Pittsburgh: Land Bank proposal needs an endgame
Center for the Study of Economics - Company Message
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

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
Part 2 - Land Value Taxation: Politics, Persuasion, and Practicality - A How-To
Podcast Features Millbourne, PA, LVT aids town in fiscal rebirth

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
Africa
Agricultural Policy
Allegheny County
ALTER
Altoona
Australia
Australian Capital Territory
Baltimore
Berkshire
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
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

Pittsburgh: Land Bank proposal needs an endgame

A proposed land bank in the city of Pittsburgh has been introduced by councilperson Deb 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. The plan as proposed is solid; positive outcomes depend on another reform.

Currently, there are many distortions on the smooth disposal of land. Preeminently, but most fixable, is the fact that once land is back on the tax rolls and someone builds on it, the tax liability of a structure increases as a better building is constructed. That's a problem.

A Good Idea to the Rescue



Dr. Herbert Barry III, is a longtime Pittsburgher and professor-emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh.  He is a long time committee-person in the Allegheny County Democratic Party, and has been a tireless researcher and policy advocate for land value taxation.



In response to the land bank announcement, Dr. Barry penned this suggestion to improve the process and make it more attractive for private entities to take hold of and then build upon the land. Writes Dr. Barry:

A land bank would improve property values January 24, 2014


An article by Moriah Balingit, “Bill Addresses Vacated Land” (Jan. 15), reported that Pittsburgh Councilwoman Deb Gross proposes the creation of a land bank. This is good news for all real estate owners. Sale and development of the vacated properties will increase the tax base, thereby lowering property taxes.

Most of the vacated lots are vacant or contain a dilapidated building. The benefit will be maximized if the tax on these and all other properties is applied more to the value of the land than of the building. A suitable starting point would be to exempt from taxation 20 percent of the assessed value of each building.

If construction and improvement of buildings is stimulated, the real estate values and tax revenues will rise. The percentage exemption could increase. The value of the neighborhood is increased by expensive buildings, not by plots of vacant or underdeveloped land.

HERBERT BARRY III


Assessment exemptions to improvements would accomplish two things: it would lower the cost of building and lessen the risk of a new owner holding onto land waiting for a speculative gain. Currently, if a vacant parcel are released onto the market a landowner could hold onto the vacant lot for years with little tax burden in order to realize a speculative gain.


0 Comments to Pittsburgh: Land Bank proposal needs an endgame:

Comments RSS

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