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Re: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies

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  • Terence Bendixson
    Jock Thanks for your helpful message. So the local planning authority would have no power to waive LVT in special cases . Quite right too. Think what
    Message 1 of 11 , May 29, 2005
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      Jock

      Thanks for your helpful message. So the local planning authority would have
      no power to waive LVT in 'special cases'. Quite right too. Think what
      corruption that would lead to.

      And I take you point completely about LVT making transparent values and
      privileges that are now hidden. But what about parks and commons? Would they
      be taxed? Would the local authority pay the tax due from them out of other
      LVT revenues? Or would the development plan zone such places as having no
      development value?

      If the latter is the case and the planning authority had wide powers to zone
      for no development, might that deliver the best of both worlds? It would
      take public amenity land out of the market and leave all other sites in. And
      it would make it possible to have small parks at epicentres of land values.
      Or is that too much interference with the market?

      Regards

      Terence Bendixson


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Jock Coats" <jock.coats@...>
      To: "Terence Bendixson" <t.bendixson@...>
      Cc: "Land Café" <LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2005 8:28 PM
      Subject: Re: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies


      Funny you should come up with that particular objection. I also sent a
      copy of this to the various local councillors with whom I had had a
      discussion on this when the site had come up for planning permission.
      And writing the letter had made me think through the process and how it
      might be addressed and I think it's surprisingly elegant actually.

      And sure enough, my former colleague on the planning committee raised
      this very objection too.

      I see the Land Value Tax as actually helping with conservation issues
      as they will concentrate minds on both the benefits and the *costs* of
      conservation and, perhaps just as importantly, *who benefits* from
      conservation.

      In the example in my letter, it is true that the villa site is arguably
      worth conserving in some capacity - whether that's the house only or
      the garden or some special ambiance that could be maintained with some
      lower density development or some other 'deal' that could be done. The
      market takes care of the rest. As noted, the villa was sold for £3.6
      million. That's about half the land value of the other 'sites'. So
      the hope value of development is low. You might be paying a high
      annual tax, but you're getting seven millions worth of land for three
      and a half with a whopping great house thrown in. In a world where LVT
      was the only personal and business tax, there are all sorts of people
      who might then be able to afford those high rates.

      But if you get to the extent that the site could not sell at *any*
      discount because of the high tax then the community, in some form or
      another, perhaps a local conservation trust, English Heritage or the
      like, could effectively help pay for the tax, taking some kind of
      public interest in the property as they do so. Funnily enough, this
      has happened before - with the National Trust mitigating inheritance
      taxes.

      LVT could revolutionize conservation area planning and management and
      give real control to local groups and bargaining power across
      districts.

      This site is just the sort of site in North Oxford that you'd expect a
      big pressure group of largely upper-middle class locals to get up a
      campaign to save. Maybe these sorts of things as aspirational icons
      for them! But because sites like this get protected in North Oxford
      pressure for infilling is piled more in East Oxford. But if that site
      is important only in a local context of North Oxford, why the heck
      should the residents of East Oxford bear the cost, whilst the real
      beneficiaries of the conservation exercise are the land value in North
      Oxford?

      Very elegant indeed!

      Jock

      On 28 May 2005, at 12:53, Terence Bendixson wrote:

