Taxing for open space
Based on the last several years of referendum voting, it appears most Americans are willing to pay for the acquisition of conservation land. But the details of how best to do that -- with an increase on the sales tax, for example -- have been less clear. H. Spencer Banzhaf and Wallace E. Oates made a major contribution to the literature with Lincoln Institute-supported research on a large database compiled by the Land Trust Alliance and the Trust for Public Land, covering all known U.S. referenda for acquisition of open space between 1998 and 2006. The resulting paper, On Fiscal Illusion in Local Public Finance: Re-Examining Ricardian Equivalence and the Renter Effect, won the Richard Musgrave Award for best article published in the National Tax Journal, at the National Tax Association conference in Tampa last month.
A wetter future only seemed more inexorable this month, with Typhoon Haiyan laying waste to the Phillipines with a 14-foot storm surge, and new flood maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency bringing back the high-water mark deep within cities. For planners, the work is a mix of keeping water out and letting it come in and recede, and calculating scenarios aimed at the "fewest regrets,' according to senior fellow Armando Carbonell, who appeared on the panel Planning for Coastal Storms at ABX Boston last week.
Heading off the next housing bubble
With housing markets robust and on the rebound in so many regions, is there danger of another bubble about to burst? James R. Follain and Seth Giertz, co-authors of the Policy Focus Report Preventing Housing Price Bubbles: Lessons from the 2006–2012 Bust,recommend an early-warning system and plan for regional intervention, in an op-ed essay published in Urban Land, the magazine of the Urban Land Institute.
More Blog Entries:
Article Article Article