“The Perfect Tax”: Land Value Taxation and the Housing Crisis | Brown Political Review

December 03, 2021
  • D.C. Policy Center
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Photo/Ted Eytan. Used with permission (Source)

On December 3, 2021, the D.C. Policy Center’s article, Land Value Tax: Can it Work in the District?, was cited by Brown Political Review:

In addition to its desirable efficiency, land value taxation radically changes the incentives around land use, potentially helping housing-starved cities kickstart new development. The important feature of a LVT is that it is levied on the unimproved value of land, and so can encourage landowners to develop their property in order to gain more profit from it and reduce the relative cost of the tax. An example from the D.C. Policy Center is informative: The owner of a single-family home can increase the value of the property by replacing the single-family home with a duplex or triplex while still paying the same in taxes under a system of land value taxation, reducing the average tax burden per unit. In contrast, under the standard property tax regime, this increased densification would result in a higher property tax burden due to the increased value of the property, and the landowner may decide not to undertake this improvement. In this way land value taxation can increase housing supply and drive new development. Land value taxation could also potentially help neutralize the effect of NIMBYism. One of the major drivers of NIMBYism is the concern that new development will reduce the value of local homeowners’ land. A land value tax could reduce local homeowners’ investment in maintaining the value of their land, reducing their opposition to new development and allowing the housing supply to grow with fewer constraints.

Read more: “The Perfect Tax”: Land Value Taxation and the Housing Crisis | Brown Political Review

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D.C. Policy Center


Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

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