The Merits of Site Value Taxation

By H. William Batt

Three arguments for the application of site value taxation are normally offered in contemporary political discussion. It addresses the problems of 1) the burdensome structure of current taxes, whether on homeowners or on business and industrial organizations; 2) the destruction and expense of current land development patterns, typically known as sprawl; and 3) the deterioration of infrastructure, particularly transportation and school facilities, which policy makers widely acknowledge cannot be allowed to proceed. All of these concerns have been addressed by public policy measures of varying and imaginative quality over the course of the past half century, but success is at best mixed.

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