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Center for the Study of Economics

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economics, Public Finance, Taxation & Monetary Policy

Mission: The Center for the Study of Economics (CSE) is a 501c3 organization. Our mission is to assist local government in evaluating current local and urban tax policy. Our remit is to study and administer implementation of land value taxation (LVT) to determine which policy would work best in meeting local government’s economic development, budgetary and planning goals.

Results: The Center’s unique experience is in identifying appropriate sources of revenue of value capture either as a standalone project or as part of traditional government expenditure. Specifically, in 1996 the Center was commissioned by the Allentown home rule charter Commission to analyze existing values and apply them to a land value capture environment. The Center also identified other forms of tax that were barriers to investment of labor and capital in the city of Allentown Pennsylvania. Per its mission, the Center created parcel by parcel as well as aggregate analysis of the city to give the Commission (and subsequently the voters) accurate information pre-and post-implementation. In 1997, Center was asked to identify revenue effects of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s options for establishing a Business Improvement District (BID). Land value capture was selected as the funding option for the BID, tying in both an incentive and reward for built parcels, and an incentive for vacant and blighted parcels to pay substantially more into the mission of the district. In 2001, the city of Altoona Pennsylvania facing disinvestment and depopulation asked the center to identify, study and project the effect of a 10 year shift to a property tax system based upon capturing land values only. Implementation took place over the 10 year period, with the Center’s assistance in adjusting tax levies as needed by the city. In 2013 – 2015, the Center was charged by Connecticut’s M.O.R.E. Commission on municipal efficiencies, who identify, study, and publish the various scenarios of land value capture in Connecticut’s municipalities (parking studies, construction forecasts, revenue outcomes for cities, etc.) Throughout its active research and educational history, center has identified both legal and political obstacles to land value capture and taxation successfully. The Center provided research to both the Maryland Attorney General in 1995 and the Virginia Attorney General in 1999 to provide solid evidence that land value capture could be enacted constitutionally and legally. CSE has induced 20 cities, school districts and improvement districts to adopt LVT. The general outcomes have been: - reduction in tax burdens for homeowners, renters and productive business - growth of municipal tax bases as more investment and work returns to urban centers - changing urban property taxes into a model of progressivity - penalizing blight and land vacancy with added tax incidence, removing rewards for holding land our of use through private land baking

Target demographics: Revitalization by incentivizing markets to return and expand cities without the use of costly and unreliable subsidy and abatement programs.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 20 jurisdictions, and provided education, expert witness testimony and outreach in 12 states, and dozens of cities, as well as international partners in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Geographic areas served: Urban areas and cities suffering from blight, depopulation and disinvestment

Programs: Education, research, outreach and program implementation and administration assistance to local governments. We field numerous media queries to help the public better understand the need for bold new policies to provide a fair and just economy for all.

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is an underfunded, immensely important organization. It doesn't try to do everything; it zeroes in on helping cities reform their municipal tax policies to grow local economies, resist sprawl pressures and improve infrastructure. Over the years the CSE has developed expertise and learned how to relate to elected officials. CSE delivers what it promises!

Donor

Rating: 5

CSE has done many effective studies of impact on localities with the implementation of land value taxation. They have conducted many research studies for localities throughout the country. Here in Connecticut, where I live, CSE has raised the awareness of land value taxation as a viable option through several studies, testifying at legislative hearings and working with other groups. CSE worked extensively in New London and Hartford. They were a key player in getting legislation passed that enabled up to three cities to implement land value taxation.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CSE has been an effective organization promoting the implementation of a fair and just tax system for localities for many years. It offers a fact-based analysis to government officials and other policy makers. Here in Connecticut, where I live, is has been the key influence in getting legislation passed that allow cities and towns to implement a tax system geared to promoting development as well as justice for all our citizens. CSE deserves greater funding so it can apply its expertise to many more localities.

ejdodson

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics provides essential, science-based analysis of the role public finance plays on the social and economic health of communities. The civic leaders of every town and city would benefit by embracing the policy proposals CSE supports. CSE's research focuses on the central role tax policy plays in our property markets. During my nearly forty year career in the real estate and banking sector working to put together financial structures that addressed the need for decent, affordable housing and community revitalization, it became clear to me that the overtaxation of property improvements and the undertaxation of the value of land parcels was a central reason the problems existed in the first place.

