RE: [WorldTransport Forum] `How to pay for public transport'' - G avin R. Putland, BE PhD. Co mmunications Officer, Prosper Australia
- Apologies if this argument has been made before.
There is one observation in this article which I think reveals a weakness in
the concept of land tax:
"Another landowner who cannot realize an increase in A (e.g. a residential
owner-occupant) does not have any additional cash flow to cover the
increased LVT, but can avoid the increase in LVT and pocket the increase in
V by selling out and moving to another location"
In other words, a land value tax that captures the increase in land value
due to a new public transport line will generate a repulsive force around
that line. It will thus act to change the type of land use in the vicinity
of that line. It will stimulate commercial activity that can produce a cash
flow to cover the increase in value, and discourage owner-occupiers as
observed above. They will move away, which has the perverse effect that the
public transport development pushes away the very people it is supposed to
serve. These people are likely to move somewhere with a worse public
transport connection, so they will have to (continue to) use the car for
their transport needs.
If the objective is to finance public transport, then the land value tax
seems to be an instrument. But why do we want to develop public transport
in the first place? There appear to be two motivations. The first is
social policy: you want to be able to offer transport services to those
unable or unwilling to buy or use a car. A land tax will increase rents
near the public transport infrastructure, which hits those on low incomes
hardest. They will have to move out and find themselves again without
adequate transport supply, which counteracts the social policy objective.
The second motivation comes from transport policy: the desire to reduce car
traffic and sprawl in towns. As described earlier, some car traffic may
actually be generated by persuading people to move away.
Has this repulsion effect been investigated? It seems to be dismissed a bit
European Commission, Environment Directorate-General, Unit C.1: Air,
Noise and Transport
Tel +32 2 299 5882; Fax +32 2 296 9554; E-mail
From: Wetzel Dave [mailto:davewetzel@...]
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 4:35 PM
To: 'Glenn Lyons'
Cc: 'Gavin Putland (Aus)'; Kiley Bob; Walder Jay; Broe Barry; Amenta Tom
Subject: [WorldTransport Forum] `How to pay for public transport'' - Gavin
R. Putland, BE PhD. Co mmunications Officer, Prosper Australia
Many thanks for sending me Gavin's paper "How to Pay for Public Transport"
on Transport and Land Value tax:
and the Local transport Today article on your Transport Planning Society
meeting at which I spoke:
which I am circulating by Bcc to many people.
It is especially encouraging that such a thoughtful academic paper as
Gavin's has arrived from Australia
when these issues are being discussed here in the UK.
From: Glenn Lyons [mailto:Glenn.Lyons@...]
Sent: 07 February 2004 10:52
To: G.R. Putland
Cc: Wetzel Dave
Subject: Re: ``How to pay for public transport''
Many thanks for bringing this to my attention. By copy of this email I am
alerting Dave Wetzel to this. Dave is the leading light in terms of the
campaign for land value taxation in the UK and I suspect will read your
essay with great interest.
Professor Glenn Lyons, Director, Centre for Transport & Society,
Faculty of the Built Environment, University of the West of England,
At 01:38 29/01/2004, you wrote:
In response to the column at
I draw your attention to my essay on public transport funding at
http://www.users.bigpond.com/putland/pubtrans.htm . The
essay has a summary and a table of contents.
Note: The address of the essay may change; so if it is of
interest, you would do well to save a copy of it.
Gavin R. Putland, BE PhD
Communications Officer, Prosper Australia
43 Azalea Crescent
Calamvale, Q 4116, AUSTRALIA
Tel. + 61 7 3272 5984
1st Floor, 27 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000, AUSTRALIA
Professor Glenn Lyons
Centre for Transport & Society
Faculty of the Built Environment
University of the West of England
BRISTOL BS16 1QY
Tel 0117 32 83219
Mobile 07748 768404
Fax 0117 32 83899
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Further to the dialog on this of which the last interesting points I have in front of me were made by Günter Hörmandinger of the European Commission: This is one of those (many) cases in which we see that matters of transport and mobility are too important to be left to the transport generals.
There are two full generations of experience behind us in cities and peoples’ heads on these matters, with enough now available on the topic that we can at least spot where not to put our big transport feet. Certainly, as by Günter points out, we need to be very sure that when we begin to ‘capture value’ from public investments in the transport system, we also are aware of these perverse effects in terms of social justice and make provision for them. Now this ain’t so hard, but it does of course get us beyond the usual pure transport mandate. But what the hell, it’s always good to get to knew and work with our neighbors in the other policy and practice areas. All of which together make up the fabric of our real world lives and our real world cities.
Examples of how to do this abound, and I am sure that we shall be hearing about them.
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