Incentive Taxation
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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

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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

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Incentive Taxation

Current News Item

Transportation Leaders want more transit, wonder how to pay for it.















Expending Wealth to Create Wealth: But for Who?

The National Research Council (US) is the parent of the Transportation Research Board, a consortium of state transportation departments, academia and the private sector in the US Department of Transportation www.TRB.org. 

"Using the Economic Value Created by Transportation to Fund Transportation"released this year is the synthesis and analysis of various methods of returning the value created by public investment in transportation to the project, its maintenance or at least reducing the tax load on ratepayers.

Homeownership: Dangling a Contrarian View From a Land Value Tax Perspective

The American Dream: Levittown 1948

UrbanTools (as the outreach arm of the Center for the Study of Economics) has successfully helped communities discover that land value taxation is a fair and equitable way to reduce the tax burden on the poor, the middle class and productive citizens.  

By deploying local LVT, we demonstrate in policy the fact that there is an alternative to tax systems that keep people down in force communities to struggle to pay for the basic bills to keep our local societies going.

Pittsburgh: Land Bank proposal needs an endgame

Aproposed land bankin the city of Pittsburgh has been introduced by councilpersonDeb 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.

But It's so Expensive: Commuter Rail Grinds to a Halt in Deep Pockets Connecticut

It's déjà vu all over again for theMetro-North Railroad.  Right now, about 125,000 users of the rail commuter line going through some of the wealthiest towns in the United States ispretty much shut down.  The Metropolitan Transit Authority managed to scrounge up some diesel trains that will run into New York City from Connecticut, but the number cannot meet the demand.

Is the disintegration of this essential transit system something that came out of nowhere like a plague of locusts?

Land Value Tax in Britain: Progress While the Rear Guard Digs In

Time for a Sea Change: UK Business Secretary Vince Cable

The drumbeats for land value  tax are louder in the United Kingdom, and coming from all corners of the nation. As UrbanTools hasreportedon severaloccasionsover the pastyear, land value tax is being mooted by a veritable rainbow of the political and economic spectrum.

The latest very good news is that Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary in the coalition governmenthas clearly come out for a serious policy debateabout the introduction of a national land value tax.

New York Mayoral Race: Can Bill de Blasio Capitalize on a fresh approach to generating revenue from blighted and vacant land?

Bill De Blasio: in the Ascendant

Tomorrow Tuesday, June 10, 2013, the Democratic voters of New York City will choose their candidate for the fall mayoral election.  The early betting fell on Christine Quinn who is currently New York City Council President.  She had done the traditional sewing up of many unions, social constituencies, Wall Street, Mayor Bloomberg (with whom she engineered a Disposal of voter imposed term limits), and the Real Estate Board.  

Also running is Bill Thompson, a respected former Comptroller of the city, John Liu the current Comptroller, and of course the explosive Anthony Weiner.

Urban Tools director casts eye to transit funding in Pittsburgh


Dr.Herbert Barry III, serves the community in many ways, not least of which is his position as a senior director of our parent organization, theCenter for the Study of Economics.  





Dr. Barry recently published abrief essayin the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" in support of collecting economic rent in an efficient and just way:

Maximize Value
 
   Articles by Jon Schmitz in the Post-Gazette on June 20 and 21 described a bus rapid transit line in Cleveland. The stories suggest that building a similar line between Downtown and the Hill District and Uptown would generate extra tax revenues for Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and the School District.

University of Connecticut chooses downtown Hartford, may boost what once was blight.

The Hartford Couranttoday editorializesin support of the University of Connecticut establishing new headquarters in downtown. The former Hartford Times office, still gleams through the grime and decades of neglect.













The Times of Hartford: Then and Now

Is this good news? Nearly unquestionably.  Existing businesses will see more foot traffic and more dollars spent in their stores. The residential sector will undoubtedly get a boost, as workers, faculty and students populate the southern end of a fairly empty downtown.

A Surprise From Rhode Island: Daring to Change Taxes to Help Everybody

HOPE

Rhode Island is a small place of many charms. Its history is stirring, its connection to the oceans enriching, and the culture is a wonderful mix of Portuguese, French Canadian, Asian, and other cultures – and cuisines – that make Little Rhody a delight to visit.
Living and working there is not so easy though.  Population isin long-term declineand business is contracting.  The ironically named“Superman Building” has lost its last tenantand the crown jewel of Providence’s skyline will be a looming reminder everyday that something has to be done, but what?

