
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


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

Categories

Act 47
Affordable Housing
Africa
Agricultural Policy
Allegheny County
ALTER
Altoona
Assessment
Australia
Australian Capital Territory
Baltimore
Berkshire
California
Canberra
Clairton
Connecticut
Connecticut General Assembly
Current News Item
de Blasio
Economic Development
Economic Policy
Economic Rent
Economist
Ed Vargas
Education
EPA
Federal Tax Policy
Fiscal Policy and Taxes
Frederick
Free Markets
Gentrification
George Osborne
Global Taxation
Harrisburg
Hartford
Healthy Communities
Housing
Housing Policy
Hurricane Sandy
India
Ireland
Jamaica
Jeffrey Berger
Jimmy Tayoun
Justin Skariah
Kenyatta Johnson
Lancaster
Land Policy
Land Value Tax
Lanesborough
Larry Deutsch
Law and the Constitution
Legislation
Len Fasano
Liberal Democrats
Local Government
Los Angeles
Maria Quinones-Sanchez
Martin Looney
Maryland
Massachusetts
Matt Ritter
Matthew Ritter
Mayor Rick Gray
Michael Kinsley
Michigan
Millbourne
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 Health
Public Opinion
Public Resources
Public Works
Regional Tax Base Sharing
Regionalism
Regressive
Rhode Island
Rochester
Roland Lemar
Sales Taxes
Scranton
Senator Jan Malik
Sin Taxes
Smart Growth
Soda Tax
Taiwan
Tax Exemption and Abatment
Thomas Piketty
Titusville
Tom Kramer
Transportation Funding
Transportation Policy
Uncategorized
United Kingdom
Urban Blight
Urban Rejuvenation
Urban Tax Policy
Vince Cable
Wage and Income Taxes
Wales
Wealth
Wilson Goode Jr.
powered by

Incentive Taxation

Harrisburg comeback: it never went away



































Try to pay the bills when half the house doesn't contribute.


UrbanTools Highlights Harrisburg's Resilience During Unprecedented Fiscal Challenge

Last week, the parent organization of UrbanTools – the Center for the Study of Economics (CSE) – assisted the Council of Georgist Organizations to illustrate the real-life positive impact that land value taxation can have even on the most distressed of urban areas.


CSE Director Josh Vincent guides tour of Harrisburg's mix of public and private places. (City Island) photo credit: Scott Baker

The opening of the week-long conference was opened by current Mayor Linda Thompson,  addressed by Pennsylvania  Auditor-General Jack Wagner (former Pittsburgh City Council President and LVT advocate)and closed by former Mayor Steve Reed. Harrisburg has been a good example of the effect land value tax can have upon the city since 1975.  The city has continually tried to provide "value added" public assets such as parks, tech schools and colleges, housing and health centers to battle urban problems by creating value - land value - and letting the market pay for the investment in buildings.


Expanded over the years, Harrisburg permitted LVT to raise revenue from non-mobile sources in preference of a tax on land values which now exceeds a ratio of 6 to 1. Recently, Harrisburg has made news like many cities, due to skyrocketing expenses and unchanging revenues.  Harrisburg has entered the realm of distressed city status called Act 47 in the state of Pennsylvania, which hands financial supervision of the city to a state appointed receiver.

Harrisburg's Act 47 plan – written by an out-of-state consultant – put Harrisburg taxpayers on the hook for a multitier pile of financial responsibility leading from the city and Dauphin County all the way to the governor's desk.  All of this in a city where the county and city governments take up nearly half the assessed value of property and are thus exempted from contributing to the city’s coffers. 

Luckily, city leaders, CSE and citizens from the neighborhoods made a strong case to preserve LVT and otherwise modify the hit that the city would've taken. 

The relatively poor (and Democratic) city has become a plaything of both Wall Street bond traders and a Republican-ish governor and assembly who seem more motivated in scoring points from a city in trouble, rather than arriving at the plan that satisfies all parties.  This is no time for parties, but action.

Harrisburg's troubles stem from a common problem in many states, but a particularly acute one in Pennsylvania.  For 200 years, urban areas where the lifeline for rural areas and townships; once the postindustrial era wreaked havoc in the 1970s, suburban and rural interests consciously chose to throw their former benefactors over the side.  Yet, the ship is still sinking.  

Reconciliation and cooperation ought to be the order of the day, yet that appears to be bad politics in the ironically named "Commonwealth." UrbanTools is confident that any city, old or new can take advantage of the economic rents that exist beneath all the infrastructures, individuals and social structures that thrive above them.  Like the new cities conceptualized by Paul Romer, Harrisburg and other communities can dig themselves out of a hole by searching for the revenue sitting unused under their feet.

4 Comments to Harrisburg comeback: it never went away:

Comments RSS
www.scoop.it on Monday, August 06, 2012 2:38 PM
Reply to comment


day trading techniques on Monday, October 01, 2012 4:18 AM
It is exactly true that Harrisburg's troubles stem from a general fact in so many states. By the way thanks for this brilliant analysis. Keep it up.
Reply to comment


Smith Poul on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 2:14 PM
Outstanding post! The information you have provided is outstanding. I was searching such type of content since long but finally today my search is over and all thanks to you. Your blog is not only educational but constructive too. Once again appreciation.
Reply to comment


fha loan utah on Thursday, January 10, 2013 3:20 AM
The science which traces the laws of such of the phenomena of society as arise from the combined operations of mankind for the production of wealth, in so far as those phenomena are not modified by the pursuit of any other object. Thanks.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment