What Is Property Tax Reform?
[Reprinted from the American Journal of Economics
and Sociology. Based on a paper presented before the Conference on
Property Tax Reform sponsored by the Public Interest Research Group,
at George Washington University, Washington, D.C., on December 12,
CAN PROPERTY TAX REFORM help the propertyless, the working men and
women who-labor-for-wage incomes - the majority of Americans? Property
is owned by people of property - the rich. Ownership of this rich tax
base is concentrated in a few hands, much more so than income. The top
10 per cent of income receivers in the United States receive something
like 30 per cent of the income, and we call that concentrated. But a
high share of that 30 per cent is property income, while lower bracket
income is more largely composed of wages. Most property income
receives privileged tax treatment of various kinds, so the effective
income tax rate applied to property income is much lower than that on
labor earnings. Moreover, official definitions of income are so sloppy
that much property income is not even included in the data, much less
As to concentration of property, about half the people own none; they
are tenants. So we begin with the top 50 per cent of families owning
100 per cent of the property. They are not an underprivileged class,
but some are more equal than others. Among those owners I estimate the
top 10 per cent - that's 5 per cent of all families - own around 60
per cent of the property. No overall data relevant to the property tax
base are available, but some aspects of the base are measurable.
The top 2.3 per cent of farmers had 43 per cent of the farm land as
long ago as 1950. If the Census Bureau measured farm land by value
instead of area the concentration would not have been any less (1).
Since 1950 the rate of engrossment has not slackened, so today
control is even tighter. Federal subsidies lavished on these favored
few in proportion to their landholdings are legendary. The effective
rate of the property tax in rural areas is about 1 per cent.
CONCENTRATION OF URBAN PROPERTY-HOLDING
URBAN CONCENTRATION is less well documented. I analyzed the assessed
value of real estate on the west .side of the Milwaukee central
business district (C.B.D.) in 1969 (2). The top 10 per cent have 53
per cent of the assessed value there, and more elsewhere. If the names
lurking behind the disguised ownerships were known, I believe the top
10 per cent would have a good deal more.
The largest owner in the small study area was the William Plankinton
Trust. Its properties were worth $6 million. That is also the value of
1,200 slum dwelling units valued at $5,000 each (many in Milwaukee
sell for less than that). That should be recalled the next time
someone speaks of the poor man's stake in property tax relief.
The Schlitz Company is on the rolls for $3 million in the small study
area. This omits the brewery that made Milwaukee famous. It omits the
family's (their name is Uihlein) 200 acre "farm" on the
choicest residential site in the county, by the lake in posh Bayside
where land goes for more than $20,000 an acre (200 x $20,000 equals $4
million). It omits the Polo Grounds on the speculative northwest side.
And who knows what else? For the larger the ownership in one area, the
more likely is the owner to hold land outside it, often around the
country and the world.
On the East Side of Milwaukee's C.B.D., I found the top 10 per cent
own 60 per cent of the value of the property.
I ranked Milwaukee's industrial firms by assessed value and found the
top 10 per cent to have 89 per cent of the assessed value of
industrial land and buildings. In this study I also found evidence
that assessment of industrial land (I do not know about buildings) is
regressive, indicating the top 10 per cent have a yet higher share of
the true value of property - but this is a point that need not be
pursued here - 89 per cent is high enough. The point is that taxable
property is highly concentrated in the hands of a few, even in
Milwaukee which is notable for diversification. In Seattle, Dearborn,
and Gary one might expect to find even greater concentration.
It is noteworthy that these big owners, the firms with 89 per cent or
more of the property, employed only 69 per cent of the workers. It is
the small shops that hire more men in proportion to their assets.
