From Groundswell, Common Ground USA’s Blog

Suburbia is Subsidized

Suburbia is Subsidized

America, and to a lesser extent, Canada, made an historic mistake of relying on cars and not people that is now bankrupting cities all over the country. It’s an insidious, rarely acknowledged choice, and so pervasive that it’s not obvious until you really look at the data. Unmentioned in the video, but a partial solution, would be congestion taxation. This would discourage driving, provide funding for mass transit, and allow taxes of productive activities like work to be decreased. It could begin to reverse the car-dependent culture that is sapping the national account and dividing and polarizing broken communities all over the country, a political win for the nation as well as an economic one.

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The Henry George Program

The Henry George Program

New ep! We have @DonaldShoup on to talk about parking (!) Discussing the success of AB2097, connections to parking reform to land value tax, and much much more.

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WHO’S GETTING WALKED OVER?

Willamette Week carried Sofie Peel’s story in the October 26 issue about the reaction of Montavilla neighborhood residents to a city proposal to repair long-neglected unimproved streets on 89th Avenue.  Portland City Council is refocusing its infrastructure projects on one of the most overlooked parts of town – East Portland. 

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Is Land Value Taxation even more Powerful a cure than Even Georgists Believe?

Is Land Value Taxation even more Powerful a cure than Even Georgists Believe?

This article in The City: https://www.thecity.nyc/housing/2022/10/20/23413894/vacant-rent-stabilized-apartments-nyc, plus a previous one on the same issue of Affordable Housing just the day before, made me think that the way to cut through the morass of regulations, incentives and political factions, might be just to ignore many of them and just to implement Land Value Taxation broadly.

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Land Value Capture, Explained

Land Value Capture, Explained

What is “land value capture”? How does it work? And why have so many communities across the world applied this financial approach? This video explains land value capture and provides examples from within the “toolbox” of instruments available to governments. It shows how communities have used land value capture to promote social equity and finance affordable housing, infrastructure, and other public goods.

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Tax Induced Opportunities for Expanding Community Land Trust Housing in Portland, Oregon

Tax Induced Opportunities for Expanding Community Land Trust Housing in Portland, Oregon

For several years property tax reformers have been calling for a land value tax (LVT) to counteract rapidly rising home prices.  A property tax system that raises the tax rate on land and lowers the rate on structures dampens the upward pressure on lot prices, encourages owners of high value sites to put idle land into productive use, and to build more intensively.

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The Ownership Society

The Ownership Society

Originally published on The Rochester Development Blog, a blog about, you guessed it, development in Rochester, authored by Joseph Moore, a member of Common Ground – New York. Follow them on Twitter @CommonGroundNY

I’m just going to start this one by saying that people roping off a section of the natural world and calling it “theirs”, aka land ownership, on a society wide basis has proven to be, well, bad.

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Should Sales Tax Fund Schools in Virginia?

Should Sales Tax Fund Schools in Virginia?

Senate Bill 472, which allows any Virginia locality to raise its sales tax 1% to fund school construction projects, passed the Senate with a 28-12 vote. This does away with the previous practice of the assembly passing sales tax increases in a piecemeal fashion. However, the sales tax itself is possibly one of the worst tools to use to fund our schools.

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The True Cause of Insufficient Housing

These comments are from someone looking for a political party to
vote for! Although I have voted for all major parties, I have favoured the Green Party in recent years. I believe in economic and social justice as displayed by party policy, local candidate and the
leader in that order.

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It’s High Time to Make Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes, by Andrew Leigh 56SC on June 16, 2021

Ever wondered why your Netflix statement bills to a company in the Netherlands, why people who place Facebook ads are charged by a company in Ireland, and why the tiny island of the Bahamas is the sixth-largest foreign owner of Australian farmland?

In the era when most multinationals produced manufactured goods, taxation was straightforward: the profits were taxed in the country where the goods were produced, and where the firm was headquartered. But these days, firms have become adept at shifting profits into low-tax jurisdictions. Two fifths of multinational profits now pass through tax havens and so-called “investment hubs”. Over half the corporate profits recorded in Ireland are shifted from other countries. In recent years, frustration with the slow pace of debates over multinational tax reform has led more than 40 nations to enact or announce new digital sales taxes on technology firms such as Facebook and Google.

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What Juneteenth Means Today

The radical Republicans, Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner promoted the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the US Constitution needed to insured a permanent end of slavery and citizenship for all men throughout the entire country.

These men wanted to redistribute land in the sprit of “40 acres and a mule”. That was ¼ the size of most homesteads and family farms. It had been implemented to a small degree by the Northern Army during the war, and obviously would have been a monumental foundation of independence and freedom for four million newly freed people. Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of the former slaves got any land during the war, and most of them eventually lost it.

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A Remembrance of Harry Pollard, by Edward J. Dodson

One of the great teachers of political economy, Harry Pollard, has died. In his ninety-sixth year he was one more victim of the virus that has taken so many lives all around the globe. I came to know Harry during the early 1980s and was honored to call him a colleague and friend. Harry’s intellect was keen, and his commitment to using all of his talents to spread awareness of the teachings of Henry George unequalled.

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Call to Action: Endorse the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act

If you have a little time: Call Congress to express your support for carbon fee and dividend. With CCL groups meeting with members of Congress this week, your calls will add to the drumbeat of support to include effective carbon pricing in climate solutions moving forward this year. Use our online action tool to help make your calls.

