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Press Reports on Site Value Tax in Ireland


Image: tlindenbaum via Flickr

Aaron McKenna picked up our arguments for a Site Value Tax over a property tax in his article in The Journal. See extract below

Efficient use

A better property tax (or at least a less bad one) would be a site value based tax, such as that economist Ronan Lyons has been calling for. This tax would be based on the value of the land a building is on, not the building itself.

There are a myriad of reasons why a site value tax would be better.

A tax on the value of your property is a disincentive to many efficient things you could do with that building: For example, if you were to spend money to make your house more energy-efficient it would increase the value and, therefore, your annual tax bill.

A tax on the value of the land the building sits on incentivises more efficient use of that land. For example if you have a derelict site in a town or city you will pay the same tax for owning a wreck as you would for opening a shop or building an apartment complex. In the property value based tax system you will pay more tax if you do something efficient with the land.

A site value-based tax would also provide a disincentive to the speculative zoning of land – for example from farming to residential – because you’ll still pay the increased taxes on the land even if you’re doing nothing with it.

Any tax is going to have to contain a raft of offsetting exemptions and rules for those in negative equity, the poor, rural dwellers, and so on. There is no advantage or disadvantage to a site value tax when constructing these rules. But the for the government, the main upside in a property value tax is that they will get a windfall from a property boom.

That’s not very advantageous to you and I, Joe Citizens who really don’t need the government egging on higher home prices. And it’s not at all good for society that the property tax should discourage people from making the most efficient use of their land.

Aaron McKenna is a businessman and a columnist for You can find out more about him at or follow him on Twitter @aaronmckenna.

Read: More columns from Aaron McKenna on>


Also see

Debate Needed on Property or Site Value Tax – Indymedia Ireland
In an interview today on DriveTime on Radio 1 today (~6:30pm), author of.

Report on property tax to be brought to Cabinet ‘shortly’
Today the group, Smart Taxes Network, suggested the government may be suppressing the report because it proposes a site value tax, a claim the Department

Posted in Green Job Guarantee, Land Taxation, News, Site Value Tax.

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