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9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The director and his small team perform an extremely valuable public service. The Center has worked with civic and governmental leaders of cities, towns and boroughs all across the United States to identify the best means of raising public revenue consistent with sustainable economic growth. There is no other organization with which I am familiar that fully grasps the distinct impact of policies of taxation on the investment decisions of residents and property owners. Every community in the United States would benefit by adopting the recommendations put forward by the Center in its research papers and and case studies.

1 Rich N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

CSE has impressively led the expansion of the use of land value tax shifts in both Pennsylvania and Connecticut and have been an invaluable resource for similar efforts here in Minnesota. A very impactful organization.

1 Scott B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

The CSE has been instrumental in modeling the way for small towns to tax shift off of buildings and onto land, in a revenue-neutral way. Though they would like to, they don't have the influence to convince lawmakers to shift away from deadweight taxes on wages, sales, etc., though that - the Single Tax - is what their inspiration, Henry George, advocated for.
Even within this partial solution, however, CSE has been able to demonstrate significant improvements from their plan in economic activity, reduction of urban blight, development of idle vacant land, and general economic improvement.
The problem is, CSE is too small and under-staffed, and their reforms too muted, to show the kinds of major changes that would be overwhelmingly convincing, so it is a constant struggle to convince the next town, and the town after that. Also, big cities have too powerful lobbies in the R.E. and banking sector for CSE to achieve change.
Some have complained that the reforms are really just a giveaway to the developer industry, lowering the rent of property by untaxing buildings more than raising the tax on land commensurately. But this ignores the rise in price of land that results. This is offset by greater development and competition, which can wind up lowering the cost of housing. The overall result has been positive wherever CSE's plans have been implemented, but not overwhelmingly convincing.

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4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics is the major Georgist organization implementing the principles of the Single Tax on a city-by-city basis. With their recent victory in Altoona, PA, where they helped lead a 10 year taxshift off of buildings and onto land, the CSE has been largely responsible for helping that city, and several other Pennsylvania cities, increase both their building and their overall prosperity. The practical effects of untaxing building (improvements) and taxing land instead, include: reducing hoarding of valuable land, increasing opportunity, providing new housing for people at all levels, and dampening land speculation - which many economists lies at the root of the current economic crisis.
The CSE's past leader and emeritus, Dr. Steven Cord, has compiled 238 studies that show land value taxation works, and works always when properly applied.
CSE's new and dynamic leader, Josh Vincent, continues the important work of his predecessor, ticking off new victories one-by-one in the northeast, creating a more prosperous and just world, and proving these two goals are not incompatible if a proper economic paradigm is applied.
For those who understand the works of America's greatest economist, Henry George, you won't find a better implementer of these time-tested principles that the Center for the Study of Economics.
- Scott Baker, President of Common Ground-NYC

Review from Guidestar

3 sternyik

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CES helps to practice Land Value Taxation with applicable technical tools; it helps to develop the discipline of Geo-Economics or Earth Sharing with empirical contributions that complete the theoretical model of capturing economic rent from location fees of land-based resources. Consequently, CES does important work to realize the ultimate or least bad tax.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I regret that I cannot give this nonprofit a higher rating, but using local property tax laws to collect ground rents was only reluctantly chosen by Henry George and his lawyer Thomas Shearman after their preferred income-tax-based LVT was ruled unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan (1895).

The local property-tax-based LVT was actually George and Shearman's third choice, and they only considered it to be better than nothing. There's also a danger that a property-tax-based LVT will lead to land nationalization, which of course is not Georgist at all.

To my knowledge, New Hampshire is the only state that now levies income taxes exclusively on unearned income, while exempting wages from the tax base. This is more like what George and Shearman had in mind when they pitched their preferred method, the 1893 "Just and Practicable Income Tax," argued before the Subcommittee on Internal Revenue in Washington, D.C.

However, George died in 1897 and Shearman in 1900, long before the 16th Amendment (1913) would make their preferred 1893 method possible.

