Land Dues Keep Many Up Yet Make One Happy
|December 21, 2010||Posted by Jeffery J. Smith under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Land Dues Keep Many Up Yet Make One Happy
Beauty sleep concept is not a myth, says study
Celebrate Winter Solstice with a good night’s rest. If only money worries won’t keep you awake. Yet some do sleep easy; they pay rent to enjoy a city garden. We trim, blend, and append three 2010 articles from: (1) BBC, Dec 14, on sleep; (2) Bloomberg, Dec 8, on assessments by Jeff Green and Tim Jones; and (3) Canadas Brandon Sun, Dec 12, on garden rent by Allison Dowd.
by H. Briggs, by J. Green & T. Jones, and by A. Dowd
- Beauty sleep concept is not a myth, says study
The idea of people needing “beauty sleep” has acquired some scientific backing, according to a Swedish study.
People deprived of sleep for long periods appear less attractive and more unhealthy than those who are well rested, say researchers.
Volunteers were photographed after eight hours sleep and again after being kept awake for 31 hours.
Observers scored the sleep-deprived participants as less healthy and less attractive, the BMJ reports.
The concept of beauty sleep is well known.
But, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, it has lacked scientific support.
The team asked untrained observers to rate the faces of 23 young men and women who had been photographed after a normal night’s sleep and then after a night of sleep deprivation.
The photographs were standardized so that people were the same distance from the camera, wore no make-up and used the same expression.
The authors wrote in their paper published in the British Medical Journal: “Sleep deprived people are perceived as less attractive, less healthy and more tired compared with when they are well rested.”
They say the results may be useful in a medical setting, helping doctors to pick up signs of ill-health in their patients.
Commenting on the study, Derk-Jan Dijk, Professor of Sleep and Physiology at the Surrey Sleep Research Centre, said the effects of sleep loss on beauty may be even more dramatic than the photographs show.
He said: “The photographs were taken during the daytime when the biological clock promotes wakefulness. “Can you imagine how sleep loss makes you look at night or early in the morning when the circadian clock (body clock) promotes sleep?”
JJS: All those sleepy people you see? Many were kept awake by worry, as over how to pay bills, owed to an institution that can evict you from your home.
- Property Tax Appeals Swamping US Cities, Towns
From Los Angeles to Atlantic City, the New Jersey gambling resort whose credit rating Moodys Investors Service cut by three levels last month, property owners are demanding lower taxes after real-estate values plunged.
The disputes over billions in dollars come as municipalities are already slashing services such as police and fire protection and may depress revenue further as communities try to recover from the longest recession since the 1930s.
US home prices are 30% below their peak of 2006 April, according to the seasonally adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities.
The Moodys/REAL Commercial Property Price Index of US commercial property is 43% below its 2007 October peak.
Cities and towns across Michigan had property-tax collections plunge as much as 20% in the past year, the steepest drop since a 1994 rewrite of state levies, forcing scores to decide whether to borrow to pay bills or risk default on bonds.
Cities are already struggling with rising pension and health-care costs and declining revenue.
Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, had 8,300 appeals last year, an increase from 6,000 the year before and 1,900 in 2008.
Clark Countys taxable real-estate value fell to $184 billion for the 2010-11 fiscal year from $263 billion the prior year and the record $320 billion in 2008-09. The one-year reduction will cost the county a projected $514 million in lost taxes. Almost all the hotel casinos and major property owners received reductions.
New Jersey homeowners filed 18,147 property-tax appeals in Tax Court during the fiscal year ending June 30, up from 10,067 in fiscal 2007.
Moodys cited continuing tax appeals when it lowered the rating on about $3.7 million in outstanding debt for the Borough of Roseland, New Jersey, to fourth-highest Aa3 from Aa2.
If the appeals are largely successful, they will generate a lot more appeals.
JJS: While cutting what owners owe might seem like a good idea, its actually what created the problem in the first place. Half the property tax is a land tax. When land taxes are low, land prices are high. When land prices are high, investors speculate, blow up a bubble, that inevitably bursts and causes recession.
There is a better way that avoids recessions, flattens the business cycle, saves most residents money, keeps owners in their homes, and even increases home ownership. Instead of pay less, owners would pay the full annual rental value of their location and get back an equitable dividend from all the recovered rents in their region.
Most owners would get back more than they pay in. And none, because theyd have to pay land dues or land tax, would be tempted to speculate, so location values would not get blown up into a bubble. No implosion, no recession, and no unaffordable land.
While this reform may seem mostly theoretical, it is sometimes practiced, in some places, to some degree, and always with welcome results.
- Green thumb gets OK to keep using garden plot
Lloyd Browton, a retired military man and avid gardener, has been told he can continue using city-owned land in Brandon to grow the seasonal fruits, vegetables, berries and flowers his friends, neighbours and community members have come to know and love as a free treat each summer by paying a nominal ground rent.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
Can a Lack of Sleep Really Drive You Mad?
Guess which tax gets singled out?
In New Zealand, Australia, and Canada
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