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Property Taxation and the Frequency of Urban Renewal

History has imposed a curious double standard on deliberations of tax alternatives. Most taxes are adopted because they raise revenue. Land taxes are rejected because they are no panacea. If they simply raise revenue without doing much damage they are a great improvement over what we have now. If they offer additional benefits, so much the better, but let us not . . . → Read More: Property Taxation and the Frequency of Urban Renewal

A Tax Tool for Meeting Urban Fiscal Crisis

MOST OF OUR CENTRAL CITIES, as is now well known, are threatened by a vicious circle which is related to property taxation.
As buildings become older, they tend to become fiscal deficits requiring more in cost than they return in taxes. As the central cities age, the buildings become old and fiscal-deficit generators. This requires the central city to increase its . . . → Read More: A Tax Tool for Meeting Urban Fiscal Crisis

Policies and Practices Affecting Urban Land Costs as an Element of Housing Costs

Land is a major cost element of urban housing. Site values of improved urban lots are about 20 percent of the total value of new single unit dwellings. However, this ratio varies significantly between neighborhoods and regional areas in the United States. For example, for the third quarter, 1967, FHA data for proposed one-family homes to be financed under Section . . . → Read More: Policies and Practices Affecting Urban Land Costs as an Element of Housing Costs

Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

The higher tax rate in cities drives investors elsewhere, both home builders and industry, because whoever puts un a new building under this state of affairs tends to become a fiscal surplus generator, and no one really wants to be that: it means you pay more in taxes than you get back in services.
Since there are many competing jurisdictions, . . . → Read More: Mason Gaffney’s Testimony to the President’s Commission on Urban Problems

Containment Policies for Urban Sprawl

Why should we want to contain cities? Some agriculturalists regard the answer as too obvious to require demonstration: cities are dangerously seductive, sterile and wicked, and, like the Soviets, belong behind a Curzon Line and cordon sanitaire. The Soil Conservation Service entertains the Malthusians with endless excursions and alarums over dangerous inroads on our best cropland, and agricultural extension men rarely gather . . . → Read More: Containment Policies for Urban Sprawl

Urban Expansion – Will it Ever Stop?

This essay raises thought-provoking questions, contains many challenging details, and steps on some toes. It will arouse disagreement and maybe controversy. Everyone will do well to attend closely to the compelling problems it discusses of harnessing urban land—a resource that “holds economic forces of titanic power for welfare or destruction.”

“Urban Expansion — Will it Ever Stop?” Land, The 1958 Yearbook of . . . → Read More: Urban Expansion – Will it Ever Stop?