THE TAX YIELD REDISTRIBUTES INCOME
TURNING TO EXPENDITURES, much of the tax money raised from this
progressive base is used redistributively, to pay for schools and
welfare. The property tax is the traditional means in American law
whereby the poor assert their equity as citizens in the property to
which the rich hold title. It is as good a claim as the other, the one
we call 'property' in fee simple. The public claim in fact is prior in
law - taxes are senior to mortgages, for example. The public claim is
not limited. The fee holders' right to retain what is left after taxes
(and debt service) is not a contract between him and the State, it is
a matter of legislation and common law. Like eminent domain, taxation
of real estate expresses the ultimate sovereignty of the State. I
assert this not as a revolutionary but as a believer in law and order
in a nation whose laws are radical enough to let the poor accomplish
more than any revolution, if they only will learn how.
The property tax base is big and strong. The national levy on
property now is around $40 billions (3). There is gnashing of teeth
and rending of garments. The pain of the wealthy is loud and they
never lack sympathy. And yet the market value of this tax base keeps
rising, rising in the teeth of higher tax rates and higher interest
rates, the latter at 61/2 to 7 per cent making most tax rates (about 2
per cent) look small. Allen Manvel estimated the value of taxable real
estate in 1967 at $1.4 trillion, double the 1957 value (4); and to
that must be added the value of minerals, timber, water rights, and a
great variety of miscellaneous forms of property I think escaped his
net. (The owners of nearly $2 trillion of real estate value are not a
collective welfare case; they just sound that way. That is not so
funny when one considers the punitive and destructive way we treat
many real welfare cases.)
"Property tax relief" for the orphaned blind widow in the
ivy-covered cottage is a popular theme. But that means sloughing the
social obligation of property onto others. How? Sales taxes, including
their most regressive form, the value added tax, hit the poor. The
so-called income tax has degenerated into a payroll tax primarily,
because property has learned to duck it in a thousand clever ways. "Social
security" is a slick name for another payroll tax, the most
regressive one going. The corporate income tax cannot touch
unincorporated property and is full of loopholes that corporations can
use by misallocating their resources.
Naturally property owners resist sharing with the propertyless. But
the struggle of the poor in America has been fought before, and won.
It is a repetitive theme in our history. Each generation of poor must
fight the battle anew, must rediscover the levers of power that our
system avails them. The Nation survives because the establishment has
some give, and is attuned to accommodate - however grudgingly - some
of the demands of the poor.
That requires pressure from the poor, and this we have. There are
plenty of excitables ready to march, confront, agitate and
demonstrate. It also requires know-how, so far not much in evidence.
Pressure alone is not enough. If the poor could rout the police and
loot at will they would enjoy only a one-shot gain, with nothing to
loot tomorrow. But know-how! There is a permanent revolution, built
right into the system we already have, with the police coming down on
the side of the poor.
The method is taxation, which is tempered looting according to rules
that can be quite constructive and provide a permanent support for
welfare, education, and many other things.
REFORM PRIORITY NO.I -- LAND ASSESSMENT
WHY DON'T THE POOR know how? It's not that no one tells them, and
it's not that they never listen. The problem is that so many are
telling the poor so many and complex and confusing things they don't
know whom or what to believe, and their energy is lost charging down
blind alleys following delusions. Property's spokesmen ask for tax
relief - and the sales tax. They defend regressivity in the rhetoric
The defense of property is to generate negative information to clog
the channels of communication. This is the problem. And the citizen
with special training in economics and public finance is the solution,
because he or she is dedicated to finding and publicizing positive
information - some call it truth.
Negative information on the property tax now circulating makes a long
scroll. But high on the list is the refrain that it is regressive. A
high- powered, organized, well-oiled campaign has been mounted to
persuade us that we can help the poor by shifting taxes off property
onto the Federal Payroll Tax - usually called the income tax for
public relations purposes.
To make the property tax look as though it socks the poor when most
property is so closely held calls for some fancy sophisms. In my
analyses of basic studies alleging the property tax to be regressive,
I have defined 17 fallacies, and I fear my list is not yet complete
(5). The main argument has to be that the tax is shifted. Indeed some
go so far that they seem to say that big owners shift it and only
widows and orphans really get stuck with it. (This exaggerates, but
To the extent there is any truth in the shifting thesis - and I grant
readily that there is some - the process can be stopped by reforming
the property tax.
