Edward Dodson | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Edward Dodson 
Member since Feb 6, 2019



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Re: “Gains and Losses: Would a Land Tax Repeal Spark Growth or Sprawl?

It is remarkable to me that all across the United States there is continuous debate over whether the taxation of real estate is sound economic policy and fair tax policy. The economic literature going back over a century repeatedly confirms that the ideal property tax is one that captures the potential annual rental value of every parcel or tract of land (whether residential, commercial, agricultural or otherwise), while exempting whatever improvements are made on the land. If this approach had been adopted, say, back in 1900, the price of land would be very, very low and remain low. The rental value would increase over time with population growth and with public investment in infrastructure and other amenities.

A small number of communities in the United States (and in countries such as Australia and New Zealand) have adopted a land-only property tax base with good outcomes. Not only is land speculation discouraged, so that owners of land are encouraged to bring land held to its highest, best use or sell to someone who will, but sprawling development is also curtailed as land where infrastructure already exists is more intensively developed.

Gains on the sale of land are unearned to individuals who happen to own land. However, in the United States gains on the sale of land are misrepresented as a gain on the sale of "housing" although a housing unit is a depreciating asset that requires continuous expenditure on maintenance and systems replacement just to offset depreciation.

Edward J. Dodson, M.L.A.
School of Cooperative Individualism

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Edward Dodson on 02/06/2019 at 6:55 PM

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