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RSF Staff

RSF responds to the New York Times article titled “The ‘Georgists’ Are Out There, and They Want to Tax Your Land”

“As one-clause headlines summarizing century old movements go, “Georgists want to tax your land!” is not the worst, as it succinctly describes how Georgism would impact one particularly literate and tuned in class of people – landowners. But it misses the most important piece of… Read More »RSF responds to the New York Times article titled “The ‘Georgists’ Are Out There, and They Want to Tax Your Land”

Fiscal Weakness of Managed Retreat: Inequities and Local Disincentives

Climate change poses a significant threat to numerous regions in the United States, rendering them increasingly uninhabitable due to rising sea levels, flooding, wildfires, and more. As a response to this challenge, managed retreat has emerged as a strategy to relocate affected households, neighborhoods, and even communities away from harm’s way. Although managed retreat can involve a number of processes, the use of buyouts––the voluntary purchasing of private properties using public funds (which is intended to spur the relocation of at-risk households to lower risk locations), is a critical (and in many places, virtually the only) tool in a policy maker’s toolbox.

While physically moving people out of harm’s way makes intuitive sense, the real world applications of managed retreat-related buyouts are highly complex, emotional, and fraught with weighty fiscal and equity implications. Here we explore some basic financial considerations of managed retreat, shedding light on the challenges faced by affected municipalities and fundamental flaws in the system as a whole.

A letter from the Executive Director

Fall is here once again.  This change of seasons typically evokes thoughts of colorful leaves; nights by the fire, hot cocoa in hand; and the impending holiday season.  This fall, however, larger, more distressing trends are overshadowing these fanciful notions in many people’s minds.  

Inflation has us paying more – much more – for everything from the food we feed our families, to the gas we put in our cars, to the insurance policies we purchase to safeguard our assets.  And when it comes to our homes (often cited as most Americans’ largest asset) more and more buyers find themselves priced out of a housing market that is increasingly dominated by corporate investors with all cash offers, looking to turn a dual profit as landlords and owners of physical assets that can be borrowed against with ease.