The evolution and operation of recurrent property taxation

International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
The XXIV FIG International Congress 2010 Proceedings, 2010, pp. 1 - 20
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Recurrent property taxation is an important revenue stream for sub-national governments around the world. In its various forms, land value as a base of recurrent taxation has become less common in many countries over the past twenty years. This has largely been attributed to a number of factors ranging from pressure imposed by opponents of land value taxation, to challenges against non-demonstrable methods of assessing the underlying value of land in highly urbanized locations, where land transactions are few. This paper is a review and critique of the evolution of recurrent property taxation and the transition of the base of this tax from land to improved value in some countries. It analyses the methodological voids which have armed opponents of land value taxation with the justification for such a transition to alternate bases. It further articulates the difference between local government council rating and a broader non-earmarked land tax. A United States case study has been used to demonstrate the demise of land as the base of recurrent property taxation and the emerging similarities in Australia. In conclusion, the paper provides a framework for the harmonious coexistence of land value taxation and the rating of land and establishes key requirements in developing and maintaining a robust land value taxation system in highly urbanized locations.
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