Land value taxation

reconciling economic, social and ecological interests

by Dirk Löhr and Oliver Richters

With regard to land, the current economic order shows significant undesirable developments in ecological, economic and social terms. Rising land prices prevent affordable housing and create social tensions. On the other hand, the mitigation of this social problem by further soil sealing endangers among others biodiversity and soil fertility. Although a land value tax (LVT) cannot be considered primarily as a steering tax, it may help to reconcile various sustainability goals; research shows the potential to ease housing markets, reduce land prices and create more compact settlement patterns. It also supports spatial and urban planning. Given the existence of a land valuation register, a LVT is easily to implement and administer – although its effects are not necessarily easily understood.