      > Dear All
      >
      > Jock Coates explanation of the different effect of LVT and Council Tax
      > in
      > Oxford is wonderfully clear.
      >
      > He also makes reference to the British land planning process in the
      > following words:
      >
      >
      >> 'Under Land Value Tax, however, these three very similar sites would
      >> have similar assessed land values, based on optimum capacity agreed
      >> through the planning process, and incur similar aggregate tax
      >> liabilities regardless of occupancy.'
      >
      > As the Hon Sec Planning of the Chelsea Society (among other things) I
      > am
      > constantly examining local development applications in the light of the
      > Mayor's Plan for London and the Borough Council's Unitary Development
      > Plan.
      > As drafted and enforced these plans, for instance, make it possible
      > for the
      > Royal Hospital Chelsea, with its extensive park to pay a Council Tax
      > that
      > grossly undervalues its site. If it was taxed, through LVT, at a value
      > that
      > represented the development value of the park, the Hospital would
      > probably
      > have to sell off most of the park for development. (It might have to
      > close
      > down altogether because of the very generous spaces that are present
      > in Sir
      > Christopher Wren palatial buildings.) Pensioners and residents who
      > enjoy the
      > 'lung', the amenity or however one might describe it, of the park (and
      > the
      > historic architecture of the pensioners; quarters) would then lose
      > assets
      > and inner city living would be by that much diminished.
      >
      > I can see a development plans under LVT protecting open spaces from
      > development but, if they were in private ownership, how might they be
      > protected from tax designed to ensure their more intensive development.
      > Would development plans incorporate new 'tax holiday' status for open
      > land
      > or buildings that communities wanted to protect? Or do those of who
      > live in
      > dense inner cities, where values are high, have to accept ever high
      > densities?
      >
      > Regards
      >
      > Terence Bendixson, Secretary
      > Independent Transport Commission
      > University of Southampton
      > c/o 39 Elm Park Gardens, London SW10 9QF
      > Tel 020 7352 3885
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Jock Coats" <jock.coats@...>
      > To: "Land Café" <LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 2:02 AM
      > Subject: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies
      >
      >
      > Remember a couple of weeks ago I sent something to the Oxford Times and
      > copied it here (reproduced right at the bottom of this to remind you
      > anyway). Well this Friday there was a reply from the original
      > correspondent, which I've typed up and reproduce in the middle below.
      > So I thought I would let you all see the reply and my response, which I
      > hope they will print this week coming:
      >
      > My latest reply (some of you might recognise some of the wording..:):
      >
      >> Sir - Here's an example illustrating how Land Value Tax would do
      >> better than Council Tax at promoting efficient use of land ("Reducing
      >> Waste", 20th May).
      >>
      >> Three "sites", each of just under a hectare, sit adjacent to each
      >> other off Middle Way in Summertown. First, a rare remaining Victorian
      >> villa, once outside the city and still set in its own extensive
      >> grounds, sold a few years ago for £3.6 million.
      >>
      >> Second, the former Bishop Kirk School. Idle for a decade, recently
      >> developed at 25 dwellings per hectare density, the properties sold, in
      >> total, for about £9.5 million.
      >>
      >> The third is made up of terraces and a block of flats in Osberton
      >> Road. At 88 dwellings per hectare, it has a conservative property
      >> value of £11 million.
      >>
      >> The villa theoretically pays just £2,600 Council Tax annually. The
      >> second site, much less than half the density of the third, pays
      >> £46,000, and the highest density site £96,000. These represent tax
      >> "rates" on property values of 0.07%, 0.42% and 0.81% respectively -
      >> the highest on the most efficient site!
      >>
      >> Apart from being appallingly regressive, Council Tax has the opposite
      >> effect to that Mr Tyce desires. Under-used sites pay less. Tax is
      >> even reduced further when sites lie idle for years as institutional
      >> landowners make their minds up what to do with them.
      >>
      >> Under Land Value Tax, however, these three very similar sites would
      >> have similar assessed land values, based on optimum capacity agreed
      >> through the planning process, and incur similar aggregate tax
      >> liabilities regardless of occupancy.
      >>
      >> The villa would cost nearly £50,000 a year to maintain such profligate
      >> exclusivity whilst Osberton Road's total tax would likely fall,
      >> rewarding its ultra-efficient land use.
      >>
      >> Even more impressively, shifting to Land Value Tax also:
      >> . Rewards work and enterprise, reducing and replacing income,
      >> investment, sales and corporation taxes.
      >> . Simplifies the tax regime, is cheaper to administer & impossible to
      >> avoid.
      >> . Stabilizes property prices, makes and keeps housing affordable and
      >> reduces public and private debt levels.
      >> . Evens out regional prosperity, investment and regeneration.
      >>
      >> Finally, though, I can't help but be surprised that Michael Tyce seems
