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New data on supporting transit thru a land value tax

September 1, 2007

The previous post notes that the value of taxable land in the Chicago metro area exceeds $1 trillion. Therefore, if we want to get an extra $200 million for transit, we can do it with a land tax rate of 0.02%, meaning $40/year for the owner of a $200,000 lot. Another option is to raise $2 billion/year, use some for transit and some for roads and parking, so that people who don’t ride transit will still see direct benefit. This would cost our typical homeowner $400/year, likely deductible from federal taxable income and partly credited on state income tax. Renters, at least in theory, will pay none of this tax; it will fall on owners of the land on which their rented quarters are located.

A proper analysis of this would compile current transit funding sources and uses, and show how funds will be freed up, and taxpayers unburdened. In addition, it would use information compiled by Richard W. England, from a study by others of Washington, DC, which estimates a drop in job growth of 2.08% for every 1 percentage point increase in the sales tax rate. Applied to the Chicago area, this means that the existing and proposed transit sales tax will reduce, by 9,422, the number of jobs which would otherwise be in the metropolitan area ten years from now. [These figures are calculated in a simple spreadsheet which I would post here, if I could figure out how to post it, and will send to anyone interested.]

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One comment

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