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RE: [LandCafe] Oxford Times replies

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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        >
        > 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
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        >
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        >
      • 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 3 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 4 of 11 , Jun 1, 2005
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            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 5 of 11 , Jun 3, 2005
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              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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