Connecticut's 2013 General Assembly meets for a six month session in January. Odd-numbered years generally concentrate on local laws and statutes for municipalities and relations with the state government in the so-called "long sessions."
This month, several bills have been introduced to permit municipalities flexibility in how and what they tax, as well as specific language permitting a municipality to enact land value tax. The sponsors are led by the New Haven Connecticut legislative delegation. We expect to interview them in the near future. UrbanTools is pleased to announce this broad follow-up to the 2009 law that permitted New London Connecticut to design and enact a land value tax program; with that effort currently on hold.
Meanwhile, many state leaders and municipal officials still believe that LVT can play an important role in a post-recessionary time that is seen tax increases at the state level and steady reduction in state aid to hard-pressed cities.
One vital tool as part of the program to make cities more self-sustaining and less dependent on the whims of the economy is the land value tax; as an expression of the Henry George Theorem, which asserts that land values in a city can actually pay for most or all city services (this term was first popularized by Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz in his "Theory of Local Public Goods").
Initial study by UrbanTools of several Connecticut cities (such as Norwalk), indicates land value tax would provide an environment conducive to private market investment, as well as significantly reduce the burden of taxation for citizens at all economic levels who build, invest, and produce. Evidence from other cities such as Hartford, New Haven, and New London indicate that the property tax would be converted to a progressive tax with adoption of land value taxation.
Check in often as the legislative session moves forward.