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Support for Land Value Taxes by One-Who-Knows

I am just back from the joint RIAI (Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland) and the DoEHLG (Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government) housing conference in Sligo.  Presentations were  full of worthy sentiments couched in public servant speak as one might expect.  Denial of the extent and durability of the collapse was endemic as most speakers talked about preparing for the inevitable growth upturn.

But there were many shafts of bright ideas and episodes of plain speaking.   The most unexpected light source of bright ideas and clarity of delivery came from deep within the civil service; from John O’Connor, Chairperson of An Bord Pleanala, the Irish planning appeal body.   O’Connor sees more of the underbelly of Irish local government and planning system than any single person living in the State.   His prescription for reform prioritised Land Value Tax and included the following slide.

Mooted Property Tax

  • Absence of a proper property taxes contributed to the bubble
  • Militates against sustainable efficient planning
  • Supplementary Budget – consideration of new property tax
  • land Value Tax should be an element
  • LVT would drive sustainable development, promote logical behaviour and stabilise market
  • Reduce pressures to grant planning permission to generate revenues
  • LVT would lead to review of development levies.

We could  not have put the case for LVT in town  and country planning more powerfully and succinctly ourselves.

Further to advancing LVT in Ireland, The Urban Institute, with the support of the Smart Taxes Network, is shortly to embark on a  survey of a wide group of professionals and of the Social Partners which might yet uncover more unexpected and welcome support for LVT.   The survey, a detailed questionnaire in a reiterative process, hopes to draw out practitioner and other stakeholder knowledge to craft a workable LVT system for Ireland.

The Urban Forum is a network of built environment professionals currently excluded from Social Partnership as they do not fit into the current silo pillar structures.  Their initiative to support LVT and their creativity in pursuing it should earn them a place of honour at the decisionmakers table – not least because their members groups, architects, engineers, planners, valuers, project managers have suffered more  severely from the banking crisis than any other sector in the country.

PS.  We wish to congratulate James Pike for both  his well deserved RIAI Silver Medal for Housing and his award for long and valued service to the joint housing conference, a unique public private partnership (of the best kind) event that has taken place every odd year for the last 40 years through depression and boom.

Posted in Land Taxation, News, Site Value Tax.

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One Response

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  1. robinsmith3 says

    ” We could not have put the case for LVT in town and country planning more powerfully and succinctly ourselves”

    Yes you could by saying something far more powerful and succinct:

    “an annual tax on the rental value of land, assuming it were in its optimum permitted use”

    See here for why:

    And call me if you want help developing your policy…