Forty-five years after the passage of Prop 13, property tax reformers on all sides prepare for another battle in 2024. Protecting your home—and the loved ones in it—touches primal instincts in all humans. So, it’s perhaps no wonder that California voters in the 1970s overwhelmingly… Read More »California Prop 13 Faces New Challengers in 2024 and Tough Questions of Equity
Exploring the criticisms of Detroit’s Land Value Tax Plan: Do they have merit? Detroit’s Land Value Tax (LVT) plan has generated considerable discussion within the City and beyond. Many support the plan for its potential to transform Detroit’s tax system, promote development, and provide tax… Read More »Addressing Common Concerns and Building Support for Detroit’s Land Value Tax Plan
Detroit, like many urban centers, faces the challenge of balancing the need for steady, predictable tax revenues with the desire to promote economic growth and equitable development. The Land Value Tax (LVT) plan proposed by Mayor Duggan seeks to address these challenges head-on. Drawing upon… Read More »Anticipating the Impact: Detroit’s Land Value Tax Implementation
Detroit’s current tax system has long been a subject of criticism, with homeowners burdened by some of the highest property taxes in Michigan. Paradoxically, because land values are low, the owners of the City’s many abandoned buildings, scrap yards, and parking lots face low taxes,… Read More »Detroit’s Land Value Tax Plan: A Game Changer for Tax Bills
Building on the lessons of the roughly 20 Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts that have made use of Land Value Taxes (LVT), Detroit’s Mayor Duggan introduced a proposal to bring the policy to his City in May 2023, during the Mackinac Policy Conference. This plan,… Read More »Exploring Detroit’s Land Value Tax Plan: A Revenue-Neutral Approach
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s plan to implement a Land Value Tax continues moving forward, albeit with a new timeline. Since May 31, when Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan unveiled a plan to introduce a Land Value Tax, Michigan tongues have been wagging furiously. Declaring the current… Read More »Land Value Tax plan takes shape in Detroit, as negotiations continue
New Zealand is suffering many of the same ills that afflict American cities. Tenants facing ever-rising rents, young people and ethnic minorities being priced out of homeownership, widening inequality driven by soaring land values, sprawling cities and congested streets. A long and bitter debate that blamed land use regulations for these problems has largely been won by ‘YIMBYs’, with several waves of upzoning producing a budding building boom for townhouses and apartments. While there are some signs that rents may be easing as a result, these problems are far from solved, and public attention has begun to look for alternative solutions.
Well, okay. Lots of people. One of the crowning strategies to rouse the rabble is to ream the property tax. Fair enough. But in some states like New Jersey, the property tax is unpopular, likely because the property tax is just as high as the state income, business, and sales taxes.
But some states have a lifeline for tax efficiency, equity, and progressivity. Yet because we live in strange times, state governments get the shakes regarding property tax. So instead, they throw themselves upon regressive, volatile, or inefficient taxes. Not surprisingly, these taxes hit parts of society that are powerless or don’t vote.
The property tax can trace its unpopularity to simple (and fixable) quirks in most states: the bill comes due once a year. There are legitimate concerns over what happens to people on a fixed income. The house’s value may go up, but there’s no cash flow to pay for a tax bill that goes up.
“Statutorily exempt” is the term used to describe owners of land and buildings who, by virtue of their identities, are not required to pay property taxes. Their holdings are still assessed like everyone else’s but no bill is ever generated, despite the fact that they benefit from the same tax-funded amenities (like schools, roads, and public services) as everyone else. So while an organization’s tax exempt status may feel like a foregone conclusion, their savings aren’t actually free. As part of its commitment to transparency in taxation, CPTR explores the specific implications of tax exemptions for cities and towns across the country. This report is focused on the City of Roanoke, VA.
In the State of Virginia, statutorily exempt owners include religious institutions; federal, state, and city entities; public parks and libraries; charities; and more. Using the City’s 2021 tax data, it’s possible to understand exactly how this plays out in Roanoke.