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Review for Center for the Study of Economics, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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

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Role:  Board Member

Review for Center for the Study of Economics, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization. My home town, Lanesborough gets only 40% of its revenue from taxing land values. CSE has convinced 20 municipalities to use it. Two, Aliquippa and Claairton get 90% of their municipal revenue from taxing land vaues and one, Altoona gets 100% of its municipal revenu from taxing land values.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes in this organization, I would hire more staff so that we could effectively reach more potential users. We have only a small endowment. We have one full time employee, the Executive Director, and three part time employees. That's all we can afford.

Role:  Board Member & I helped convince Amsterdam, NY to adopt lvt in 1993. Regretfully, a year later the mayor who introduced it retired. His successor cancelled the land tax. Recently I rendered a repot on shifting taxes off buildings on to the land in Berlin, New hampshir.