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

Economic Policy

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.

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

Neighborhoods and Community: How tax policy can be the glue.

Three Cheers for Clairton
UrbanTools' parent, the Center for the Study of Economics is happy to make the theoretical, as well as the empirical case that land value tax helps communities directly to rebound and recohere.
 
In the  American Journal of Economics and Sociology (Volume 71, Issue 4, October 2012)  CSE's Executive Director,Joshua Vincent, demonstrates how, through the adoption of a land-value-taxation in Clairton, Pennsylvania, neighborhood revitalization was realized.

Namibia's land value tax: a powerful voice speaks out and says "more."

In the US, the 2012 election season has made us here in the states even a bit more isolated from the ideas and events that shape our neighbors across borders. With our quadrennial angst ending soon, it's time to check out what our brothers and sisters are doing.
 
UrbanTools has been reporting on the evolution of land value taxation in Namibia sinceindependence in 1990.
 
Alexactus Kaure:
the conscience of Namibia's land value tax
 
 
As we wrotelast July:
In Namibia today, land value taxation is specifically used to accomplish two things:

New Jersey's Night: Rebuilding the community by opening the Community Chest



















Darkness in Moonachie, NJ

As this piece is being written, millions of citizens in the Northeast are without power, 
gasoline, water or even food.  The nightmare that was Hurricane Sandy has blown apart communities and broken hearts. 

The first order of business is of course tooffer reliefandcomfortfor our fellow citizens and neighbors. The second step is to rebuild people's homes and lives as much as possible. New Jersey can serve as an example of how markets can be used to strengthen the recovery effort, and not just for a lucky few.

Rising home prices: who on earth thinks that's good news?


Pop it now!

Moseying through the tinny yet strident “news” from the real estate markets that housing is on the rebound.  To the real estate industry and theirflacks in the press, we're meant to believe any increasing equity will redound to the benefit of homeowners.  Not quite.  

Remember where it all started: the unholy triangle between activist government (everybody gets a house with NO money down) crooked to lazy lenders, and banks who wanted a piece of the action (even though they had no clue

How to waste money in an age of none: Edifice Complexes














Once Convention, Two Convention, Three Convention, Floor
Albuquerque, Lancaster, Charlotte

When it comes to urban redevelopment issues, nothing sticks like a truism that is no longer true.  Government as real estate tycoon comes to mind.

Since the late 1960s, any city worth its salt and a modicum of other people's money (yes, yours), knows that they are simply one project away from turning the supertanker around and avoiding the rocks.

It used to be government buildings: they would "turn around" the city of Albany New York, and also to satisfy Nelson Rockefeller's

The Planning Paradox: Eds and Meds, Municipal Revenues and Power






















Spreading Like Kudzu


Historic reality: in 1950, Cleveland Ohio had a population ofnearly 1,000,000.  It had a tax base that was compact and served all sectors of the city well.  Great fortunes were made, along with the success of the working and middle classes. From the 1900s to the 1950s,great civic amenitiesbecame possible with this wealth.  John Rockefeller was only the largest source of foundations and gifts that made Cleveland not only a gritty industrial hub, but a place where one could become a more educated, cultured and involved citizen.

Land Value Tax: UK Rules OK

The drum beat gets louder for serious and sustained debate on all sides of the political spectrum - and all areas - of the UK for land value tax.  From those of us in the US, the pace is dizzying, and is in stark and disgraceful contrast to the fear of all political sides to grasp the nettle, and fix the long retraction that affects all parts of the nation.

This week, the Guardian, a reliably left-of-center newspaper of record has yet another articleengaging LVT,  (Coincidentally, the Economics correspondent of the Guardian

Regional tax base sharing and the subject of wealth disparity in Berkshire County Massachusetts

Remember tax base sharing?













South Berkshires                                                 North Berkshires

Popularized byMyron Orfieldand others in the late 1990s, regionaltax base sharing(TBS) is one of those ideas that seem logical, fair, and efficient on the surface.  The idea is pretty simple: take an area likeBaltimore city and its surrounding suburbsand equalize the tax burden by allocating property tax revenues across municipal and county boundaries.

Monroe County New York: Tax breaks for me but not for thee

The Flatiron Building: Revitalized by investment, not abatement.

The city of Rochester New York and the County of Monroe have been facing challenges in keeping both commerce and population over past two decades. Nothing is really stopped capital and human flight. it's great essence,the Kodak Corporation, has been reduced to demolishing its buildings to save on taxes and ensuring cash flow byselling off its patents.

Like most troubled regions, tools for renewal follow fairly standard script: put together a redevelopment authority, receive land from corporations (who get a tax break), and offer

Land Value Tax on the Radio: How to turn Scranton around





An item that has been making Front Page news lately has been the mess into which Scranton, PA  has sunk.  Wecommented, and got lots of response.  The nicest was fromDavid Madeira, a talk show host for 94.3 FM.  He asked UT director Joshua Vincent to come on and make sense of the fiscal and economic history behind Scranton's woes and our proposal to let Scranton return to fiscal sanity by  using a tool it already, but barely uses: the land value tax.

One More Voice for a Philadelphia Land Value Tax



















Strawberry Mansions Forever?

Since the early 1990s, the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors  has endorsed and advocated for land value tax in Philadelphia to both boost capital and property markets. After all, brokers make their earnings on a living - not a moribund - market.

Therefore, it's helpful to know that in the face of an oncoming reassessment in Philadelphia calledAVI (Actual Value Initiative),Realtors are again looking to land value tax as a way forward.