UN Habitat

Land Value Taxation and Land Value Capture

An Exemplary New Urban Agenda Policy for Financing Towns and Cities and Solid Progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Human Settlements Program, commonly referred to as UN-Habitat, is the UN’s primary agency dealing with urban development. It focuses on adopting policies and actions to create more livable cities, ensure adequate, affordable housing for all, eliminate poverty, improve infrastructure and provide basic services for those living in urban communities.

UN-Habitat has issued three global action agendas since its founding conference held in Canada in 1976. All three – The Vancouver Action Plan, The UN-Habitat II Action Agenda and the New Urban Agenda – have substantive paragraphs stating that land value based public finance is one of, if not the, most effective means for raising public revenue – particularly at the local level.

The International Union for Land Value Taxation (the IU) was actively engaged in the UN- Habitat III proceedings that culminated in the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development that took place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.

The IU’s UN NGO team, having consultative status with ECOSOC, participated in the Urban Dialogues on Financing Urban Development and on Access to Decent Housing and Public Spaces; held a Side Event at and contributed to the development of the Political Declaration issued by the European High Level Regional Conference; responded to the Issue Paper on Municipal Finance; gave substantive input during the Local Authorities Session; and presented a Side Event at the Habitat III global conference in Quito. Undoubtedly our participation in these proceedings has helped to shape the interest in and understanding of the many benefits of Land Value Capture and Taxation policies.

The IU has launched an initiative to assist mayors and other public officials who may want to implement land value based public finance in order to achieve sustainable development goals and implement the New Urban Agenda.

If you are a mayor or other public official we hereby invite you to work with our team of policy experts to determine the potential benefits and impacts of a land value taxation / land value capture system of public finance for your municipality. We are offering, on a pro bono basis, to help you develop a policy implementation plan. Through engagement with our team you will find out how this public finance approach can fund infrastructure, education and other public goods while also addressing poverty, wealth inequality and the need for adequate, affordable housing for all.

We welcome municipalities to take advantage of our offer of pro bono consultation on best practices for implementing land value based public finance policy. Here are the  documents for public officials:

  1. Letter to Mayors and other Public Officials
  2. Questionnaire
  3. Memorandum of Understanding