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Property tax caps for user fees; what could be better? Almost anything
Land Value Taxation in Connecticut: UrbanTools' televised interview
The property tax needs respect but repair
To Piketty or not to Piketty? Michael Kinsley and the Echoes of Henry George
Cui Bono? This time in Australia.

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
Dr. Herbert Barry's Proposal to Really Reassess Allegheny County
How to mend the Property Tax

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Incentive Taxation

Property tax caps for user fees; what could be better? Almost anything

Tax Caps and User Fees: Caution Needed

Six Houses all in a row, assessed at the same value of $100,000 at a tax rate of 1%. Taxes still rise, while local government seeks alternative funds in flat fees for services, such as trash pick up.










Regressivity is a more common outcome of user charges than is commonly acknowledged. That ought to change. City services based on value (i.e. a user charge on publicly created land values) can be made more progressive than resorting to invisible charges or flat fees.

Land Value Taxation in Connecticut: UrbanTools' televised interview

Connecticut's Financially Stressed Cities: let's talk about LVT

We believe that a useful way to embrace of further understanding of land value taxation Is to have a conversation. On June 17, 2014, the director of the Center for the Study of Economics Joshua Vincent sat down withRonna Stuller, A long time member of the new London Connecticut Board of Education and activist within the Green Party, Ronna Stands for healthy communities,a fair economy, and more opportunities for citizens In all sectors of society.

The property tax needs respect but repair

The implosion of revenues for local and state governments over the past seven years, and a stalled, weak recovery leaves public discussion on funding the public/civic sector in the tired old debate between tax-and-spend and cut and slash. In weak regional economies and in times of recession, the first tax revenue to slide are income taxes, then sales taxes, then business taxes, and lastly property taxes. Property taxes are built upon a far more stable base than other forms of tax, and they are now understood to be generally progressive in impact.

To Piketty or not to Piketty? Michael Kinsley and the Echoes of Henry George
















Kinsley, Piketty and Henry

Michael Kinsleyhas had a long and distinguished career writing about politics and sometimes economics from the left-center perspective. UrbanTools has noticed that for decades he often prefaces an essay or column with " my favorite economist, the 19th-century AmericanHenry George, and his best-selling book, Progress and Poverty (1879)." Well, we like Henry George too, so it's always nice to see how Kinsley uses Henry George situationally.

Cui Bono? This time in Australia.







The Australian Capital Territory is rapidly becoming the state government most willing to experiment with forms of taxation that serve the interests of both the public, fair play, and economic logic. Generally, it is trying to move away from taxes that burden workers and business and crater the economy to a more classical approach of its self funding cycle of revenue.

Case in point:the ACT has committed to avery ambitious light rail program, expected to boost the regional economy dramatically in the coming decades.

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.

Are your municipal leaders falling behind?

LAND VALUE TAX PILOT PROGRAM - Where is the movement in CT?

By law, municipalities must tax land and any improvements made to the land (e.g., buildings) at the same rate.The act, which went into effect October 2013 increased the  maximum number of municipalities that, under an OPM pilot program, may develop a plan for taxing land at a higher rate than buildings (i.e., land value tax) from one to three.
The newcriteriafor municipal participation does not restrict the pilot program

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?