Reform Priority No. 1 concerns the assessment of land. Much of what
is wrong with the property tax can be remedied by upgrading land
assessment, so it is a big step, one sufficient alone to benefit us
greatly and necessary to most other steps.
I see seven good reasons why land assessment is our No. I Priority:
- Taxing land encourages good use; taxing buildings doesn't.
- Land is more underassesed than buildings.
- Land is a large share of real estate value.
- Land ownership is more concentrated.
- Regressive assessment is most evident with respect to land.
- Citizen involvement is most feasible with respect to land.
- Correct land assessment is necessary to close loopholes of the
TAXING BUILDINGS IS OFTEN COUNTERPRODUCTIVE
A CRITIC OF THE PORK BARREL once defined an engineer as a man who
tells you the very best way to do something that shouldn't be done at
all. The same might be said for the art of assessing buildings. The
city of Milwaukee illustrates the tragedy of good assessment applied
to the wrong base. For years Tax Commissioner Thomas Byrne was one of
the best: honest and true, capable and respected. And did Milwaukee
then flourish? The record shows that it did little but grow older
under this exemplary regime. A heavy tax on capital is not much more
attractive to investors by virtue of being levied accurately.
When taxes on buildings are increased, a city increases the danger
that it may stifle renewal. Newark, Boston, and in lesser measure
Milwaukee, each with real tax rates over 4 per cent, serve as cases in
When buildings are taxed, the tax on a parcel of real estate depends
on the use to which the owner puts it. If the tax is high enough to
matter, it biases owners against the heavier-taxed use. It biases them
against supplying new floor space and shelter, and in favor of
billboards, gas stations, junkyards, open storage, parking lots,
baronial estates, obsolescence, speculation, and dilapidation. In
general it favors old over new and ranks high among factors that
retard urban renewal. It tends to restrict supply and maintain rents
paid by the poor, thus shifting some tax to the poor and putting what
regressive element there may be in the property tax.
Taxing buildings raises the spectre of interurban competition and
puts a ceiling on feasible property tax rates, limiting the revenues
it can raise. Capital has loose feet. Land, on the other hand, has
only square feet; you can tax the very all out of land and not one
square foot will get up and walk out of town - not one.
So to help the unrepresented, it makes more sense to raise land than
building assessments, at least to the point where true market value is
LAND IS MORE UNDERASSESSED
EVERY STUDY of assessment discrimination finds land to be the most
underassessed class of property. The most comprehensive study is the
1967 Census of Governments, Vol. 11(6). On p. 42 appears a summary for
the whole United States. The Census Bureau compared assessed values to
sale prices of parcels of real estate sold over a period, and arranged
the results by classes of property. For "all types" the
assessment to sales ratio is 31 per cent. That is a measure of the
fractional assessment conventionally practised. Let's call it "parity."
Any class assessed at 31 per cent is assessed at 100 per cent of
parity; 151/2 per cent is 50 per cent of parity; and so on.
The lowest assessment to sales ratio is for the class called "Acreage
and Farms," at 19 per cent. That's 61 per cent of parity. Next is
"Vacant Lots" at 24 per cent, which is 77 per cent of
parity. "Residential" is at 35 per cent, or 113 per cent of
parity; and "Commerce and Industry" at 36 per cent, or 116
per cent of parity. The last figure refers only to very small
holdings, because the Census excluded holdings larger than $250,000,
which means it excluded most commercial-industrial property, an
enormous omission. Yet it is clear that interclass discrimination of a
gross order is the rule nationwide.
