In living memory, Connecticut was the Gold Standard for how
a state could be run for all the people from poor to middle class to wealthy. Starting in 1991 with the advent of state
income tax, and increased business taxation, Connecticut started a barely
noticeable decline that hasaccelerated dramatically
in recent years.
With the 2015 Legislative Session open, Connecticut faces a structural fiscal deficit of nearly $175 million, under-performing tax receipts, crumbling infrastructure, and declining aid to municipalities.
The remedy is just as Henry George prescribed. CSE has been on the ground working to supply the research and analysis to motivate Legislative action.
Q. What happens when a city taxes buildings more at the beginning of the greatest building boom in American history?
A. Not much.
One of the best examples of the efficacy of land value tax (LVT) was careful study of the city of Pittsburgh culminating in theOates/Schwab study of Pittsburgh published in 1997
which concluded all things being equal land value tax policy had the effect of unleashing construction demand – especially downtown construction –just as the steel industry collapsed, and just as the US entered a significant recessionary period (late 1970s and early 1980s)
Aproposed land bank
in 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.
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.
The Hartford Couranttoday editorializes
in 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.
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.
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 levies
on 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.
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
Story One - Take a Peep at This
Our perceptive friends atKeystone Politics
, haveposted an observation
about 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
Council member Keith Bromley marked the difficulty of the achievement by highlighting the trouble so many other cities run into trying to pass a balanced budget, saying,"You look at other communities. They haven't been able to do this. It's a significant thing for us." December 2012
Since 1991, the city of Titusville Pennsylvania, the city of the third class in the northwest corner of the state has used land value tax as its primary source of municipal revenue. So far, through two recessions and a general innervation of the Northeast states, Titusville has achieved what some might think is boring, but any municipal government would love: stable revenues with no need for tax increases.
What properties are most often exempt? Generally property owned by charitable organizations (Code section 501(c)(3)), Public charities, Private foundations, Social welfare organizations (section 501(c)(4)), Agricultural/horticultural organizations (section 501(c)(5)), Labororganizations (section 501(c)(5)) and Business leagues (trade associations
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
for 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.
Spreading Like Kudzu
Historic reality: in 1950, Cleveland Ohio had a population
. 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
became 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.