Environmental Taxation and Climate Change

Environmental Taxation and Climate Change

Achieving Environmental Sustainability through Fiscal Policy

Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation series

Edited by Larry Kreiser, Julsuchada Sirisom, Hope Ashiabor and Janet E. Milne

Containing an authoritative set of original essays, Environmental Taxation and Climate Change provides fresh insights and analysis on how environmental sustainability can be achieved through fiscal policy. Written by distinguished environmental taxation scholars from around the world, this timely volume covers a range of hotly debated subjects including carbon related taxation in OECD countries, implications of environmental tax reforms, innovative environmental taxation and behavioural strategies, as well as many other relevant topics.

Chapter 7: Taxing Land Rents for Urban Livability and Sustainability

H. William Batt

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law


H. William Batt INTRODUCTION In most cities of the world today ambience and livability are plagued with two problems: traffic congestion and sprawl development. Yet public bodies seem at a loss in solving them, even though at least from a technical point of view they are demonstrably solvable. Governments have at their command two means by which to address them – two arrows in their quiver, so to speak: constitutionally known as police powers and tax powers.1 More commonly referred to as command-and-control approaches and fiscal approaches, they are the only legitimate tools that the public has at its disposal. All this must be borne in mind when designers of government policy consider the efficacy of public programs, particularly with reference to their scope, domain, and weight. Scope involves all those matters or interests in which government concerns itself; the domain is the area or number of people over which it has exercise; and the weight, or intensity, is the degree to which a people or an area feels itself imposed upon, heavily or only lightly. If a government in some way over-extends itself, or imposes itself too much upon people, it will prove to be ineffectual, illegitimate, and have a difficult time maintaining itself. One can find instances in all governments where what limited police powers available are squandered, and where laws are flouted or circumvented. It is even more the case for taxing powers, where estimates are that as many as half the population believes it...

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