Interclass discrimination like that is not reflected in the Census
statistic assessors usually cite to evaluate their work. This
statistic is the "Coefficient of Dispersion." It is a kind
of average of the deviation of assessment ratios from 100 per cent of
parity. Coefficients under 20 per cent are considered passing - sort
of like a D grade in school - and under 10 per cent pretty good. Many
But those who earn high grades (low coefficients) and wave them
around are not necessarily doing a good job. "The"
Coefficient of Dispersion is really only "a" Coefficient of
Dispersion, a partial score. It is computed from one class of property
only-single family residences. An assessor can enter land at zero and
still get good marks on his Coefficient.
Look at Maryland. It gets the best marks for a low Coefficient of
Dispersion, and enjoys the highest reputation for good assessment. Yet
its interclass bias is bad. On p. 44 it is reported that assessment
parity in Maryland is 43 per cent. "Acreage and farms" show
an assessment to sales ratio of 18 per cent - that's only 42 per cent
of parity. Vacant lots are at 29 per cent, 67 per cent of parity. But
residential property gets hit for 117 per cent of parity. Comparing
classes directly, that means residential property is assessed nearly 3
times too high compared to acreage and farms. Three times too high!
That's not just one deviant; that's a systematic bias between classes.
And that's not a chamber of horrors case from Arkansas, Mississippi,
or Alabama. That's Maryland, a beacon light in the assessment jungle.
The truth is even sadder than the Census shows. Census Table 9 which
I have been citing doesn't dig into the worst abuses. The Census omits
that class of land most underassessed: unsubdivided acreage inside
Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA5). Its class called "Acreae
and Farms" is only outside SMSAs; and "Vacant Lots"
means subdivided, improved lots. But a large share of all land inside
SMSAs, maybe half or more, is unsubdivided acreage. This is the stuff
assessors can't see, and the Census hasn't touched it.
Look at Michigan. The Census gives Michigan fair marks on interclass
bias; parity is 29 per cent; acreage and farms are at 25 per cent-not
bad by Maryland standards. But Professor Dan Fusfeld of the University
of Michigan studied Michigan assessments independently in 1969. He
zeroed in on the neglected class-acreage inside SMSAs. He pronounced
it a "scandal" of underassessment (7). One Michigan city,
Southfield, wrought a modem economic miracle by electing a mayor in
1962 who had acreage assessed at value. The mayor - James Clarkson -
and his assessor, Ted Gwartney, tell me that this meant multiplying
previous land assessments severalfold.
This is consistent with my findings in Milwaukee. The Census says
that parity in Wisconsin is 49 per cent; acreage and farms are at 35
per cent; and vacant lots at 23 per cent - or 47 per cent of parity.
That sounds bad, and it is. But I found worse. After extended study
and data collection and map analysis I estimated Milwaukee land values
to be $2.3 billions. The assessor's values, when equalized, total $700
millions - that's 30 per cent of parity. The details are presented in
a book edited by Daniel Holland, The Assessment of Land Value
(Madison, Wis.: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1970).
Of course there are worse cases. For instance, Edgartown,
Massachusetts, where some land was not even on the tax rolls until
1969 when they started finding it on aerial photographs. Or Sonoma
County, California, where the state paid 62 times the assessed value
for Salt Point Ranch. Or Jasper County, Missouri, where an assessor
was forced out after using a university soils expert to help reassess
farm land. Or Texas, where Nader's Raiders have documented systematic
underassessment of oil and timber lands. But I must not belabor my
point. Land assessment is the No. 1 reform priority because assessors
have been favoring it scandalously.
LAND IS A LARGE SHARE OF REAL ESTATE VALUE
MOST PEOPLE have no notion of how high a share of real estate value
is land value. Returning to Milwaukee, the present land assessment is
only 23 per cent of the whole. My calculations triple the land figure.
That does not triple the land share because it also raises the total,
and I don't know by how much because some of the increase represents
simply a reallocation of value from building to land while some is a
net gain. The detail, indeed, gets complex. But I'm sure land is over
half the total - when land is rigorously assessed - by comparison with
current sales of adjacent land.
