Implications of a Land Value Tax with Error in Assessed Values

Jeffrey I. Chapman, Robert J. Johnston and Timothy J. Tyrrell


Land value taxation has numerous potential advantages compared to conventional property taxes on capital and land. The models that establish these advantages, however, are grounded in the unlikely assumption that land values are assessed without error. This paper demonstrates that levying taxes based on land values assessed with error is equivalent to the application of one tax rate to the true value of land and a different effective tax rate to capital. The model demonstrates that a land value tax will have at most the distortion effects of a property tax, even with the worst possible land value assessment errors. (JEL H21, H23)

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