      >> to rubbish one who is clearly his ally in seeking solutions to housing
      >> needs without encroaching on our countryside. But at least under Land
      >> Value Tax there will still be trees for me to bark up! (387 words).
      >>
      >> Sincerely,
      >>
      >> Jock Coats,
      >> Wardens' Lodgings, Morrell Hall, OX3 0TU
      >> Tel: 07769 695767
      >> e-mail: jock.coats@...
      >
      > Incidentally it is a bit of a tribute to the amount of information
      > available cheaply and easily that I was able to put these figures
      > together. From websites offering searchable databases of all the
      > transactions on a property in the last five years, through council tax
      > bandings and valuations, and even ownership details of the underused
      > site from the land registry for four quid.
      >
      > It was in response to:
      >
      >>> Sir - I am afraid that Jock Coats's offer of a land tax, on top of
      >>> his local income tax, as a replacement for council tax did not as he
      >>> hoped cheer me up at all.
      >>>
      >>> As far as I am aware, land has rarely harmed the environment, or has
      >>> been a conspicuous consumer of irreplaceable resources, or fossil
      >>> fuels, but the occupation of buildings, which the council tax
      >>> addresses, certainly has.
      >>>
      >>> The effect of taxes on houses is that they encourage people to occupy
      >>> buildings in line with their needs rather than their aspirations, and
      >>> to share dwellings rather than form new units. The council tax does
      >>> just that and into the bargain encourages smaller dwellings at
      >>> greater densities and reduces the danger of development incursions on
      >>> to green fields and the Green Belt.
      >>>
      >>> Replacing income tax with targeted taxes on consumption like council
      >>> tax - would benefit us all because consumptions taxes are incurred
      >>> only when the consumption occurs, and directly act to reduce waste of
      >>> resources in all its forms; and reducing income tax would leave wage
      >>> earners with discretion in how they spend, or save, the money they
      >>> earn.
      >>>
      >>> Mr Coats and his economic reform group are barking up two wrong trees
      >>> I am afraid.
      >>>
      >>> Michael Tyce, Waterstock
      >
      > A reminder of my original letter:
      >
      >>>> Dear Sir,
      >>>>
      >>>> I write with both bad and good news for Michael Tyce ("Switching
      >>>> Taxes", 29th April).
      >>>>
      >>>> First, the bad; Council Tax does not encourage efficient land use,
      >>>> nor the earlier rates system. Because they tax the value of both
      >>>> land and buildings on a site, if you increase the density - the
      >>>> value of the buildings - the tax increases.
      >>>>
      >>>> The good news is that in Oxfordshire, there is multi-party support
      >>>> for a system that will do exactly what Mr Tyce wants a property tax
      >>>> to do; help solve Oxfordshire's housing needs through more efficient
      >>>> use of land, whilst avoiding sprawl.
      >>>>
      >>>> Labour, Lib Dem and Green parties on the county council support Land
      >>>> Value Tax. For the Greens, it is manifesto policy to replace
      >>>> Council Tax. It is the Lib Dems' proposed replacement for Uniform
      >>>> Business Rates, accounting for the bigger proportion of local
      >>>> government tax receipts. The Labour Land Campaign has the ear of
      >>>> the Treasury as they review local government funding.
      >>>>
      >>>> With the Vale of White Horse District Council they recently
      >>>> completed a pilot proving statistically that LVT can lessen the
      >>>> burden on those hardest hit by Council Tax and Uniform Business
      >>>> Rate. Lack of this proof is partly why Lib Dems nationally opted
      >>>> for Local Income Tax, and I hope we can persuade them to adopt LVT
      >>>> for both when next they review local government policy.
      >>>>
      >>>> LVT differs from Council Tax in one important respect - it is levied
      >>>> only on the value of land on a site, not the buildings. Within
      >>>> planning constraints, increasing building densities will not
      >>>> increase the tax due, while underutilization is relatively
      >>>> penalised.
      >>>>
      >>>> Disappointingly the Conservatives do not seem to support LVT.
      >>>> Perplexingly too, since it the "least bad tax" to the free market
      >>>> economists they seem to adore otherwise - like Adam Smith and Milton
      >>>> Friedman. Winston Churchill was a vocal supporter. It would
      >>>> substantially help resolve their dilemma of how to accommodate more
      >>>> households without using more land. To mis-quote Leo Tolstoy,
      >>>> "People do not argue with Land Value Tax, they simply do not know
      >>>> about it."
      >>>>
      >>>> We would love Oxfordshire to trail-blaze a full pilot with all-party
      >>>> support, but at least I hope Mr Tyce is reassured that groups are
      >>>> actively campaigning for Oxfordshire to lead the way with an
      >>>> efficient land tax.
      >>>> (381 words)
      >>>>
      >>>> Sincerely,
      >>>>
      >>>> Jock Coats,
      >>>> Wardens' Lodgings, Morrell Hall, OX3 0TU
      >>>> Tel: 07769 695767
      >>>> e-mail: jock.coats@...
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
      > (It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
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      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      --
      J1e Morrell Hall, OXFORD, OX3 0BP, United Kingdom
      T: +44 1865 485019 F: +44 845 1275714 M: +44 7769 695767