The District of Columbia enjoys superior assessment. Assessor John
Rackham worked over land values a few years back and brought them up
to 43 per cent of the total. I suspect my approach would put them
higher yet, but one new broom can only sweep so clean in a complex
In California, Ron Welch of the State Board of Equalization estimated
land values at 43 per cent of real estate. That was a few years back.
Mr. Welch and I have a friendly disagreement about the use of maps to
infer and interpolate land values between sales data points, and if he
says 43 per cent my methods would probably yield a higher figure. More
recently Bob Gustafson, a statistician who works with Mr. Welch, set
the figure at $70 billions. (That's as much as anyone would admit the
whole United States was worth a few decades ago, which gives some idea
of the magnitudes involved.)
These figures apply only to land in an orthodox limited definition.
They do not include many natural resources held by license or in other
exotic legal-administrative form. Reform of land assessment should
include the project of getting these penumbra properties classified as
taxable real estate.
For example, the California figures 1 cited do not include the value
of hydroelectric power drops controlled by Pacific Gas & Electric
and Southern California Edison. There is no market in waterfalls, so
they give up and call the value minute, which is nonsense. Big western
stockmen graze their herds on our federal land at nominal rents. These
rights are worth millions, maybe billions, but they are not directly
taxable. The rent, of course, is recoverable through grazing fees.
Broadcast licensees enjoy virtual tenure of a nondepreciable frequency
band - tax free. The rent, again, could be recovered from a franchise
fee. And so on. Get these assets in the property tax base as an
alternative to a fee system and the widow in her ivied cottage could
truly find tax relief.
LAND OWNERSHIP IS MORE CONCENTRATED
REFORMING LAND ASSESSMENT is Priority No. 1 because the rich are more
heavily invested in land than in buildings.
Nader's Raiders, after a survey in Savannah, Ga., charged that
substantial landholdings of the Union Camp Corporation there were
under- assessed. This corporation holds 1.6 million acres of land
elsewhere in the southeastern states. This is mostly timberland, but
several new highway interchanges are on its land. A recent inventory
by U.C.C. disclosed that 40,000 acres which they held were worth more
than $400 per acre - a total of $16 million or more for this portion
of the cooperation's landholdings alone. Continental Can, another
Savannah firm, has 1.3 million acres of land in 7 southeastern states.
It was not by chance that the Savannah Raiders stumbled on landowning
corporations. The corporate form of organization originated as a
landholding device, and it still is that above all (8).
Larger corporations tend to invest more heavily in land than smaller
ones. Ranking corporations by value of assets, 6 of the top 11 are
mineral-based: U.S. Steel and 5 oil companies. And the large
corporation is not just interested in minerals. There are 324,000 gas
stations in the United States, mostly in cities on what speculators
would call hot corners; the land totaling $16 billions or more in
value as an educated guess. Professor David Martin of Indiana
University has shown that larger mineral corporations also tend to
hold more mineral reserves in relation to output (9).
Turning to residential sites, the share of land in residential real
estate value rises steadily with total value. This is shown in the
Kaiser Commission Report (10).
Professor Harold Brodsky of the University of Maryland, in his study
of the District of Columbia, ranked Washington Census Tracts by median
income and found the land share in real estate to rise with income
(11). The method he used was multiple regression analysis, but anyone
who tours Foxhall Drive can make the same discovery by field
At the bottom of the heap, in Milwaukee 23 per cent of the families
live on buildings the sites of which cover 3 per cent of the
residential area. These are the slums, where the residents pay a base
price for a roof over their heads regardless of the neighborhood. The
poor use little land area per person, and the land is cheap because of
the neighborhood. Several studies show that the poor think shelter
while the rich think neighborhood - that is, land value. And the
super-rich? 1,000 acres of front yard is nothing to a family in the
upper crust, and one family may hold several such estates scattered
around the jet-age world. They have lain field to field until there be
no place, that they may be alone in the midst of the land - in the
words of Isaiah, a prophet who foretold more than Christmas day.
