Land value tax

A land value tax or location value tax (LVT), also called a site valuation tax, split rate tax, or site-value rating, is an ad valorem levy on the unimproved value of land. Unlike property taxes, it disregards the value of buildings, personal property and other improvements to real estate.[1] A land value tax is generally favored by economists as (unlike many other taxes) it does not cause economic inefficiency, and it tends to reduce inequality.[2]

Land value tax has been referred to as "the perfect tax" and the economic efficiency of a land value tax has been known since the eighteenth century.[1][3][4] Many economists since Adam Smith and David Ricardo have advocated this tax because it does not hurt economic activity or disincentivize the construction, repair, and maintenance of land. LVT is most famously associated with Henry George, whose ideology became known as Georgism. Georgism argues that taxing the value of the land (economic rent) is the most logical source of public revenue because the supply of land is fixed and its location value is created by communities and public works.[5]

A land value tax is a progressive tax, in that the tax burden falls on titleholders in proportion to the value of locations, the ownership of which is highly correlated with overall wealth and income.[6][7] Land value taxation is currently implemented throughout Denmark,[8] Estonia, Lithuania,[9] Russia,[10] Singapore,[11] and Taiwan;[12] it has also been applied to smaller extents in subregions of Australia, Mexico (Mexicali), and the United States (e.g., Pennsylvania[13]).