TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Distributional Consequences of Converting the Property Tax to a Land Value Tax

NTJ Logo John H. Bowman (Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Economics) & Michael E. Bell (George Washington University, Institute for Public Policy) have published Distributional Consequences of Converting the Property Tax to a Land Value Tax: Replication and Extension of England and Zhao, 61 Nat'l Tax J. 593 (2008).  Here is the abstract:

England and Zhao report that changing the Dover, New Hampshire, property tax to one taxing land more heavily than improvements would increase the tax on single–family residences and changes across residences would be regressive. We replicate their analysis for Roanoke, Virginia, with results opposite those for Dover. We extend the Roanoke analysis beyond England and Zhao by linking property tax changes to income and poverty data for census tracts; the resulting tax change would benefit most those areas with lowest incomes and highest poverty rates. Thus, both approaches for Roanoke show initial tax burden changes to be progressive.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2009/04/distributional-consequences.html

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Comments

Before I were to accept or reject the conclusions about either case study, I would like to see a land value map of the land assessments. Unless the land assessments are sound, it's all garbage data we're working with. I've seen very few land value maps in this country beyond the ones that I've been responsible for. See http://www.urbantools.org/research-and-studies/imaging-the-land-value-tax/land-value-maps-scapes. But in many instances, it appears that the highest value sites in urban cores are underassessed, often due to inadequate depreciation of the buildings and as a favor to their owners who want to depreciate them on federal income tax statements. B.

Posted by: Bill Batt | Apr 9, 2009 5:42:39 AM