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  • Wetzel Dave
    1. I met Jeremy Cronin, South African MP, today. He is the Chairperson of the South African Parliament s all-party Transport Portfolio Committee, many of whom
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 7, 2008
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      Help needed

      1. I met Jeremy Cronin, South African MP, today. He is the Chairperson of the South African Parliament's all-party  Transport Portfolio Committee, many of whom were also with him.
      We met for over 2 hours and  I was able to discuss urban transport policies and Annual Land Value Tax.

      They told me that they have introduced  99 year leases for land with mineral deposits and that they will confiscate land if the owners are not using it.

      Is there anyway we can encourage them to introduce a 99 year lease on all land?

      2. Last week I was the keynote speaker at a traffic conference in Amsterdam. I explained that road pricing is a form of marginal cost pricing and that Annual Land Value Tax would be a useful and fair policy for funding transport infrastructure and services. This is a commercial company who have now invited me back to give a similar presentation to a different audience in the autumn.

      3. Thanks to Emer O'Siochru I'm off to Dublin on Wednesday for an evening lecture and two radio interviews on Thursday.

      4. Next week I give a lecture on road pricing and Annual Land Value Tax at an ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) conference in Bahrain. I'm staying in Bahrain for five nights from this Saturday - does anyone have any  useful contacts?

      5. Similarly I'm visiting Ghent in Belgium towards the end of the month - any contacts?

      6. I have also been invited by my friend Jinhua Zhao of MIT, USA to speak again in Beijing this July. Contacts welcome.

      --------------------------
      Quotation from nobel laureate Robert Solow:

       "The user of land should not be allowed to acquire rights of indefinite duration for single payments.

      For efficiency, for adequate revenue and for justice, every user of land should be required to make an annual payment to the government (national and/or local) equal to the current rental value of the land that he or she prevents others from using."
       --------------------------
      Best Wishes,
      Dave

      Dave Wetzel
      Vice-Chair TfL
      Tel: 020 7126 4200
      --------------------------

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    • Roy Langston
      ... Several points: 1. 99-year leases are a bad idea. The maximum land lease term should be no more than 50 years. Lease terms should be shorter for land
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 8, 2008
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        Dave Wetzel wrote:

        >They told me that they have introduced 99 year leases for
        >land with mineral deposits and that they will confiscate
        >land if the owners are not using it.

        >Is there anyway we can encourage them to introduce a 99
        >year lease on all land?

        Several points:

        1. 99-year leases are a bad idea. The maximum land lease
        term should be no more than 50 years. Lease terms should
        be shorter for land where less investment in fixed capital
        improvements is needed to support the most productive
        currently permitted/expected use. Five- or ten-year lease
        terms are quite sufficient on forest or range land where no
        significant investment in fixed improvements is
        anticipated. Any capital investment that can't be
        justified under a 50-year lease can't be justified under a
        99-year lease, either, and the longer lease term just
        encourages speculation. China is creating an immensely
        wealthy, idle, privileged, landholding overclass of
        speculators by granting 99-year land leases -- a
        catastrophically bad idea that is certain eventually to
        destroy the country unless it is stopped.

        2. Land lease payment amounts must be determined at open
        auction, and no more than 10% of the available land (as
        measured by estimated value) should be released in any one
        year.

        3. Lease terms should explicitly limit land use changes.
        Any substantial change in actual or permitted land use --
        especially from rural to urban -- should automatically
        terminate the lease.

        4. Land lease amounts must ALWAYS be indexed to local GDP,
        as available statistical data permit. NO EXCEPTIONS.

        5. As more of the land base is leased, it will be necessary
        to grant a flat, universal, per capita land lease exemption
        to ensure everyone has access to sufficient living and
        working opportunities for survival.

        6. Leased land should not be confiscated as long as the
        lease payments are kept up.

        7. Leases for mineral-bearing land, timber land, etc.,
        where extraction of a depletable resource is the
        anticipated use, must have two-part lease payments: one
        amount for the location, and a separate severance tax on
        the actual extraction/depletion of the resource.

        8. Similar payments must be required whenever actual land
        use reduces the utility of the land by pollution, erosion,
        soil exhaustion, etc.

        -- Roy Langston



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