      Please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
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    • Mark Porthouse
      There was an interesting thread last December that touched on this issue of LVT on open spaces in urban areas titled Ownership transfer . The conclusion that
      Message 2 of 11 , May 29, 2005
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        There was an interesting thread last December that touched on this issue of
        LVT on open spaces in urban areas titled 'Ownership transfer'.

        The conclusion that I took from that was that either:

        a) Zoning of that land for use as an open space (by urban planning) made the
        'rental value' of the land zero and thus made the LVT zero.

        or

        b) (without zoning) If the local community (the users) see a value in the
        land being an open space then they should be able to place a suitable market
        value on that space and be prepared to pay for it out of community funds
        (tax income for the local council). This depends on the argument that the
        value of open spaces can be measured economically - perhaps in a community
        where LVT is charged you are much more likely to see a social fairness that
        means the social benefits *can* be measured economically, unlike in a less
        egalitarian economic community where distortions in the market (deriving
        from the power of land ownership) are more likely to ensure that social
        benefits cannot be quantified economically.

        Cheers,

        Mark

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com]On
        > Behalf Of Terence Bendixson
        > Sent: 29 May 2005 12:35
        > To: Jock Coats
        > Cc: Land Café
        > Subject: Re: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies
        >
        >
        > Jock
        >
        > Thanks for your helpful message. So the local planning authority
        > would have
        > no power to waive LVT in 'special cases'. Quite right too. Think what
        > corruption that would lead to.
        >
        > And I take you point completely about LVT making transparent values and
        > privileges that are now hidden. But what about parks and commons?
        > Would they
        > be taxed? Would the local authority pay the tax due from them
        > out of other
        > LVT revenues? Or would the development plan zone such places as having no
        > development value?
        >
        > If the latter is the case and the planning authority had wide
        > powers to zone
        > for no development, might that deliver the best of both worlds? It would
        > take public amenity land out of the market and leave all other
        > sites in. And
        > it would make it possible to have small parks at epicentres of
        > land values.
        > Or is that too much interference with the market?
        >
        > Regards
        >
        > Terence Bendixson
      • Dan Sullivan
        I had meant to post this reply to the list yesterday, but replied to sender. It goes a bit further than Mark Porthouse s post, to which I will respond
        Message 3 of 11 , May 30, 2005
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          I had meant to post this reply to the list yesterday, but replied to
          sender. It goes a bit further than Mark Porthouse's post, to which I
          will respond presently.

          It strikes me that what land is held open in the public interest ought to
          be held by the public. That is, Chelsea should buy the park in question
          and truly insure its continuance. The fact of the matter is that *any*
          financial crunch this hospital faces could lead to their selling of this
          park, whether or not the park itself is taxed.

          This is true of any land that is held out of use for public benefit. The
          public should control its own lands and not rely on the "noblesse
          oblige" of the privileged. Conversely, it should not arbitrarily interfere
          with people's use of their own lands by zoning that use away. Either it
          is their land or the public's land.

          Land value tax will cost the average citizen less than the council
          property tax costs, and will cost *far* less than a local income tax
          would cost. "After saving so much money, Chelsea citizens could
          easily afford a small increase so they could make a fair offer on the
          parcel in question and turn it into a public park.

          The hospital, of course, would like to have it both ways -- get a tax
          break for holding the park in its current state and then sell it for
          development when the time is "ripe" for doing so. This is called
          having their cake and eating yours, too.

