Land Value Taxation comes to Ireland

A very good development coming out of the Irish meltdown, the introduction of nation-wide land value taxation policy.

Site Value Taxation (or Land Value Taxation) is like the property tax except that it levies only the value of the lot underneath the buildings, not the value of the buildings (improvements). It is a tax shift, not a tax grab, since other taxes will be reduced.

One benefit is that it doesn't punish those who renovate, expand or who build affordable housing. In Canada, multi-unit and commercial buildings pay 4 - 10 times the rate of detached houses.

Another is that it "right prices" land which will incent efficient land use, reducing sprawl. A vacant lot will carry the same charge as a lot with a building on it, encouraging people to build or sell, rather than hold land out of production for speculative purposes.

Also, assessments are more accurate and simpler when only the lot is assessed, and not the buildings, a problem which hit the papers in Ontario.

LVT is not just for the municipal level. The Ontario and Canadian governments should generate most of their revenue from land value taxes plus levies on resource use and pollution, in lieu of income, business or consumption taxes. Income and business taxes kill jobs and damage the economy, but taxing nature doesn't.