Land and property taxes for municipal finance

Synthesis paper Cities and Cities that Work

This Cities that Work paper explores why land and physical properties represent the largest source of untapped municipal revenue. Alongside their potential to raise significant public revenues, land and property taxes are also fairer and more efficient than other forms of tax. They have limited effects on urban investment, and allow governments to capture increases in land and property prices that result from forces outside of the owner’s control and are in part the direct result of public investment such as road upgrading. Those individuals who gain more from public services and population growth can be taxed for the benefit of the wider community.