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In reality, every jurisdiction that has a real estate property tax has a land value tax, because part of the ad valorem basis for real estate is, in fact, the locational or land value in addition to the improvement value.

In reality, every jurisdiction that has a real estate property tax has a land value tax, because part of the ad valorem basis for real estate is, in fact, the locational or land value in addition to the improvement value.[2]

Pure LVT, apart from real estate or generic property taxation, is used in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Estonia. It is currently being introduced in Namibia, and there are campaigns for its introduction to South Korea and Scotland. Many more countries have used it in the past, particularly Denmark[3] and Japan. Many pre-modern societies used land tax systems that were not based on the land's value, but nevertheless approximated a limited LVT by taxing agricultural land according to its yield or expected yield.

Several cities around the world also use LVT, including Sydney, Canberra, and many other Australian cities; Mexicali and Fairhope, Alabama.

Nearly 20 Pennsylvania cities in the USA employ a two-rate or split-rate property tax: taxing the value of land at a higher rate and the value of the buildings and improvements at a lower one. This can be seen as a compromise between pure LVT and an ordinary property tax falling on real estate (land value plus improvement value). Alternatively, two-rate taxation may be seen as a form that allows gradual transformation of the traditional real estate property tax into a pure land value tax.

LVT in Pennsylvania and the "Two-Rate" Experiments

Pittsburgh used the two-rate system from 1913 to 2001[4] when an ineffective property assessment system led to a drastic increase in assessed land values during 2001 after years of underassessment, and the system was abandoned in favor of the traditional single-rate property tax. Pittsburgh's tax on land was about 5.77 times the tax on improvements. Notwithstanding the change in 2001, the Pittsburgh Improvement District still employs a pure land value taxation as a surcharge on the regular property tax.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has taxed land at a rate six times that on improvements since 1975, and this policy is credited with reducing the number of vacant structures in downtown Harrisburg from about 4,200 in 1982 to less than 500.

Primarily as a result of technical assistance from the Henry George Foundation of America and the Center for the Study of Economics,[5] nearly two dozen local Pennsylvania jurisdictions use two-rate property taxation in which the tax on land value is higher and the tax on improvement value is lower. Local governments in Pennsylvania which use the two-rate tax system as of 2006 include:

Aliquippa, Allentown (since 1996),[6] Altoona, Clairton, DuBois, Duquesne, Ebensburg, Harrisburg (since 1975),[7] Lock Haven, McKeesport, New Castle ,Oil City, Pittsburgh Improvement District, Scranton, Steelton, Titusville, Washington, Pennsylvania

The following sites sponsored by The Henry George Foundation use actual assessment data and have tax calculators showing how two-rate taxation (lower on improvements and higher on land value) might actually be implemented and the effect on parcel by parcel basis: Maryland Land Value Tax Project, New York Land Value Tax Project, Indiana Land Value Tax Project, Washington Land Value Tax Project, and New Jersey Land Value Tax Project

All text of this article available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

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