4. (2013 October) Good Press: Financial Times

How a levy based on location values could be the perfect tax

By Merryn Somerset Webb

The following article lauds the land value tax as “In theory, not just an excellent tax but the best of all possible taxes.” There were some dubious statements in the article about the effect of the tax on banking and what various groups think of LVT, but we still appreciate the positive attention.

The article was written in response to fellow Georgist Nicholas D Rosen’s article:
LVT and Real Estate Boom and Bust

Link: http://on.ft.com/163CfLf

3. (2013 September) Good Press: New York Mayoral Race

See Josh Vincent’s article below. Since the article was released,  Bill de Blasio has been nominated as the democratic candidate in the NYC mayoral race.

“I have called for a change to the tax treatment for vacant land — from the lower residential rate to the higher rate for commercial property — to discourage long-­term speculation that leaves lots vacant in our neighborhoods, and to encourage the construction of more affordable places to live.”


4. (2013 August) Good Press: How a Progressive Tax System Made Detroit a Powerhouse (and Could Again)

Mason Gaffney and Polly Cleveland teamed up recently to write an article for the Huffington Post discussing the history of the property tax in Detroit.

“The Georgist Progressive movement supported cheap mass transit on trolley cars. With fixed costs funded by property taxes, fares stayed low. Property taxes also paid for public education, public health, public parks, water, sanitation, welfare — all the public services that make a big city livable, and its small industries viable. Property tax rates of 2.5 percent of market value were normal; there were no sales taxes, business taxes, or income taxes. Detroit’s private sector was a big collection of small machine shops, little businesses and services. That’s what attracted Henry Ford, the Dodge brothers and other young tinkerers to Detroit. In one of history’s ironies, trolley cars nursed the auto industry that later rose up to slay them.

In 1897 Pingree became governor. He centralized the assessment of property taxes, and had the State Board of Tax Commissioners revalue all property. They found so much untaxed land, especially railroad holdings, that they actually lowered tax rates even as they raised more taxes.”

The article can be read here:

6. (2013 August) Good Press: Mankiw’s Treatment of LVT

Cameron K Murray in a recent article had this to say about professor Mankiw’s treatment of LVT:

“Mankiw’s Principles of Economics, the most widely used introductory economics textbook, can be held high as an iconic symbol of what is wrong with the economics profession…

To get down into a little more detail, in what should be an important chapter in Mankiw’s textbook on the effects of taxes on markets, he simply rehashes a handful of nonsense myths about taxation – the Laffer curve, the French being taxed into low work hours, land taxes being unable to raise enough revenue for government and so forth.

One interesting point is his statement that taxing land values are impractical because the value of land is inseparable from building improvements therefore such taxes will be distortionary. This might seem a minor issue in the much bigger issues covered in the almost 900 page tome, but it concerns the most fundamental issues economists are meant to understand – where value comes from, and how best to raise taxes.”


Full article:

2. (2013 July) Good Press: The Economist Magazine’s Pro-Land Tax Article

“A pure land tax, one without regard to how land is used or what is built on it, is the best sort.”

An article published late last month in The Economist praised the land tax. Even though the term “land tax” was used, land value tax was implicit as part of a more general discussion on ad valorem property taxes. Such an endorsement in the most popular economics magazine in the world is an exciting development. Click here to read the full article.


5. (2013 February) Good Press: What’s the Justification for a Land Value Tax?

We can’t ignore the fact that land is the property of the commons.
By Alex Hern (22 January 2013)

George Monbiot has written a passionate call for a land value tax in the Guardian today. Pointing out that the coalition has singularly failed to take any real attempt to increase tax revenue — with the Lib Dems reneging on their promise to raise capital gains tax to 50p, and both parties turning their nose up at the economically-beneficial revenue gains of a financial transaction tax — he suggests one final attempt to come up with a novel way of raising revenue which the government might support: a land-value tax.


1. (June 2012) Good Press 2, BBC – Ottawa Citizen,

BBC – Ottawa Citizen, February 18, 2012 by Frank de Jong, President, Earthsharing Canada Toronto Community’s fair share Re: Group decries land value plan, Feb. 12. I applaud Ottawa city council’s plan to capture some of the land value rise resulting from re-zoning and using it to improve community facilities. The proposed Section 37 guidelines will return to the community some of the wealth that results from new development or re-development. Quality new developments or warranted new infrastructure causes local land values to rise. Normally this “community-generated” wealth accrues to local land owners, but Section 37 will rightfully return some of it to the community. Collecting “unearned” land value rise (which economists call economic rent) is not “yet another form” of taxation – it is returning to the community what the community generated in the first place.