Turning to commerce, in Milwaukee I ranked the holdings of the C.B.D.
by value. Then I figured the share of land in each decile - that is in
each 10 per cent of the holdings. The share rises with size of
holding. The trend is less steady than might be expected, but I think
that is because of the small numbers and some technical problems
arising from the data.
As to industry in Milwaukee I ran a study of 626 industrial firms.
Here my data are better - I have a way of estimating market value of
land from my map, rather than relying on assessed values. For the top
10 per cent the land share is 35 per cent; and they reported much
additional land held for expansion. For the smallest 10 per cent the
land share is very low - under 5 per cent. Of course the smallest
industrial firms are often little more than old garages converted to
tool and die shops.
What the data reveal is that the land share rises with value of real-
estate holdings. Theory predicts this, too. Raising land assessments
therefore will make the property tax bear heavier on larger owners
than it does now, and it will make the tax more progressive.
REGRESSIVE ASSESSMENT OF LAND
IT IS THE CUSTOM to assess large industrial tracts at less per acre
simply because they are larger. Assessors defend this on the ground
that large tracts sell for less per acre. One might think that they
had never heard of subdivision. Yet at the same time, the City of
Milwaukee land bank is stockpiling large industrial tracts as bait for
giant industries that allegedly put a premium on large, unsubdivided
These attitudes obviously lead to regressive assessment of land. I
was unaware how far this went, however, until I ran my study of the
626 industrial firms. Since I had my own estimate of market value of
land to compare with assessed values, I could figure assessment to
market value ratios for each firm and then compare the treatment given
the large and the small. The findings are startling. The top 10 per
cent had their land assessed at 20 per cent of parity. The bottom 10
per cent had their land assessed at 200 per cent of parity - 10 times
too high compared to the biggest firms.
It may be, of course, that there is some compensatory underassessment
of the buildings of the small firms. But there is no way of checking
that. All one can be sure of is that the assessment of industrial land
in Matwaukee is regressive beyond belief.
A key factor in this pattern is the bias against subdivision. The
smaller the parcel, the higher unit value the assessor gives it.
Assessors defend the practice. Moreover, raw acreage is left at farm
valuation until subdivided. Then the assessors raise the value - not
just by the cost of subdivision but by all the pure unearned increment
that has accrued over 30 years. So the big owner - no matter whether
he calls himself a farmer, speculator, investor, or orphan - the big
owner gets the low assessment, and the 50 small owners he sells to get
high ones. That is not just an industrial pattern, it is universal.
The result is regressive land assessment. Since most residential land
is subdivided and most industrial land is not, this is also a bias
against homeowners relative to industry.
I know of no comparable pattern leading to regressive building
assessment. Land assessment is reform priority No. 1 because that's
where assessment is demonstrably regressive, and reform is
demonstrably easy: all the reforming assessor needs to do is use a map
and apply standard unit values regardless of parcel size.
FOR AVERAGE CITIZENS it is more feasible to check on land than on
building assessments. Anyone can read a map, and anyone can use known
values to estimate unknown values nearby. In my study of industrial
land values, I inferred them from sales of all land round about. Land
is versatile, and all uses compete for it. So residential land values,
which everyone knows, tell a lot about industrial land values. House
values on the other hand tell little about overhead cranes,
warehouses, pulp mills, and breweries.
The assessor who wants citizens to get involved can publish city land
value maps. The cost is not prohibitive, and it's been done before.
Milwaukee did it in the early 1930's, and I have a collection of land
value maps from Budapest, Copenhagen, Chicago, Vancouver, Sydney, etc.
They make good conversation pieces, along with aerial photographs.
Assessors really don't know much about valuing big industrial
complexes, and they say as much. How could they? The properties are
rarely up for sale. There's no objective reference point. How can the
citizen inquire intelligently into a subjective judgment?