If the CSE is considering shifting away from the property-tax-based LVT to the income-tax-based one, and using assessors for that purpose (instead of infringing on property rights), please let me know so I can give a 5-star rating.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Joshua_Vincent 10/14/2016

It seems as if his person simply disagrees with our mission, which has been consistent since 1926.

2 Dan_93

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They don't offer charity so much as they show local and state governments how to find real economic solutions so they won't need charity - solutions that reduce taxes on homeowners, renters and the most productive businesses, without losing revenue.

There is an ideological basis for this that stems from classical liberalism and early progressivism, but their approach is overwhelmingly data-driven and pragmatic.

2 Andrew102

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

CSE does great work in research, education and providing assistance to community groups in urban economics, development economics, land & resource economics, revitalization programs & policies. Strongly recommended.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a long-time advocate of land value taxation, I rely on this organization to develop and analyze the data to show whether or no this approach will work in New York State localities. CSE has done analysis of several cities in this state and others.

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4

Board Member

Rating: 5

What is attractive about the Georgist economic paradigm is that it comports not only with all the textbook principles of sound economic theory, but it reflects as well a system of justice that is easily understood. The idea that we own what we make with our hands or minds and that which is given to us by nature is the birthright of all, and should be shared by all, restores to society a simple and clear system of justice. The Center for the Study of Economics is effective because it has the skill to use computers and available data to show how these ideas can be effectuated. Until the advent of computer power, such ideas needed to rely on rhetorical argument alone. And they were largely dormant for a century. This is now changing. And fast! I am proud to be a part of this movement.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known of this organization for many years and have found it leading in the effort to replace other punitive taxes with the benign tax on land values. For any government, large or small, from national to village, the land value tax (also known as site value tax or rating) or the variant two rate tax in Pennsylvania (LAND / BUILDINGS) leads landowners to put their land to use to with out penalizing them for doing so. It lets' land value fund government as the land value increase with out waiting for investment by developers. Then development is smooth and orderly and enhancing to the community, instead of boom and bust as speculators disrupt the market by creating shortages in available land and followed surpluses of development to pay for inflated land. The staff is available to advise and plan a transition in taxing.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The most effective of all altruism. They will use every penny well, to help save cities and the hope for a just society.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have long read CSE's newsletter, and donated as I was able (originally not much, back when I was an impecunious student; more now that I'm a fifty year old professional). The Center for the Study of Economics has been effective in conducting studies and publicizing the case for land value taxation, despite operating on a shoestring budget. I know about the budget, since I was treasurer for some years, and am now president. We have conducted studies and outreach in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, although our endowment is pocket change by the standards of major organizations.

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5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I heard of the Center for the Study of Economics and its sibling the Henry George Foundation of America when I was a teenager. I had read Henry George's "Progress and Poverty," and been persuaded; my father spotted an ad in "The New Republic" from CSE/HGFA. I've been in touch ever since. The CSE has been helpful in doing studies and making presentations, causing over a dozen towns in Pennsylvania to switch from a conventional property tax to a two-rate tax. In some cases, they also cut wage taxes. It isn't obvious to most people why this matters. Feeding the hungry is clearly good, but reforming taxes matters in the long run because it enables people to feed themselves. We should tax land, which is not produced by human effort, instead of buildings that people work to erect, and instead of the wages that they earn. The CSE educates people about this, and performs studies on the results when this kind of tax reform is at least partially implemented. The CSE is very cost effective; on a budget of about $100,000 per year, it has helped transfer millions of taxes off the backs of wage-earners, tenants, and homeowners onto landholders, who are on teh average richer.

Review from Guidestar

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is an effective organization with a hugely positive impact on the world.

6 Ted_9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics is the leader in the field of property tax improvement. They assisted me with considering alternatives to the standard property tax in both Bridgeport and Greenwich, Connecticut where I was the City Assessor. They have also assisting many jurisdictions in implementing raising greater revenue from land values. They have demonstrated enhancing the positive and socially desirable elements of the property tax.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics is the preeminent leader in the field of property tax modernization--assisting many jurisdictions in removing negative and economically harmful elements of the conventional property tax while enhancing the positive and socially desirable elements of the tax.

