The critical role of property tax in K-12 education
The property tax has a bedrock role in the funding of K-12 education, and the Lincoln Institute is proud to make new research freely available on the subject in a special issue of the journal Education Finance and Policy. Eight articles in the Fall 2014 issue of the journal can be downloaded without charge from the website of the Association of Education Finance and Policy. A fresh look at the intersection of the property tax and school finance is important for several reasons: revenues devoted to public education have fallen in recent years, revenue growth is sluggish in many states, and there are diminished prospects for increased federal funding for K-12 education. Local school districts will be under growing pressure to increase property taxes or to turn to alternative sources of local government revenue.
Academic institutions are becoming Conservation Catalysts
Efforts to protect jaguar habitats from Mexico to Argentina, coastal areas in southern Australia, and vital ecosystems along the Colorado River all have one thing in common: academic institutions have become the lynchpin to making these initiatives happen. The strategic role of these institutions, from colleges and universities to research institutes and field stations, is documented in a new volume published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Conservation Catalysts: The Academy as Nature’s Agent, edited by James N. Levitt. The book is being launched officially today at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.
Community land trusts and permanently affordable housing
Homeownership has lost its luster since 2008, and no wonder – as Americans lost trillions in wealth, many have turned to renting. But as Lincoln Institute president George W. McCarthy and Harold Simon, executive director of the National Housing Institute,write in an op-ed essay, published in The Boston Globe, there is a third way: shared equity housing, in the form of community land trusts. Prices are based on the homes but not the land underneath, with a modest cap on resale profit. The approach brings stability to the wild swings that can be characteristic in housing markets, and our research has documented very few foreclosures at CLTs. Yet, sadly, a legislative technicality is preventing CLTs from scaling up; the FHA says it can’t back mortgages for CLTs.
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