Property taxes are the most important revenue source for most cities and towns in the U.S., providing funding for a variety of local services and infrastructure. Unfortunately, traditional property taxes’ emphasis on taxing the value of improvements – like homes and businesses – can produce undesirable effects, including urban sprawl, blight, and land speculation. Because of these negative outcomes, many places are considering whether an alternative to a traditional property tax, called a land value tax, might be a better way to meet their fiscal needs. A number of recent academic studies have sought to understand the effects of using a land value tax using the “Pennsylvania experience” as the model. This video provides a brief overview of their findings.
What are the on-the-ground effects of a land value tax? Lessons from the Pennsylvania experience.
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