Walter Rybeck, former assistant director, National Commission on Urban Problems

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CSE is working with great expertise using up-to-date tools such as land value mapping, toward a less burdensome, less counterproductive tax system.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Center for the Study of Economics is competent, professional, efficient, clear - I cannot say enough good things! But most significantly, CSE is successfully working for progressive tax reform to build our local based economies, CSE is doing some of the most important work that needs doing to build a fair market economy, one that works for everyone.

8 Alan Feinberg

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a professional community planner who has worked in the field almost a half a century I can not think of a more effective tool than incentive taxation / LVT to create healthier, fairer, more fiscally secure communities.

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8

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a professional community planner I know of no other tool that can be as effective in creating equitable, sustainable communities. I am also an urban designer and architect, and although the physical structure and quality of design are essential to the health of a place, the basic fairness and integrity of the economy are the bedrock.
The Center for the Study of Economics has consistently done the emperical research and the advoccy to make the right things happen to reduce destructive speculation and encourage true community improvement, revitalization and vitalization. The word, the message and the evidence must be shared, and the Center is the one organization ready to do that!

Review from Guidestar

9 Tom_87

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am mayor and past council president of a borough in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Center For The Study Of Economics helped our borough GREATLY (and at no expense to us) over the past 6 years. They completed an initial study for us to evaluate the feasibility of Land Value Tax in our community. The results were that it seemed like a real no brainer for us. Then political control changed hands and we were not able to act immediately as I and several others had wished. However, as the political winds changed again last year we were able to begin implementation of land value tax in our borough and plan to further expand it this coming year. The folks at CSE did a wonderful, professional job with outreach and presentation to the community (and to some of our legislators) and helped lead our borough back into financial sustainability.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center has provided excellent support for my effort to permanently reduce property taxes in Queens, NYC for properties that are not vacant and not under-utilized. Every day we see politicians wringing their hands about public services and limited money to provide them, while land value revenue waits to be collected from those not fully utilizing urban land. With the little revenue that is collected, cities provide tax breaks to wealthy developers to provide what could be otherwise funded if an equitable system of land value taxation were in effect. A big lose-lose.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

CSE is the single organization exclusively devoted to implementing land value taxation in North American cities. As a proven method of urban revitalization, reversing sprawl development, fostering greater equity and economic health, its track record is unparalleled.

LVT's implementation in Pennsylvania cities, and shortly in Connecticut owes in good part to the persistent advocacy and guidance CSE has been able to offer. Few nonprofit organizations of comparable size can boast so many impressive successes.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

CSE has helped us understand Land Value Tax both in theory and in practical application. They have helped by making that which is complex reasonably sole and accessible. That in turn has enabled us to become more effective advocates of LVT.

3 Reginald J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

"SPEAK" HAS BEEN EXTREMELY HELPFUL AND INFORMATIVE THIS SITE SHOULD BE ON EVERY PARENTS AND TEACHERS FAVORITE LIST TO STAY INFORMED ABOUT THE GOING ONS IN OUR CHILDRENS LIVES FOR I THOUGHT I WAS A WELL INFORMED PARENT ONLY TO DISCOVER THERE WHERE THINGS GOING ON IN TODAY SOCIETY THAT EFFECT MY CHILDREN THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK JEFF
REGGIE

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

The advocacy of Land Value Taxation through the Center for the Study of Economics; is the Morally Right Issue.

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3

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics; has provided the necessary
tools for me , to advocate for "Environmental and Economic Sustainability" at the county and national levels.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

The problem, all over the world is land. In most countries, perhaps all, most of the land is owned by a minority of the people, who use their ownership to deny access to the majority. CSE is the only organization, worldwide, that devotes its efforts to overcoming this problem. Seventeen cities in Pennsylvania, and many cities worldwide, tax buildings less and land values more, which is the solution to this worldwide problem. By shifting taxes off buildings, on to the value of land, the cost of holding the land idle in anticipation of value increases is increased, encouraging productive use of the land and, by lowering taxes on buildings, encourages the improvement of buildings. A double whammy! At no cost! Land values are created by the community through investment in schools, roads and other infrastructure. It is equitable therefore for the community to get a return on its investment by taxing the land value it creates. Building values are the result of people's investment. Reducing taxes on buildings encourages maintainence and more building. All in all. a great idea and a cause that cries out for more support and understanding

