tax-increment financing toronto transit

Toronto's mayor is on the right track with his suggestion to use "tax-increment financing" to pay for new transit. The best way to finance transit is indeed by collecting the upkick in land values (economic rent) so that the unearned increment generated by the new infrastructure goes to pay for that infrastructure, rather than financing it out of general revenue by taxing distant taxpayers who won't benefit from it.

The property tax is actually a combination of two taxes: one on the land and one on the buildings, but there are multiple benefits to urban design when municipal property taxes are split in two and shifted off buildings and onto land value alone. When municipalities collect a percentage of the community-created land value (economic rent), instead of taxing improvements (buildings), walkability and infill occur naturally, reducing municipal taxes and improving the quality of life for all. By employing economic rent capture as a market mechanism, municipalities can generate sufficient revenue pl

Well, the federal political parties are saber rattling again, threatening an election over the corporate tax cuts which will be in the upcoming budget.

The Conservatives are sticking with their plan to roll back corporate taxes from 22% in 2007 to 15%, that corporate tax cuts are good for the economy..., while the Liberals say this is a bad idea in the face of a $56 billion deficit. The NDP are of course lined up behind the Libs.

Both sides are half right and half wrong, giving the Green Party an excellent opportunity to promote our economic program.

The best way of paying for infrastructure like transit, is through "land value taxation."

There is good evidence that all warranted infrastructure (hospitals, transit, parks,...) could pay for itself if the rise in local land values that the infrastructure generated was collected by government for this purpose.

However, under the current municipal tax structure, most of the increase in land value is capitalized into the land, and therefore doesn't go back to the public purse which created it, but instead into the pockets of local land owners when they rent or sell their land.

land value taxation

In the absence of land value taxation, hundreds of frustrated Toronto landowners and merchants have taken matters into their own hands, voluntarily taxing themselves to finance a redesign of their local street.

Six hundred and fifty-eight businesses in the Bloor and Yonge shopping district agreed to levy themselves $20 million to finance sidewalk widening, adding benches and granite planters, and planting trees along the street. Toronto Star columnist Christopher Hume calls the street remake "an enormous success, a model for the rest of Toronto".

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.