Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tax land, not buildings - Letter to the editor

Herb hits on the policy for fixing Pittsburgh. I fully agree. We must change our ways and tax land, not buildings.
Tax land, not buildings - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tax land, not buildings

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Trib's article about a coalition of 113 nonprofits agreeing to voluntarily contribute to the City of Pittsburgh's finances reported seemingly good news for Pittsburgh ("Nonprofits to renew pledge to city," Oct. 2 and

Unfortunately, voluntary donations from nonprofits are unfair and also unwise sources of funds. The nonprofits compensate adequately for their tax-free property by attracting residents and visitors to the city.

The value of taxable land in the city is increased because of the money spent by users of universities, hospitals, museums, churches and other nonprofits.

The city should obtain the needed revenues by a higher taxation rate on land than on buildings. During recent years, the city's land has increased in value much more than its buildings.

A revenue-neutral lower tax rate on buildings stimulates construction, which increases further the city's revenue from taxable buildijavascript:void(0)
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The beneficial effects of having a lower tax rate on buildings than on land are enjoyed by more than a dozen cities in Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh until 2001 was one of these fortunate cities.

Herbert Barry III, Oakland

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