Urban Blight a Bother? Recover the Site Values.
|January 18, 2014||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
This 2014 excerpt of Macro Business, Jan 17, is by Leith van Onselen.
Rather than the Government funding urban renewal projects directly, surely a simpler and more cost effective solution would be to implement a broad-based land tax (in exchange for cuts to stamp duties), in turn penalizing land banking and vagrancy and encouraging the more productive use of sites.
A broad-based land tax would also help to make infrastructure investments self-funding for governments, since any land value uplift brought about through increased infrastructure investment (e.g. new roads, trains, etc) would be partly captured by the government via increased tax receipts. In turn, governments would be more likely to facilitate development, rather than act to restrict it in a bid to save on infrastructure costs.
Often the simplest solutions are the best.
Ed. Notes: Beyond solving urban blight, note that as owners get busy developing their sites that they had kept vacant or otherwise under-utilized, awaiting a higher offered price, they’d then attract investment and create employment. The new development in-fills cities, making walking, riding, and pedaling more efficient and cars less so. Good for the body and for the environment. Also, people’s demand for land in cities is so high, government could also easily fund a dividend. Policymakers could also delete other taxes, since they hobble production and drive down location values. More than just the policy of a city, geonomics could be the policy of an entire nation.