Jeffery J. Smith, President, Forum on Geonomics
[A paper submitted to the BSA of the AIA, 2003]
Around the world, a few dozen cities collect ground rents – some of the money that people spend or are willing to spend on a location – rather than tax buildings and other economic goods. Besides raising public revenue more efficiently, these places also motivate efficient use of urban land. No longer taxed for improving their property, while prodded by a rent levy to make improvements, owners who had been speculating or procrastinating get busy and put their once under-utilized land to better use. Overall, better land use raises density in particular and livability in general – goals that other jurisdictions still long for.