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Replace Property Tax with Ground Rent
  • Petitioning New York Governor

This petition will be delivered to:

New York Governor
New York State Senate
New York State House
New York-013
State Sen. Jose Peralta
New York-067
State Rep. Linda Rosenthal
New York-030
State Sen. Bill Perkins
New York
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
New York-011
State Sen. Tony Avella
New York-023
State Sen. Diane Savino
New York-014
State Sen. Malcolm Smith
New York
Sen. Charles Schumer

Replace Property Tax with Ground Rent

    1. Scott Baker
    2. Petition by

      Scott Baker

      New York City, NY

Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap sets the cap at the rate of inflation or 2%, whichever is less; prohibits any property tax levy above the cap unless endorsed by both by the local governing board and a 60% electoral majority, and provides only limited exceptions such as extraordinary legal or capital expenditures.

Whether it is a tax cap or a circuit-breaker that several “progressive” organizations like the unions are proposing, neither is a sound policy. What makes sense to those who understand land economics is to shift the tax off improvements and onto land.  This would tend to lower the tax for most homeowners and shift the burden to underused parcels (e.g., vacant lots, derelict buildings, and land containing unexploited natural resources).  For those homeowners who do own property and are hard-pressed to pay, there is another option, called deferral, wherein the Ground Rent (aka: Land Value Tax) would only be collected upon sale of the property. 

Arbitrarily capping the property tax will be a disaster equal to that of proposition 13 in California, which single-handedly brought down the most prosperous state, while providing taxless windfalls for large landholders like the oil & gas industry.  Furthermore, a cap on taxes forces up prices, and promotes sprawl while taking away funding for education.  Ideally, we should only pay a Land Value Tax, and no tax on buildings or other improvements.  For more information, please see www.urbantools.org and www.commongroundnyc.org.

Our proposal is to eliminate taxes on all productive activity, charge 8%/year on assessed values of Land instead.  Then, the state will free up underused land (22 square miles in NYC alone!) for productive purposes, end the land speculation that is responsible for the current economic crisis, and produce more affordable housing.  This revenue-neutral proposal will attract new businesses and prevent flight of existing businesses.

On behalf of all New Yorkers and not just the special Land-holding speculators, please enact a Land Value Tax, and repeal the property tax cap.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 100 signatures
    2. Scott Baker
      Petition Organizer

      The property tax cap was just passed by the NY State Senate, putting NY on the road to eventual ruin, as rich land-holders now will pay minimal tax, while poor Granny will be unable to afford her mortgage due to higher land prices. Meanwhile funding for schools and services will be drastically slashed. Is this what's meant by the ownership society? If you don't own land from which to extract wealth from renters, you can't own the right to send your children to school, call on firefighters or police when you need to? We will take this battle to more sympathetic and economically knowledgeable legislators.

    3. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Marty Rowland NEW ORLEANS, LA
      • 3 months ago

      We need a strategy of a thousand cuts on this monster enemy called land monopolist.

    • Paul Justus EUREKA SPRINGS, AR
      • 8 months ago

      Let's pay for community needs by capturing community based economic rent.

    • Gregory Nerogic AMHERST, NY
      • 9 months ago

      It appears to be a sound alternative to a system that for all intents is broken.

    • Walter Rybeck SILVER SPRING, MD
      • about 1 year ago

      It's just. It's been used elsewhere and it works. And it will make good things happen.

    • Thomas J Boyle OLD BETHPAGE, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      It is the most economical tax.


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