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 called AVI (Actual Value Initiative), Realtors are again looking to land value tax as a way forward.
The process of reassessment will be scary for several reasons, including scary stories about what could happen, a scary lack of real information, a scary lack of agreement in government on what to do. That's scary to citizens, and may blind the city to the universal recognition that a city that depends on high and flat wage, sales, and business taxes is a city doomed to leak wealth, jobs and talent and never regain its fiscal footing.
A city funded by a property tax instead of those other losers is likely to be prosperous for all, without the gifting of privilege and rent-seeking that mar so many cities that have huge advantages of location and infrastructure (see Chicago and its TIFs). Philadelphia needs to lower all of its taxes on labor and capital, including the tax on buildings. Thant means land value tax, and responsible protections like deferral for income-poor residents.