WHYY, Philly’s Public Radio Station: OK to Tax Land?
|January 14, 2014||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
This 2014 excerpt of Newsworks, Jan 14, is by Frank Iannuzzi at Temple University.
If the city council wants to make Philadelphia’s tax structure better for everyone, it should focus on reforming property taxes. Specifically, it should adopt what is commonly referred to as a “land value tax.”‘
This levy, which exists in more than a dozen municipalities and school districts across Pennsylvania, has three primary virtues.
First, this structure would penalize speculators who hold vacant land or abandoned buildings and give landowners an incentive to maximize the productive use of their property — or pay for the harm their underutilized land causes to the value of surrounding properties.
Second, redistributing taxes from improvements to land would effectively shift much of that burden from residents [since their locations are of lower value] to commercial properties [since their locations are of higher value].
Third, while it may seem counterproductive to burden commercial properties, focusing the tax burden away from privately-created improvement value in favor of recapturing the publicly-created value of land merely captures the excess now paid to landlords.
Ed. Notes: Great to see WHYY (the station of Terry Gross’ “All Things Considered”) join the discussion. Every time another rational voice calls for public recovery of publicly-generated land value, it brings the actuality of reform another day closer. Care to chime in?