An Idea Worth Implementing
Ask nearly any economist. Discover what left and right can
agree on. It’s the political and economic philosophy that reconciles and validates
the needs of both community and the individual. What do you have?
Land Value Tax
Land Value Tax; also called site value rating, the single
tax, economic rent, incentive taxation, the Smart tax, well you get the point.
It’s a Great Idea,
One of the most important questions that the Center for the Study
of Economics – a.k.
Council President Skariah Mayor Kramer
Millbourne Pennsylvania, is one of oursmaller but gutsier LVT towns.
It is strategically placed just outside Philadelphia city limits in Delaware County PA, along a vital road and commuter rail corridor. This article sets up a podcast (below) describing the town's struggles of being in the grips of one large vacant lot, an intransigent owner, and its hopes for the future.
It Used to be a Hilton
Hartford Connecticut while perhaps not the wealthiest
city in the US during the Gilded Age
, came close to the ideal of the
American City and the American Dream: a city where wealth was created, work was
plentiful, public amenities dotted the city landscape and optimism never ran
Now, in the year 2016, the Hartford paradox – one of thenation’s
surrounded by the nation’s wealthiest state – is flirting
. It limits the city’s ability to act independently to revive
We are happy to present a new integrated diary/blog brought
to you by the Center for the Study of Economics, using our street name
“UrbanTools.” That’s where we spend most
of our time: traveling, meeting with communities, doing outreach, performing
research and overall presenting an alternative way of looking at political
economy in the real world.
The best place to start? Most likely CSE’s annual meeting of
the Board of Directors[i]
on November 19, 2015. With attendees in person at our physical HQ at the
friends service Center at 1501 Cherry St.
UrbanTools is pleased to see that the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) is recommending exploration of land value taxationfor
distressed and struggling communities
, the number of which are increasing
exponentially even after the supposed end of the Great Recession.
Downtown Frederick Maryland: No More Lights Out?
has been around 30 years, covering that beautiful old city in Maryland and the surrounding countryside. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the travel tips, restaurant coverage, and its beautiful visual explorations to visit, live, and work.
The magazine also covers the not so pleasant realities that any city of any size must deal with. People may be surprised that such a lovely city near the center of national wealth in Washington DC also suffers from commercial and residential blight.
Altoona's Future Includes a land value based policy.
The September 24, 2014 edition of the Financial Times features an article on a subject not often covered by the mainstream media: land value taxation. Interest in LVT has been highlighted in the past several years in the UK by such respected columnists as Martin Wolf.
The article concentrates on one of the cities that implements a version of land value taxation:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 implementation
of the past decade.
The Salem Statesman Journal published acomprehensive policy piece
by Kris Nelson ofCommon Ground OR/WA
. 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.
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."
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.
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