As we reach the finish line of 2020, many of us do so with a sense of relief and cautious optimism about what 2021 might bring. At the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 2020 was certainly not an easy year, but it was one marked by considerable change… Read More »Reflecting on 2020. Anticipating 2021!
As a rule, people have a general aversion to discussions of tax policy. Except for the most elementary understanding – progressive, neutral, regressive, or exempt or non-exempt – public discourse on taxation is mostly banal or non-existent. It’s really no wonder, because political leaders have… Read More »The Common Aversion to Tax Study
In response to an article written by Harrison Astbury on November 18, 2020 Why a property tax is not the answer, I believe thatAstbury is half right. Real estate consists of two types of property, land and improvements. A property tax on buildings and other… Read More »Why a property tax on land value is indeed the answer – Op-Ed
In the last weeks, our attention has (rightly) been focused at the national level, and in a time when the word “unprecedented” has been used so often it barely registers, it was hardly surprising that the 2020 Presidential election was one for the record books. … Read More »The Presidential Election is Over. It’s Time to Think Local.
The 2020 presidential election will inspire more commentary than any prior American election story. Because, among other reasons, the opinion polls both anticipating and following November 3, were so often wide of the mark. Blame is now being assessed (see, for example, the New York… Read More »Assessing Election Results: Diversity vs. Disparity
Part 1 of Property Tax: The Last One Standing introduced “Property Tax Independence Act” (PTIA) and the proposal for a constitutional amendment in the state of Pennsylvania for the sentimental sobriquet of “House Bill 1776.” Read part one here. The Spirit of 76? Tax… Read More »Property Tax: The Last One Standing – Part 2
As the first punches from Covid 19 landed on state and local government revenues in spring 2020, it was clear that the virus’s impact, compounded by mandated shutdowns, blew big holes in budgets. Public health and the economy both slumped quickly, draining revenue for essential… Read More »Property Tax: The Last One Standing – Part 1
Addressing a conference on urban issues held in San Francisco, the British author and economist Barbara Ward (famous for several best-selling books on international equity and developmental economics) explained a key challenge afoot in the Bay Area. The year was 1967, and the locals were… Read More »California Voters May Opt for Value Capture to Save Transit from the Pandemic
There are two types of democracy. First, the democracy of a small club with a voting membership of less than a thousand. Here, the members can personally meet and know the candidates for office, and can have their voices heard within the club. Second is… Read More »How Democracy Fails and Succeeds