Support in Connecticut for Land Value Taxation

By Johanna Somers Day Staff, Publication: The Day
Published 05/09/2013 12:00 AM
 
But Finizio, who took office in 2011, said that if New London were chosen to participate this time, he would focus on the downtown area and exempt waterfront properties and large lots.
"I support it because I believe it will remove one of the largest disincentives to revitalization in downtown New London," Finizio said Tuesday.
 
The LVT proposal is one idea that working group chairman, state Rep. Jeffrey Berger, D-Waterbury, said he would like to see passed this session.

Taking it to the People: Land Value Tax vote set for May 7th in Lanesborough, Massachusetts


One of the best traditions still in existence from the earliest days of the American experiment are the true exercises in democracy known astown meetings.  














The road to Massachusetts land value tax may run through Lanesborough.

As Henry David Thoreauwrote:

"I am more and more convinced that, with reference to any public question, it is more important to know what the country thinks of it than what the city thinks. The city does not think much.

LVT moving through CT?

Our team was on the move this week throughout the State of CT. The Municipal Tax Authority Working Group Meeting of April 2, 2013 provides a glimpse of the work CSE is involved in at this time Video of the meeting

The Economist returns to Its roots (most often found in land)















Glasgow: time to stop the private warehousing of land

In 1843, a newspaper named"The Economist"came into being with amission that promisedto discuss and promote ideas of fair trade, liberal economics, free markets and issues of taxation and rent. 

Astoundingly, the Economist stuck to its mission, more or less, although one may - and one does - quibble with its flirtations withflailing neo-classical economics, coupled with some infatuation with permanent Keynesianism.

Land Value Tax: The 2013 Rates are in!



















Three Cheers for Pennsylvania Land Value Tax Cities


Because UrbanTools is in Pennsylvania, it should be no surprise that land value tax is most prevalent in the Keystone state. We work all over the country in the world, but Pennsylvania is still "home."  We've been proud to work with these communities, and are grateful that the outcomes have had positive effects and have helped people through hard economic times.

Philadelphia's New Real Estate Values: Land Value Tax to Cure AVI Blues?





















No More either/Or: What's Philadelphia worth?


For years Philadelphia Pennsylvania has been an outlier among American cities (and internationally) for its menu ofstrange taxes on business andonerous levieson residents that have savage effects upon the local economy.  For years, people who think about tax issues have proposed over and over again reducing reliance on these corrosive and self-destructive levies, that have driven jobs and capital out of the city squeezing the traditional middle class in particular.

The Oregon Trail...To land value taxation
















The expansion of land value tax from its bases in Pennsylvania cities and jurisdictions all over Australia and New Zealand, may have just taken a strong step forward in the state of Oregon, where LVT advocates have been studying the legalities and thepractical administrative steps to implementationof the past decade.  

The Salem Statesman Journal published acomprehensive policy pieceby Kris Nelson ofCommon Ground OR/WAandTom Girhing . The op-ed provides solid theoretical underpinnings and empirical reality to make the case that Oregon cities, and indeed the whole Northwest have to join their Red State brethren and find ways to reduce traditional property taxes on labor and investment as well as pull back on taxation of wages.

2013 legislative update: Land Value Tax Legislation Introduced in Connecticut

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 municipalitiesflexibilityin how and what they tax, as wellas specific language permitting a municipality to enact land value tax.  The sponsors are led by the New Haven Connecticut legislative delegation.

News Flash: High taxes on valuable land puts land back into use in Montreal

Montréal's tax on parking lots: cause-and-effect

Montréal: land of the lots no more?



One thing city governments ( and most people) can't stand but feel helpless to remedy is the ubiquitous and metastasizing presence of surface parking lots on the most valuable land in town: center city (or Centre Ville in this case).  

Almost the definition of parasitism, think of the parking lot business model as a twisted Seven Pillars of Wisdom. 

1. Buy an old business building downtown.

The Philly Assessments Cometh, Part One

 
2013 heralds something considered cataclysmic in Philadelphia but is routine in the rest of the world: a new assessment for property tax purposes.  From Podunk to Portland (Oregon or Maine), assessment officers and departments apply land and building values to each property, the community figures out how much revenue it needs and divides it by those values.  Voilà, you get a property tax rate, and then send out a bill. 

A  very little history 

Nothing is ever quite that simple in the city that UrbanTools loves.

You're so respectable: two stories about terrible land use in Philadelphia


Story One - Take a Peep at This

Our perceptive friends atKeystone Politics, haveposted an observationabout the latest embarrassment on the Philadelphia land-use front.  Long story short, for years a patch of Market Street has been infested (literally and figuratively) by some low-rise, low-rent, low class buildings housing one of the few porno "palaces" left in Philadelphia.  The anchor of the Keystone post isan article in the Philadelphia Inquirer by the redoubtable