          -ds

          On 28 May 2005 at 12:53, Terence Bendixson wrote:

          > As the Hon Sec Planning of the Chelsea Society (among
          > other things) I am constantly examining local development
          > applications in the light of the Mayor's Plan for London
          > and the Borough Council's Unitary Development Plan. As
          > drafted and enforced these plans, for instance, make it
          > possible for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, with its
          > extensive park to pay a Council Tax that grossly
          > undervalues its site. If it was taxed, through LVT, at a
          > value that represented the development value of the park,
          > the Hospital would probably have to sell off most of the
          > park for development. (It might have to close down
          > altogether because of the very generous spaces that are
          > present in Sir Christopher Wren palatial buildings.)
          > Pensioners and residents who enjoy the 'lung', the amenity
          > or however one might describe it, of the park (and the
          > historic architecture of the pensioners; quarters) would
          > then lose assets and inner city living would be by that
          > much diminished.
        • Dan Sullivan
          If real property assessments are based on selling price, as they are in the United States, then zoning away all practical uses would not reduce that price to
          Message 4 of 11 , May 30, 2005
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            If real property assessments are based on selling price, as they are in
            the United States, then zoning away all practical uses would not
            reduce that price to zero unless the tax on land were quite heavy. The
            reason is that selling prices are based on speculation about projected
            future rental value, not just current value. In this case, the speculation
            would be that a person with sufficient influence over the zoning board
            could get that zoning restriction lifted.

            This is the core problem with zoning: It makes the value of land
            subject to changes of heart by the zoning board, providing the means
            for massive enrichment through political influence. As Albert Jay
            Nock wrote,

            So long as the State stands as an impersonal mechanism which
            can confer an economic advantage at the mere touch of a
            button, men will seek by all sorts of ways to get at the button,
            because law-made property is acquired with less exertion than
            labour-made property. It is easier to push the button and get
            some form of State-created monopoly like a land-title, a tariff,
            concession or franchise, and pocket the proceeds, than it is to
            accumulate the same by work. Thus a political theory that
            admits any positive intervention by the State upon the
            individual has always this natural law to reckon with...

            Thus, I greatly prefer Mark's second proposal, that the people of the
            community should buy open space from the proceeds of the land
            value tax in order to permanently make that space a public park. To
            reinforce Mark's assertion that the benefits of the park are
            quantifiable, I would note that the difference in value between the
            land around New York City's Central Park and similar land that is not
            near a park vastly exceeds the development value of the park itself
            and the costs of maintaining and operating the park.

            -ds

            On 29 May 2005 at 23:30, Mark Porthouse wrote:

            > There was an interesting thread last December that touched on this
            > issue of LVT on open spaces in urban areas titled 'Ownership
            > transfer'.
            >
            > The conclusion that I took from that was that either:
            >
            > a) Zoning of that land for use as an open space (by urban planning)
            > made the 'rental value' of the land zero and thus made the LVT zero.
            >
            > or
            >
            > b) (without zoning) If the local community (the users) see a value in
            > the land being an open space then they should be able to place a
            > suitable market value on that space and be prepared to pay for it out
            > of community funds (tax income for the local council). This depends on
            > the argument that the value of open spaces can be measured
            > economically - perhaps in a community where LVT is charged you are
            > much more likely to see a social fairness that means the social
            > benefits *can* be measured economically, unlike in a less egalitarian
            > economic community where distortions in the market (deriving from the
            > power of land ownership) are more likely to ensure that social
            > benefits cannot be quantified economically.
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > Mark
            >
            > > -----Original Message-----
            > > From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com]On
            > > Behalf Of Terence Bendixson Sent: 29 May 2005 12:35 To: Jock Coats
            > > Cc: Land Café Subject: Re: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies
            > >
            > >
            > > Jock
            > >
            > > Thanks for your helpful message. So the local planning authority
            > > would have no power to waive LVT in 'special cases'. Quite right
            > > too. Think what corruption that would lead to.
            > >
            > > And I take you point completely about LVT making transparent values
            > > and privileges that are now hidden. But what about parks and
            > > commons? Would they be taxed? Would the local authority pay the tax
            > > due from them out of other LVT revenues? Or would the development
            > > plan zone such places as having no development value?
            > >
            > > If the latter is the case and the planning authority had wide
            > > powers to zone
            > > for no development, might that deliver the best of both worlds? It
            > > would take public amenity land out of the market and leave all other
            > > sites in. And it would make it possible to have small parks at
            > > epicentres of land values. Or is that too much interference with the
            > > market?
            > >
            > > Regards
            > >
            > > Terence Bendixson
            >
            >
            >
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          • Ed Dodson
            Ed Dodson responding... Mark Porthouse wrote (5/29): There was an interesting thread last December that touched on this issue of LVT on open spaces in urban
            Message 5 of 11 , May 31, 2005
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              Ed Dodson responding...
              Mark Porthouse wrote (5/29):


              There was an interesting thread last December that touched on this issue of
              LVT on open spaces in urban areas titled 'Ownership transfer'.

