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Changes in Land Policy: How Fundamental are They?

The last 25 years have witnessed a fundamental change in state and local land policy, reflecting a revolutionary change in attitudes towards immigration and growth. Local governments used to compete to attract people, now it seems to exclude them In the battle of boosters versus knockers, the knockers have won going away.
We have had low density policies with us always, but in . . . → Read More: Changes in Land Policy: How Fundamental are They?

The Many Faces of Site-Value Taxation

There is a great interest stirring currently in Canada and elsewhere in tapping for the public revenues more of the economic rent of natural resources and/or the unearned increment of land values. “Economic rent”, not long ago a strange alien wording, has become common currency in Canadian discussion. Ontario has enacted a tax on increments of land value when realized by . . . → Read More: The Many Faces of Site-Value Taxation

The Water Giveaway: A Critique of Federal Water Policy

The many wasteful policies and procedures in federal water resources programs have been much analyzed by economists and other scholars. Agency benefit-cost practices have been found wanting. Benefit estimates have been biased upward and cost estimates downward. Environmental effects of projects, often adverse, are not weighted enough. I generally endorse the thrust of these criticisms and will not repeat them . . . → Read More: The Water Giveaway: A Critique of Federal Water Policy

Tax Reform to Release Land

Taxes on land and buildings are important influences on land use, and are within the control of government. Real estate taxes are a major source of revenue to local governments (LGs) in the United States, as well as being a major cost of owning property. Currently under legal attack in the United States is the local real estate tax as . . . → Read More: Tax Reform to Release Land

Taxation and the Functions of Urban Land Rent

MANY, IF NOT ALL economists now agree that the fisc may tax away rent without impairing any economic function. It is only necessary that the tax be independent of landowner behavior.
What is less widely understood is that not taxing rent obstructs its proper functioning. Untaxed landowners through the centuries have manifested a propensity for passive withdrawal that is simply too . . . → Read More: Taxation and the Functions of Urban Land Rent

The Property Tax is a Progressive Tax

“The regressive property tax” has become a common block phrase among economists and in the popular press. President Nixon’s support for revenue-sharing is increasingly based on the need to protect the poor from heavy property taxes. Some prominent tax economists are favoring even sales taxes to make the tax system more progressive, by lowering the property tax.’ Even local income taxes, . . . → Read More: The Property Tax is a Progressive Tax

Adequacy of Land as a Tax Base

More economists than not believe that land rent has superior qualities as a tax base. Their failure to push harder for focusing more of the tax burden on land stems partly from a belief that “there is no money in it.” The following journalistic passage reflects this belief: “Authorization of the graded tax would be useless, however, unless the present freeze . . . → Read More: Adequacy of Land as a Tax Base

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

Welfare Economics and Environmental Quality

Important as the physical environment is, the intellectual, social and psychological are more so. The greater gain of improving the physical world is improving the man who does it, the greater gain of achieving harmony of man and nature is achieving, through nature, harmony of man and man. In this case, the means may indeed be the end.

In Henry Jarrett (ed.), . . . → Read More: Welfare Economics and Environmental Quality