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

The mission of CSE is to encourage municipalities and states to use Land Value Taxation (lvt). lvt is taxing the value of land as opposed to taking income, sales and buildings. Land is the gift of nature and contains no labor. A tax on land has no deadweight. The other taxes mentioned are all on labor and, as such, are a deadweight on the economy. By shifting taxes to land values, people keep more of what they earn and either spend it or savew it. Either way it helps the economy. The value of land is created by the investment of the community in roads, schools and other infrastructure. Therefore it is equitable to tax the value of land to give the community a return on its investment.

Shifting taxes off labor, on to land shifts taxes "up" and "in". It shifts taxes up because all valuable land is owned by wealthy individuals or corporations. Certainly the poor, who pay most of the sales tax, own no valuable land. Homeowners, by definition, own only the land under their houses. They would pay a modest land tax.

It shifts taxes in because the most valuable land is in the cities. Shifting to a land tax will take pressure off the clean and green countryside.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization enabled our group to identify and better understand just how property taxes wokr. Thanks to their help, our community now has a land value tax that ensures the costs I spend to upgrade the exterior of my property don't result in an increased property tax at the end of the year.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics, in Philadelphia, PA is the world leader in helping communities convert from the property tax to a tax on land value exempting all buildings such as homes , offices , factories, stores, warehouses, and farm buildings, saving building owners millions and millions of dollars in property taxes, by gradually, over several years, shifting taxs off of buildings and onto land, thus encouraging investment in buildings and labor and discouraging holding valuable land idle.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CSE has been the world leader in helping local governments to be a practical help to its community through constuctive tax policy reform. Most local governments tax the wrong people for the wrong reasons; by following the advice of CSE they can limit the harm and expand the good that they do for the community as a whole. What Milton Freidman called the "least bad of all taxes" not only funds local government, but it actually influences investors to help out the community with additional investment.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CENTER FOR STUDY OF ECONOMICS has been very helpful for our organization (Public Revenue Education Council - St. Louis, MO). We rely on them for up -to- date, accurate, and insightful research for proposals we make to government agencies.

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6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Josh Vincent of the Center for Study of Economics travels to St. Louis, MO to help us explain better ways to improve the attractiveness of our region by removing taxes from productive activity and deriving revenue only from the location value of land that is caused by our community's creative activity. We really appreciate their dedication to this important change in thinking. We need reform in the system NOW and Josh and the Center are doing just that.


Don KIlloren, donkilloren@att.net 314 650 3623

Review from Guidestar

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Only the Center for the Study of Economics has the knowledge to solve the world's economic problems, starting with localities and then states.
Yes, tax land assessments rather than what workers and corporations produce, but only CSE knows how to levy such a tax and get it adopted.
CSE has numerous empirical studies proving this claim - and has actually done it for 25 cities.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 4

C for SE, aka HGFA, is, for want of a less icky word, noble in its purpose. It is the leading, if not the only, organization I know of that strives for practical application of the great insight of Henry George, as stated in his historic book, Progress and Poverty. George's thesis has been supported by such people as Sun Yat Sen, GBS, Churchill--the list goes on. Human nature being what is, nowever, the idea faces an uphill struggle. C for SE is in the forefront of that struggle and deserves and needs the help of all people wlth justice in their hearts.
Larry Greenfield

Review from Guidestar

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics, a national organization, works locally to combat poverty. Most towns and cities lack the money to provide their citizens fully healthy and productive lives. CSE shows how inefficient policies, especially on taxes, rob people of their birthright.

As part of its mission, CSE offers help by studying a municipality's needs and goals, its commerce, and, most important, its buildings, its residences, and its land. When this data is compared with the local fiscal practice, glaring errors are usually found: too much money collected from too many people, not enough from a few people or firms.

