land prices crops agribusiness gaza

What's the Fair Price for Land Rent?
casino ground rent lease landlord commodities

Gaza Enjoys Property Boom as Land Prices Soar

Can land take from labor and capital? These four 2012 articles are from: (1) BBC, Oct 14, on Gaza by J. Donison; (2) Baltimore Business Jrnl, Oct 25, on Baltimore by J. Lambert; (3) Agweek, Oct 29, on farmland by J. Knutson; and (4) Toronto Now, Oct 11, on reform by F. de Jong (President, Earthsharing Canada).

by Jon Donison, by Jack Lambert, by Jonathan Knutson, and by Frank de Jong

Almost four years after the conflict with Israel, Gaza is enjoying a period of relative calm. That in part has led to a surge in the value of land, with prices more than doubling in the past two years.

To read more

JJS: Not just peace but gambling, too, pushes up site values.

The city plans to sell the land surrounding the proposed $375 million Baltimore casino to developer CBAC Gaming LLC for approximately $5.9 million.

The approximately 4.95 acres, which were formerly part of the South Baltimore development project known as Gateway South, are south of M&T Bank Stadium next to the casino site. CBAC would pay $1.2 million per acre for the site.

CBAC will pay at least $687 million in ground rent payments over the term of the 50-year lease. The group would also pay property taxes to the city. If those property taxes were less than $3.2 million, CBAC would pay the difference to the city in ground rent.

To read more

JJS: Not just peace and gambling but subsidies, too, push up site values.

Many farmland rental agreements expire at year’s end, and area farmers and landlords are working to reach new deals. The task is complicated by two conflicting trends:

•Crop prices are high, and many farmers will enjoy strong profits this year. Given that, many landlords want higher rents for their property.

•Drought grips the region and 2013 crop yields threaten to be very poor unless substantial precipitation falls by spring. Also, experts generally agree that crop prices likely will be lower next year. Given that, many farmers are reluctant to pay higher rents.

Nonetheless, some area farmersare paying more — a lot more — to rent land.

The average farmland rental rate has risen 40 percent in roughly 30 two-year North Dakota agreements renegotiated this fall by US Bank.

Farmland that rented for $50 per acre in 2011 and 2012 will rent for $70 per acre in 2013 and 2014.

Typically, rental rates in farmland agreements handled by farm management companies tend to be higher than rates in agreements negotiated directly by farmers and landlords.

Historically, some famers have overpaid for land. Those who do invariably “get their ears trimmed down the road.”

Most farmers rely on federal crop insurance, so the lack of a new farm bill is troubling.

Landlords also need to realize that the cost of expenses such as fuel and fertilizer continue to rise.

Advances such as no-till farming and drought-resistant crop varieties reduce the damage from dry conditions.

Typically, rising land values indicate that rental rates will rise, too. Land values continued to rise this summer in Iowa, even though the state was hammered by drought.

The upturn was attributed to a few factors, including strong commodity prices and unattractive returns in competing investments.

One of the biggest factors pushing up land values and rental rates in the Upper Midwest is the rising popularity of corn for ethanol.

To read more

JJS: They call them farm subsidies but actually farmers are just the conduit; what are they really? Landlord subsidies.

Rather than subsidize landowners, actually we should recover the socially-generated value of land from them.

Increased transfer payments are not the best way to address Toronto’s grotesque income disparity, as Wayne Roberts suggests (NOW, October 4-10).

Transfer payments are financed by taxing jobs, businesses and sales, which damages the economy by killing jobs, punishing successful businesses, and raising the cost of products we all need.

Sales taxes are the main tax that the poor pay. It hurts them disproportionately.

Instead, governments should narrow the gap between the 1 per cent and the rest of us by untaxing working people and the poor, and taxing wealth, not incomes.

Most wealth in Toronto is locked up in real estate. People who own land in this city are sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of unearned wealth. In lieu of other taxes, governments (municipal, provincial and federal) should finance programs through a land value tax, collecting capital gains as they accrue.

To read more

JJS: If we did tax land or institute land dues, then no matter why or how much locations were to rise in value, that increase would be channeled into the public treasury. That makes it possible to get rid of taxes that hobble economies and lack a strong moral foundation, such as taxes on wages, sales, and buildings. Public recovery of the value of land and natural resources and government-granted privileges like corporate charters also gather up so much revenue that government could pay citizens a dividend, a la Singapore. Every place could use such geonomic policy. But first, perhaps a critical mass must understand the power in the land.


Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .

Also see:

In Indonesia, It's Blatant, In the US It's Subtle

Owners Can Kill, Conquerors Can Rule, As …

Why should Prop 13 be sacrosanct?

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