The Site-Value Tax: Its Potential Effect on Urban and County Land Uses in North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • Chester, Edwin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of City and Regional Planning, School of Law
  • Of the many factors deemed responsible for the decay of our central cities, one which is consistently cited as a major problem is the property tax. It is charged with encouraging urban blight and ugliness, generating urban sprawl and the inefficient use of land, and unfairly burdening those who are least able to pay. Cities and states have reacted to these problems in a piecemeal fashion, enacting various tax abatement or exemption programs when inequities and inefficiency became too onerous. But these programs are limited in their effectiveness by their lack of a systematic approach to the inherent weaknesses of the property tax system. Often proposed as a reasonable alternative to the current property tax system is what is known as a site-value tax. Henry George, an American economist, began lauding its virtues almost one hundred years ago. But in spite of the theoretical validity of arguments made by its proponents, few taxing jurisdictions have seriously considered site-value taxation as an alternative to the present system, and fewer still have implemented any form of it. Economic theorists have thoroughly explored the expected effects of the tax, but there is a dearth of research focusing on the actual assessment figures of existing taxing jurisdictions and the effect which site-value taxation would have on specific types of land uses within the community. This paper, after briefly reviewing the theoretical arguments in favor of site-value taxation, investigates the effects which a site-value taxation system would have on various land use categories in two North Carolina urban centers and their counties—Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and Durham and Durham County.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Carolina Planning Journal
Journal volume
  • 2
Journal issue
  • 2
Page start
  • 43
Page end
  • 49
  • English
Digital collection
  • Carolina Planning Journal
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