The Center for the Study of Economics has lowered poverty in more than 20 municipalities, cutting their taxes on much real estate, while raising them on that which has been underassessed. The aim is to tax the value of local land used for work and for homes at a rate that pays its fair share of the community's benefits and costs, enabllng a better quality of life when many residents get lower tax bills.

The assistance of the Center for the Study of Economics is of high quality, with followup provided when possible. The CSE believes poverty results from policies that can be changed, once the relationship between taxes and land is clear. Shifting taxes so that more come from a municipality's land itself and fewer from its people, houses, and offices or factories can be simple, compared with challenging complex evasions used by those who try to avoid paying their fair share. When evasion succeeds, everyone else loses.

CSE acts locally to help the United Nations reach one of its most vital goals globally--to reduce poverty.

Review from Guidestar

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CSE is doing important work of a kind that few other organizations do. Many organizations address symptoms, but CSE's work addresses the systemic root causes of both economic decline and economic growth, while recommending policies to counteract the former and encourage the latter. Their recommendations are evidence-based, relying on sound theory, proven best practices, and common sense -- values all too often missing from the policy arena. They provide tools which could be applied on a national scale, but also can help a great deal at the local and State levels -- the very places where the most acute fiscal pain is being felt today. A win for CSE would help them to continue and expand their important work at a time when it's needed most.

Review from Guidestar

4

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics is definitely an organization where so few do so much for so many. The average citizen benefits continually from the tax reforms that CSE assists in accomplishing by way of the Land Value Tax, which to my mind is really a user fee for natural resources. As a government revenue source, this user fee is the best way to eliminate the diseconomies of income, sales, improvement, and other taxes on production. It is very compatible with Smart Growth objectives for city and country, and would achieve them mostly through the change in economic incentive. That incentive is very good with its Goldie Locks effect, one cannot pick up their land and run with it to where taxes are lower. In order to reduce the relative financial burden, one has to take the land to its highest and best use at that economic location…and here comes Goldie Locks, if it is taken to a higher than best use there is a financial burden in lost profit for a business poorly located or the extra cost transportation and such for the home owner. This is the message along with contact information for The Center for the Study of Economics that I pass on to politicians, ecologists, teachers, et cetera that I meet here and there.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I know of no other organization that offers the passion and perspective that guides the work of the Center for the Study of Economics. Unique in the service it provides, CSE combines pragmatism with vision in its goal of helping municipalities use existing tools to achieve sustainable communities. Director Josh Vincent really cares about social and economic justice. He understands how to nurture a vibrant commercial climate while also providing affordable housing, protecting the environment, and rewarding home owners for investment in the kinds of improvements that make us all want to call the community in question “home.” Under the intelligent stewardship of Josh Vincent, CSE is unusual in its willingness to educate, to answer questions, and to guide municipalities to smart growth. The Center for the Study of Economics has the answers public servants are seeking, especially in this time of budget shortfalls. Director Vincent has responded, without charge, to all the questions I, as a volunteer member of my town’s Fiscal Resources Task Force, have asked him. I hope we are able to find a way to fund his expenses so that we can proceed with further study of our tax code.

Review from Guidestar

5 Bill P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a long time teacher of Public Finance, I have been greatly impressed by the ability of the Center for the Study of Economics to translate the best theoretical work on how the property tax can be improved into terms that can be understood and applied in any city. Shifting the burden of the property tax off buildings and onto land is efficient and generates growth. CSE has devised ways to educate the voters about the benefits of this change and has provided civic leaders with a detailed blueprint of how to achieve it.

Review from Guidestar

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

What makes the Center for the Study of Economics (CSE) special is that it addresses root causes of poverty and economic problems - and its policies are being successfully applied in about 20 jurisdictions in the U.S. so far.

CSE takes the approach that is also advocated by eight Nobel prize economists, who point out the importance of incentives in having a healthy economy, so they recognize that in most cities an important economic problem is that the tax incentives are backwards, because the kinds of taxes that fall on labor, buildings, sales, or production discourage job creation, affordable housing, and affordable products and services. Instead, in the cities that have adopted CSE's policies, they've been gradually lowering taxes on buildings and also lowering some other local taxes, and gradually moving toward just taxing the location value of land, which no person produced, so it is the only tax that is not a tax on production.

