The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation

The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation

Studies in Fiscal Federalism and State–local Finance series

Edited by Dick Netzer

Dick Netzer, a leading public finance economist specializing in state and local issues and urban government, brings together in this comprehensive volume essays by top scholars connecting the property tax with land use. They explore the idea that the property tax is used as a partial substitute for land use regulation and other policies designed to affect how land is utilized. Like many economists, the contributors see some type of property taxation as the more efficient means of helping to shape land use. Some of the essays analyze a conventional property tax, while others consider radically different systems of property taxation.

Introduction

Edited by Dick Netzer

Subjects: economics and finance, public finance

Extract

For at least 40 years, the various bodies of literature on the property tax, on land use and on land use regulation have contained references to and comments on the relation between the property tax and how land is used in places where the property tax is an important source of local government revenue (and where local government finance is of some consequence), and the relation between the property tax and land use regulation regimes. Often the references have been asides to the main argument of the work in question; in other cases, the relations have been explored more systematically. But it is fair to say that there is not a coherent exposition of some of the main issues, despite their importance. That importance may be self-evident: ● ● ● ● It is obvious that a tax on structures must affect the uses of land, and the lack of revenue from a serious tax on the value of land that results in higher taxes on structures also affects land use. The revenue from a given rate of property tax is affected by the way land is used and, therefore, it is likely that local land use regulators will pay attention to that effect in their regulations. The efficiency and equity of the property tax are affected by land use, and the way land uses are regulated. These considerations should have a major impact on the way we conceive the American property tax: is it in the main a...