With land there is a foolproof test of good assessment. Theory and
common sense tell us that if a building is demolished, it is done to
salvage the land underneath. That means the bare land is worth more
than the land together with the old building; and this means the old
building had no value. In fact it had a minus value - the cost of
So to test the assessor, check on the eve of demolition. The land
share should be 100 per cent or more - the building is worth zero. It
is that simple. Most assessors flunk this test cold, which gives the
timid inquiring citizen the confidence he needs to ask more questions.
In Milwaukee I checked 2,500 demolitions and the assessor was
generally alloting half or more of the value to the old junkers, less
than half to the land. That gives you some idea of what to expect from
a test of this kind.
One may generally expect a friendly reception from assessors, even
when he is critical. They are pleasant human beings - how else could
they survive in that job? They take a lot of flak from the ignorant
and neurotic. Unless of course, they are dishonest. I have never had
to face that, although there is evidence from some cities. The
problems are philosophical, riot motivational, as a rule.
LAND AND THE INCOME TAX
LAST, LAND ASSESSMENT is Priority No. 1 to close a huge loophole in
the income tax. Landlords can take depreciation on buildings but not
land to reduce their taxable income. When they buy an old building,
however, they can depreciate its value all over again. They can take
depreciation on their cost - what they paid - less the value allotted
to land. Naturally, they allot as little of the value to land as
possible. Now what happens if they're audited and challenged? They
simply cite their friendly local assessor's land valuation. The income
tax instructions invite them to. The result: they depreciate part of
the value of the land, not just once but several times. They
depreciate it even though it actually may be rising. When they sell
out they pay only capital gains rates on the book profit. They sell
for a higher price because the buyer can depreciate the value of the
land again-and sell to repeat the cycle again, again, and again. As
Edward Lear would put it:
There was an old shelter on Main
Depreciated once, then again
And again and again and a capital gain
And again and again and again.
This tax shelter depends entirely on the understatement of land
value. So the local assessor is under great pressure from influential
local owners to underassess land - even if that means overassessing
buildings - so they can pay less income tax; and the consequence is
that wage and salary earners have more withheld from their paychecks
to cover the realty owners' share. If we want to make real property a
taxpayer instead of a tax shelter, we must reform land assessment.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
- Mason Gaffney, "Land
Speculation" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation), (Berkeley,
Calif.: Univ. of California, 1956), pp. 181-99.
- Report by Pat Bevic, research
assistant, to the writer, 1969.
- Advisory Commission on
Intergovernmental Relations, State and Local Finances (Washington,
D.C., 1969 and annually).
- Allen Manvel, "Trends in
the Value of Real Estate and Land," U. S. National Commission
on Urban Problems, Research Report No. 12 (Washington, D.C.,
1968), pp. 1-17.
- See M. Gaffney, "The
Property Tax Is a Progressive Tax," Proceedings of 64th
Annual Conference, National Tax Association (in press). (Also
processed, available from the writer).
- 13. S. Department of Commerce,
Bureau of the Census, 1967 Census of Governments, Vol. H, Taxable
- Daniel Fusfeld and Joseph
Kowalski, "Reforming the Michigan Property Tax,"
mimeographed (Ann Arbor, 1969).
- Mason Gaffney, "Adequacy
of Land as a Tax Base," in Daniel Holland, ed, The Assessment
of Land Value (Madison, Wis.: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1970), pp.
157- 212, particularly pp. 159-67, 208-10.
- David Martin, "Resource
Control and Market Power," in Mason Galfney, ed., Exiractive
Resources and Taxation (Madison, Wis.: Univ. of Wisconsin Press,
1967), pp. 119-38.
- President's Commission on
Urban Housing, Report on Urban Housing (Wasisington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 196$), p. 3 SI. For more data see M.
Gaffney, "Land Speculation," ofr. cit., pp. 210-17, and
1940 Census of Agriculture, Vol. 3, p. 80.
- Harold Brodsky, "Residential
Land and Improvement Values in a Central City," Land
Economics, Vol. 46, No. 3 (August 1970), p. 239.