Studies show that this leads to more job creation, more affordable housing, and a healthier local economy.

Review from Guidestar

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics supports the concept of land value taxation, the only effective tax system that can restore healthy community economies. Many towns are plagued with abandoned and run-down buildings that pay little to no taxes. This decreases the overall value of the area. If these properties were taxed according to the land value, owners would either make improvements or sell the properties to someone who will utilize them to their full potential. It is the land that is taxed according to its value rather than taxing owners for the hard work and cost of making improvements to their properties.

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Center for the Study of Economics keeps the flame of liberty, prosperity and possibility alive for American cities. There have been countless times when, needing advice or help, the Center met my needs, always with good humor and genuine interest. I have worked with the Center for over thirty years and the folks who have staffed up the organization over that period have never wavered in thier mission or their work ethic.
This is a fine organization whose mission it is to help people like me in the trenches of urban revitalization. Their ideas and suggestions are not conventional, but, I am convinced, they are right. And - they are not right at the expense of those who may disagree with them; they seem to have respect for all those who only want the best for our cities.
I have not experienced their on-site work in my city. There has not been fertile enough ground. However, their victories in other cities have always enhanced values and improved employment. They may be the only urban advocacy group in the United States that has a 100% success record where their reforms have been enacted.
This organization is a gem, and deserves much credit for its unselfish work toward making our nation a better place to live and work.

Review from Guidestar

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am based in the UK and first came across the Center for Study of Economics when I visited Philadelphia for the first time in 2002.
Since then we have kept in regular contact by email and the Center has helped me on numerous projects by providing information and data. Their Director arranged for me to speak on land reform to a major conference in the USA and has also accepted my invitation to speak at a transport conference in London explaining how transport can be funded from land wealth. As a result of these contacts the UK Government is now advocating TIFs(Tax Increment Finance) as a means of funding local government infrastructure projects in the UK.

Review from Guidestar

4 Christine S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Center for the Study of Economics is the American organization putting the principles of Henry George and Land Value Taxation into practice. CSE translates academic economics into real plans for governments and municipalities to use in changing their tax structures for the better. We see it in many of their successes throughout the United States, and their influence on international communities as well.

Review from Guidestar

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is actually trying to eliminate poverty! Imagine walking down the street in any major American city and seeing no homeless people, no beggars asking for money. The practice of taxing land according to its location value could bring this about. This is because the land is, morally and economically speaking, the property of all the people, whereas buildings are, morally and economically, the property of the builders of them. So taxing the location value of land is simply the community taking what truly belongs to the community.

Review from Guidestar

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is working for structural change that tackles the root issues of poverty and environmental degradation. Most policy tools fail because they do not address the problem at a deep enough level. keep up the great work CSE!! the next step is to start mobilizing a larger constituency base that can lean on decision makers.

Review from Guidestar

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

While trendy issues come and go, the Center for the Study of Economics (CSE) tackles an issue in Anglo-American law that is as old (and as difficult) as the Enclosure Acts: how the monopolization and under-taxation of land creates housing bubbles, drags down economies, creates unemployment and lowers wages.

Educating both the public and government officials has been the task of 32 organizations in the United States (including our own) and of dozens more in other countries, but, in the past three decades, only the work of the CSE has led to actual policy changes, followed by positive economic results. Over 20 Pennsylvania taxing jurisdictions (most of them cities) have shifted their property taxes to fall more on land values and less on improvements, and all that had done so at least three years ago enjoyed construction surges that greatly exceeded trends in nearby, comparable cities. Home owners in every city saved (compared to the cost of conventional property taxes), and mortgaged home-owners saved even more.

Altoona, PA has just become the first city with no municipal or school property taxes on buildings whatsover, and took this step based on the analysis provided by CSE.

CSE takes a rather dry, pragmatic and analytical approach to this reform compared to the other 31 organizations, which tend to be more ideological and passionate. However, the dry approach is working, and the rest of us would not have evidence of how effective this approach to land reform is if not for the accomplishments of CSE.

Review from Guidestar