              The conclusion that I took from that was that either:

              a) Zoning of that land for use as an open space (by urban planning) made the
              'rental value' of the land zero and thus made the LVT zero.

              or

              b) (without zoning) If the local community (the users) see a value in the
              land being an open space then they should be able to place a suitable market
              value on that space and be prepared to pay for it out of community funds
              (tax income for the local council). This depends on the argument that the
              value of open spaces can be measured economically - perhaps in a community
              where LVT is charged you are much more likely to see a social fairness that
              means the social benefits *can* be measured economically, unlike in a less
              egalitarian economic community where distortions in the market (deriving
              from the power of land ownership) are more likely to ensure that social
              benefits cannot be quantified economically.

              Ed Dodson here:
              The market dynamics that drive land value are fairly straightforward. The
              rental value of a location will tend to be higher absent restrictions on
              use, inasmuch as restrictions impose costs on the potential user.

              Zoning, as a planning tool, certainly influences rental values (which, in
              turn, influences the capitalization of such values into sought after selling
              prices).

              An effective strategy communities might pursue to obtain accurate,
              up-to-date market data on land rental values is to maintain a percentage of
              land in community ownership but offered to private users under a leasehold
              arrangement. The leasehold period can be of a length sufficient to guarantee
              secure use of improvements made to the location (e.g., 20-30 years) but with
              provisions for periodic adjustment in annual rental charges based on market
              location rents.
            • Harry Pollard
              Ed and Mark, All land should get a Rent charge. One can imagine a group of wealthy people building around a giant park without paying for it while poorer
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 1, 2005
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                Ed and Mark,



                All land should get a Rent charge. One can imagine a group
                of wealthy people building around a giant park without
                paying for it while poorer people are paying their full
                Rent.



                Government buildings should pay Rent too. When they realize
                their budgets are going into Rent rather than salaries, they
                might be inclined to move to lower Rent areas where they are
                closer to the people they are supposed to be serving.



                Ed, we don’t need devices to find Rents.



                With experienced appraisers and an effective – and widely
                published Rent map – we can become very accurate at properly
                appraising Rents. The major advantage of Rent maps is that
                adjacent Rents are like each other – they may be identical –
                as in the street valuation method.



                You’ll recall that around the first World War, the Danish
                Assessors mapped the Rents of a large area. They next mapped
                the whole country. This was not to collect revenue – it was
                practice. This gave them the training necessary to an
                accurate appraisal for taxing purposes.



                Each time they did an appraisal from thereon – they got
                better. (And were checked by the country-wide publication of
                their results.)



                Harry



                *******************************

                Henry George School of Social Science

                of Los Angeles

                Box 655 Tujunga CA 91042

                818 352-4141

                *******************************





                _____

                From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ed Dodson
                Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 7:05 AM
                To: Land Café
                Cc: Mark Porthouse
                Subject: RE: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies



                Ed Dodson responding...
                Mark Porthouse wrote (5/29):


                There was an interesting thread last December that touched
                on this issue of
                LVT on open spaces in urban areas titled 'Ownership
                transfer'.

                The conclusion that I took from that was that either:

                a) Zoning of that land for use as an open space (by urban
                planning) made the
                'rental value' of the land zero and thus made the LVT zero.

                or

                b) (without zoning) If the local community (the users) see a
                value in the
                land being an open space then they should be able to place a
                suitable market
                value on that space and be prepared to pay for it out of
                community funds
                (tax income for the local council). This depends on the
                argument that the
                value of open spaces can be measured economically - perhaps
                in a community
                where LVT is charged you are much more likely to see a
                social fairness that
                means the social benefits *can* be measured economically,
                unlike in a less
                egalitarian economic community where distortions in the
                market (deriving
                from the power of land ownership) are more likely to ensure
                that social
                benefits cannot be quantified economically.

                Ed Dodson here:
                The market dynamics that drive land value are fairly
                straightforward. The
                rental value of a location will tend to be higher absent
                restrictions on
                use, inasmuch as restrictions impose costs on the potential
                user.

