Comment 87429

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted March 21, 2013 at 14:33:41 in reply to Comment 87377

Interestingly, last week's Economist advocated a Land Value Tax as a way of encouraging businesses to develop land they own more productively, rather than just sitting on it. The idea was that this would help lift the UK economy out of the recession.

Hamilton would certainly benefit from a land value tax as it would discourage the property speculation that has destroyed large swathes of downtown. This speculation is possible because demolition and deliberately emptying buildings actually lowers the tax rate, often to the point where the carrying cost is close to zero, and a significant profit can be made by using the land as car storage. With a land value tax it would not be possible to hold onto vacant land in the centre of a city for decades at a time.

It would also be fairer to people who live in apartments, who currently pay a much higher effective property tax rate (as part of their rent) than those living in single family homes.

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