The Lincoln Institute announced recipients of the David C. Lincoln and C. Lowell Harriss Fellowships for 2013-2014, named as part of a continuing effort to support research on the cutting edge of tax and land policy.
The C. Lowell Harriss Fellowships, named in honor the late Columbia University economist who served for decades on the Lincoln Institute’s board of directors, support work on dissertations; the recipients and their topics are:
Pengju Zhang, The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, “Three Essays on Capitalization Issues in Local Public Finance”; Maria Soppelsa, University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign, “ State Tax breaks for Conservation: Do they work?”; Sarah Cordes, New York University, ”Off the Hook or Doubling Down: The Effect of School Finance Reform on Parental Investments in Children’s Human Capital”; Christos Makridis, Stanford University, “Do Environmental Taxes Affect Land Values and the Housing Market?”; Elliott Ash, Columbia University, “Effects of Property Taxes on Foreclosures and Unemployment”; Shu Wang, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Effects of Tax and Expenditure Limitation Evolution on Local Government Finance: A Legal Approach”; Jennifer Brodie, Ohio State University, “Just Another Levy? A Look At the Factors Influencing Ohio Communities’ Use of Property Tax Levies to Fund Public Services”; Meagan Ehlenz, University of Pennsylvania, “Anchoring Communities: The Impacts of University-Led Neighborhood Revitalization”; Nathan Ela, University of Wisconsin – Madison, “Cultivating a Commons? Urban Farming and the Possibilities of Property”; and Sandip Chakrabarti, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, “Does Service Reliability Promote Transit Use?”
Harriss, who died in 2010 at 97, authored a dozen books and several hundred articles on land and tax policy. A native of Nebraska, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard in 1934, and joined the economics faculty at Columbia University four years later. He simultaneously worked on his doctorate in the discipline, which he earned from Columbia in 1940. He was a visiting professor at Stanford, Yale, Princeton, the University of California at Berkeley, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Peterhouse College at Cambridge University. He won Fulbright professorships at the Netherlands School of Economics and the University of Strasbourg in France. He was a board member of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy from 1974 until 2009.
The David C. Lincoln Fellowships in Land Value Taxation (LVT) were established in 1999 to develop academic and professional interest in this topic through support for major research projects. The fellowship program honors David C. Lincoln, former chairman of the Lincoln Foundation and founding chairman of the Lincoln Institute, and his long-standing interest in LVT. The program, administered through the Lincoln Institute’s Department of Valuation and Taxation, encourages scholars and practitioners to undertake new work in the basic theory of LVT and its applications. These research projects add to the knowledge and understanding of LVT as a component of contemporary fiscal systems in countries throughout the world. The 2013–2014 DCL fellowships announced here constitute the 14th group to be awarded.
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urban Land Value: Measurement and Theory
This project will estimate land-value differences across U.S. metropolitan areas with a large, new database of market values. Explained through site characteristics, lot size, distance, and regulations, these differences are used to estimate production parameters for residential housing, including the income share to land. The project will also estimate the costs and benefits of “regulatory taxes” on land to determine if they reduce land values. Finally, the theory of urban land values is addressed in an urban system of heterogeneous cities.
Professor of Economics, State University of New York at Buffalo
The Effects of Land Value Taxation in Los Angeles and Paris in a Computable General Equilibrium Model
The project will utilize the RELU-TRAN (Regional Economy, Land Use and Transportation) model, a dynamic computable general equilibrium model that has been econometrically estimated and calibrated for the Los Angeles and Greater Paris regions. Systematic simulations for L.A. and Paris will reveal the effects of a shift toward land taxation on land use densification, population and job dispersion, urban sprawl, the labor markets, and traffic congestion. The simulations would also quantify the economic efficiency and equity effects of shifting taxation away from income and excise taxes toward land taxation in L.A. and Paris—two very different metro areas.
Calvin A. Kent
Lewis Distinguished Professor of Business, Marshall University
State and Local Ad Valorem Taxation of Mineral Interests
While property taxes have received extensive attention, particularly in urban contexts, there has been little investigation into ad valorem taxation of mineral interests. Yet mineral interests have been a major source of property tax revenue for governments in many states. Their importance has grown due to advances in extraction technology and economic growth. This study will provide an extensive compilation of the varying methodologies states use for mineral property taxation. It will also analyze the economic impacts of these taxes and consider how they correspond to Henry George’s “Cannons of Taxation.”
Assistant Professor of Economics, Robert Morris University
The Spillover Effects of the Two-Rate Property Taxes in Pennsylvania: A Zero-Sum Game or a Win-Win Game?
This project will be the first to empirically investigate the spillover effects of the two-rate (split-rate) property taxation on economic activity in surrounding single-rate jurisdictions in Pennsylvania. Using a unique and rich data set, this project proposes a new empirical model to explore the economic impacts of the two-rate property taxation on adjoining municipalities. The findings of this study have important policy implications and may facilitate the decision making on property tax reforms by local governments.