                Zoning, as a planning tool, certainly influences rental
                values (which, in
                turn, influences the capitalization of such values into
                sought after selling
                prices).

                An effective strategy communities might pursue to obtain
                accurate,
                up-to-date market data on land rental values is to maintain
                a percentage of
                land in community ownership but offered to private users
                under a leasehold
                arrangement. The leasehold period can be of a length
                sufficient to guarantee
                secure use of improvements made to the location (e.g., 20-30
                years) but with
                provisions for periodic adjustment in annual rental charges
                based on market
                location rents.







                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Harry Pollard
                Dan, The privileged you mention are so by virtue of their legal right to take Rent. If 100% of the Rent is collected the privilege is gone. Incidentally,
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 1, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dan,



                  The "privileged" you mention are so by virtue of their legal
                  right to take Rent.



                  If 100% of the Rent is collected the "privilege" is gone.



                  Incidentally, small neighborhood parks seem to be better
                  than the set-pieces like Central Park and Hyde Park. They
                  produce friendly groupings where people talk to each other.



                  Harry

                  *******************************

                  Henry George School of Social Science

                  of Los Angeles

                  Box 655 Tujunga CA 91042

                  818 352-4141

                  *******************************





                  _____

                  From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                  [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
                  Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 6:39 AM
                  To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies



                  I had meant to post this reply to the list yesterday, but
                  replied to
                  sender. It goes a bit further than Mark Porthouse's post, to
                  which I
                  will respond presently.

                  It strikes me that what land is held open in the public
                  interest ought to
                  be held by the public. That is, Chelsea should buy the park
                  in question
                  and truly insure its continuance. The fact of the matter is
                  that *any*
                  financial crunch this hospital faces could lead to their
                  selling of this
                  park, whether or not the park itself is taxed.

                  This is true of any land that is held out of use for public
                  benefit. The
                  public should control its own lands and not rely on the
                  "noblesse
                  oblige" of the privileged. Conversely, it should not
                  arbitrarily interfere
                  with people's use of their own lands by zoning that use
                  away. Either it
                  is their land or the public's land.

                  Land value tax will cost the average citizen less than the
                  council
                  property tax costs, and will cost *far* less than a local
                  income tax
                  would cost. "After saving so much money, Chelsea citizens
                  could
                  easily afford a small increase so they could make a fair
                  offer on the
                  parcel in question and turn it into a public park.

                  The hospital, of course, would like to have it both ways --
                  get a tax
                  break for holding the park in its current state and then
                  sell it for
                  development when the time is "ripe" for doing so. This is
                  called
                  having their cake and eating yours, too.

                  -ds

                  On 28 May 2005 at 12:53, Terence Bendixson wrote:

                  > As the Hon Sec Planning of the Chelsea Society (among
                  > other things) I am constantly examining local development
                  > applications in the light of the Mayor's Plan for London
                  > and the Borough Council's Unitary Development Plan. As
                  > drafted and enforced these plans, for instance, make it
                  > possible for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, with its
                  > extensive park to pay a Council Tax that grossly
                  > undervalues its site. If it was taxed, through LVT, at a
                  > value that represented the development value of the park,
                  > the Hospital would probably have to sell off most of the
                  > park for development. (It might have to close down
                  > altogether because of the very generous spaces that are
                  > present in Sir Christopher Wren palatial buildings.)
                  > Pensioners and residents who enjoy the 'lung', the amenity
                  > or however one might describe it, of the park (and the
                  > historic architecture of the pensioners; quarters) would
                  > then lose assets and inner city living would be by that
                  > much diminished.







                  Please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
                  (It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
                  To post message to group: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                  To unsubscribe: LandCafe-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  Consult Value Capture Initiative at: http://ecoplan.org




                  _____

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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Terence Bendixson
                  Harry I am fortunate enough to be sitting as I write this overlooking a wonderfully green and secluded garden square. It is about 20 tennis courts in sized -
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 3, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Harry

                    I am fortunate enough to be sitting as I write this overlooking a
                    wonderfully green and secluded garden square. It is about 20 tennis courts
                    in sized - maybe a bit more. But I also go to Hyde Park for week end walks
                    and, come the summer, swim in the Serpentine lake.