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Georgism isn’t socialism

The Washington Post published a letter of mine on Saturday, January 9, with title, “Georgism isn’t socialism.” The letter, as they published it, follows: In his Dec. 31 Style...

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Derk Sagehorn to fill the Vice President Common Ground-USA Vacancy

The Common Ground-USA Executive Committee is please announce that it has selected Derk Sagehorn to fill the Vice President vacancy left by the recent death of Paul Justus. The Committee made the selection at it’s March 1, 2021 bi-monthly meeting. Derke was first elected as a Director at large in 2020 and then ran against Paul for the VP position later that year.

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Paul Justus Obituary: 1950-2021

Common Ground Vice President Paul Justus died suddenly of natural causes while on a walk in his Salem, Oregon neighborhood on January 20, 2021. Not only was Paul CGUSA VP, but he was head of its communications committee and webmaster of  CGUSA’s Oregon-Washington chapter.  Paul first joined Common Ground in September of 2002. Paul was also  a board member of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation. 

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REST IN PEACE: Mason Gaffney, October 18, 1923-July 16, 2020

My old friend and mentor, Mason Gaffney, died on July 16th, 2020 at his home in Redlands, California. I thank David Cay Johnston for a warm and insightful obituary in the New York Times. I also thank Wyn Achenbaum and Nic Tideman and the Schalkenbach Foundation for an extraordinary tribute with excerpts from his writing. Especially check out Mason’s timely article, The Red and the Blue, on why high median income cities like New York and San Francisco vote blue, while low income regions vote red: Land values are disproportionately high in prosperous big cities, making homeownership “unaffordable” for middle class residents.

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All Justice Starts with Land

We are all concerned about people with economic problems             and are looking for ways to help. Everything starts in some way with the LAND on which we stand. No person...

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Pass a Carbon Tax: HR 763 with dividend for all

Carbon taxes are part of Georgist theory since carbon is “land.”  By taxing it, people will use less.  Providing a dividend from the tax is a great way to get support for the equitable collection and sharing of rent on the commons we all need to live on.  HR 763, currently in Congress, will do both, while cleaning up the environment and fighting climate change.  You can show your support here: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation-and-carbon-dividend-act/

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Derk Sagehorn to fill the Vice President Common Ground-USA Vacancy

The Common Ground-USA Executive Committee is please announce that it has selected Derk Sagehorn to fill the Vice President vacancy left by the recent death of Paul Justus. The Committee made the selection at it’s March 1, 2021 bi-monthly meeting. Derke was first elected as a Director at large in 2020 and then ran against Paul for the VP position later that year.

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Mason Gaffney: Further Remembrances

My old friend and mentor, Mason Gaffney, died July 16, 2020 at his home in Redlands, California. I thank David Cay Johnston for a warm and insightful obituary in the New York Times. I also thank Wyn Achenbaum and Nic Tideman and the Schalkenbach Foundation for an extraordinary tribute with excerpts from his writing. Especially check out Mason’s still relevant article, The Red and the Blue, on why high median income cities like New York and San Francisco vote blue, while low income regions vote red: Land values are disproportionately high in prosperous big cities, making homeownership “unaffordable” for middle class residents. So they rent—and vote blue. Suburban and small-town homeowners vote red.

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A note from the Common Ground Officers

Common Ground Vice President Paul Justus died suddenly of natural causes while on a walk in his Salem, Oregon neighborhood on January 20, 2021. Not only was Paul CGUSA VP, but he was head of its communications committee and webmaster of CGUSA’s Oregon-Washington chapter. Paul first joined Common Ground in September of 2002. Paul was also a board member of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.

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Making the Transition to a Land Value Tax

Proposed by Common Ground-OR/WA                                                   December 2020 A change from the conventional property tax to a land value tax (LVT) involves...

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The Commons

The earth is our common home.  Most people would agree with that principle at least on an abstract level. But what would that mean as a practical matter?

            Practically, this principle can be implemented through a concept known as “the Commons.”  A commons is something that belongs to everyone equally such as the atmosphere or the waterways and it’s possible to apply the concept to land use, too.

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Pat Aller, A Humble Tour de Force

She had so many good qualities that it was almost selfish.  Except that she was anything but selfish.  With each passing year, as I got to know Pat better, I’d learn something more about her character, and realized that she was anything but ordinary.  She shared her interests and gently taught me her values.  In the early ‘80s, when I knew Pat personally, she kept a rack for drying out plastic bags that she was rinsing and re-using.  She was a woman ahead of her time, doing this practical task well before the term “environmentalist” was on everyone’s lips.  She never had, nor ever wanted to own a television.  Pat’s love of music, particularly opera, was evident in the continuous playing of classical music on her radio.  And the Pat that I came to know personally became a paradox to me professionally, because, as I look back on those important years of work we did for the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, the Pat I knew then was devoted. She was so devoted to the work that it often kept her from her music, or Lincoln Center, or an evening at the theatre.  She sacrificed much for the Foundation and did so with humility and grace.

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Land as a God Given Right

Dear Friends, We are all concerned about people with economic problems and must find a way to help. Everything starts in some way with the LAND on which we stand. God gave the...

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A REMEMBRANCE OF HARRY POLLARD

By Edward J. Dodson / 10 November, 2020 One of the great teachers of political economy, Harry Pollard, has died. In his ninety-sixth year he was one more victim of the virus that...

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Web Site Launch

We're so excited to launch this redesign of Common Ground USA's web site. In addition to having an updated look, the site features detailed descriptions of our chapters'...

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