The framework of the program is now complete, the IRS has our application for approval to grant awards, and we’ve found a vendor to manage the selection and fund distribution processes. Basically, the nuts and bolts are there, now comes the first phase of the fun part – designing our own Georgist educational programming for our first scholar cohort! This effort is being led by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, but we’re welcoming outside input. If you have thoughts you’d like to share, please drop us a line at [email protected].
Our library project is also chugging along. The physical collection is sorted and the digital cataloging has begun. If you’re interested to see what we have, check out our tiny cat-powered catalog at https://schalkenbach.org/online-library-catalog/. Check back often, as new materials are being added daily and we’re far from done building out this amazing resource. We’re also accepting donations of materials, and have received some unique items already. If you have a title, image, or something else you think belongs in our collection, please contact [email protected] and let us know. Of course, we’ll be offering some interesting library sponsorship opportunities in the near future. Know someone (maybe it’s you!) who would love to have a shelf of Georgist works named after them? Interested in helping preserve historic texts for future readers? More to come on these ideas and more…
With Board leadership, the decision was made to begin managing our annual grant-making activities through a formal RFP process. Our Program Committee has narrowed the list of research topics to a handful of really exciting areas of exploration, and the first call for proposals will be published here (and promoted through emails and elsewhere) in the coming months. Finally, the Center for Property Tax Reform has been hard at work, conducting outreach and original research. Right now, we’ve got some interesting conversations going in a variety of places, ranging from upstate New York, to Virginia, to Puerto Rico. Those familiar with the long history of my Center Co-Director Josh Vincent’s work to bring Land Value Taxes to cities and towns nationwide, know just how laborious and place-specific these efforts are, but we’re in it for the long haul and happy to have so many opportunities to talk LVT! Our researchers, Mike and Washiq, are also doing some pretty cool things – from creating a “racial bias in property assessments” handbook to exploring LLC ownership in NYC – they’re advancing our understanding of mission-related topics with relevance to today’s most salient topics. Of course, our work is also about making connections and bringing our ideas to new audiences.
I recently returned (to a flooded house, thanks to Hurricane Ida) from the annual International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) conference in Chicago – it was a truly eye opening experience for someone who relies heavily on assessment data in their research, and a great opportunity to connect with professional assessors from across the U.S. and beyond. If you’d like to see a few of my thoughts on the event and the topics discussed, visit our website. The National Conference of State Legislatures annual conference is also coming up, and Covid-permitting, CPTR plans to be there. Summer was a busy time at RSF and fall promises to be even more so!