                    It would be very hard to say that one is better than the other. It is like
                    comparing dingy sailing with crewing a vessel designed for the America's
                    cup. Both are invaluable in big cities. And in both cases everything turns
                    on the quality of their management.

                    Regards

                    Terence

                    Terence Bendixson, Secretary
                    Independent Transport Commission
                    University of Southampton
                    c/o 39 Elm Park Gardens, London SW10 9QF
                    Tel 020 7352 3885


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Harry Pollard" <henrygeorgeschool@...>
                    To: "'Dan Sullivan'" <pimann@...>; <LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 9:52 PM
                    Subject: RE: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies


                    > Dan,
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > The "privileged" you mention are so by virtue of their legal
                    > right to take Rent.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > If 100% of the Rent is collected the "privilege" is gone.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Incidentally, small neighborhood parks seem to be better
                    > than the set-pieces like Central Park and Hyde Park. They
                    > produce friendly groupings where people talk to each other.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Harry
                    >
                    > *******************************
                    >
                    > Henry George School of Social Science
                    >
                    > of Los Angeles
                    >
                    > Box 655 Tujunga CA 91042
                    >
                    > 818 352-4141
                    >
                    > *******************************
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > _____
                    >
                    > From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                    > [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
                    > Sent: Monday, May 30, 2005 6:39 AM
                    > To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: RE: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I had meant to post this reply to the list yesterday, but
                    > replied to
                    > sender. It goes a bit further than Mark Porthouse's post, to
                    > which I
                    > will respond presently.
                    >
                    > It strikes me that what land is held open in the public
                    > interest ought to
                    > be held by the public. That is, Chelsea should buy the park
                    > in question
                    > and truly insure its continuance. The fact of the matter is
                    > that *any*
                    > financial crunch this hospital faces could lead to their
                    > selling of this
                    > park, whether or not the park itself is taxed.
                    >
                    > This is true of any land that is held out of use for public
                    > benefit. The
                    > public should control its own lands and not rely on the
                    > "noblesse
                    > oblige" of the privileged. Conversely, it should not
                    > arbitrarily interfere
                    > with people's use of their own lands by zoning that use
                    > away. Either it
                    > is their land or the public's land.
                    >
                    > Land value tax will cost the average citizen less than the
                    > council
                    > property tax costs, and will cost *far* less than a local
                    > income tax
                    > would cost. "After saving so much money, Chelsea citizens
                    > could
                    > easily afford a small increase so they could make a fair
                    > offer on the
                    > parcel in question and turn it into a public park.
                    >
                    > The hospital, of course, would like to have it both ways --
                    > get a tax
                    > break for holding the park in its current state and then
                    > sell it for
                    > development when the time is "ripe" for doing so. This is
                    > called
                    > having their cake and eating yours, too.
                    >
                    > -ds
                    >
                    > On 28 May 2005 at 12:53, Terence Bendixson wrote:
                    >
                    > > As the Hon Sec Planning of the Chelsea Society (among
                    > > other things) I am constantly examining local development
                    > > applications in the light of the Mayor's Plan for London
                    > > and the Borough Council's Unitary Development Plan. As
                    > > drafted and enforced these plans, for instance, make it
                    > > possible for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, with its
                    > > extensive park to pay a Council Tax that grossly
                    > > undervalues its site. If it was taxed, through LVT, at a
                    > > value that represented the development value of the park,
                    > > the Hospital would probably have to sell off most of the
                    > > park for development. (It might have to close down
                    > > altogether because of the very generous spaces that are
                    > > present in Sir Christopher Wren palatial buildings.)
                    > > Pensioners and residents who enjoy the 'lung', the amenity
                    > > or however one might describe it, of the park (and the
                    > > historic architecture of the pensioners; quarters) would
                    > > then lose assets and inner city living would be by that
                    > > much diminished.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
                    > (It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
                    > To post message to group: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                    > To unsubscribe: LandCafe-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    > Consult Value Capture Initiative at: http://ecoplan.org
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > _____
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LandCafe/
                    >
                    >
                    > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                    > LandCafe-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    > <mailto:LandCafe-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubsc
                    > ribe>
                    >
                    >
                    > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
                    > Terms of <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> Service.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
                    > (It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
                    > To post message to group: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                    > To unsubscribe: LandCafe-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    > Consult Value Capture Initiative at: http://ecoplan.org
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
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