Taxes on land and property exist all over the world in many forms and are an important source of finance for local governments. The extent to which local governments have control over property taxes is often an important determinant of their ability to make automous expenditure decisions. This comprehensive Handbook explores case studies of land and property taxation in 25 countries (five in each of five regions - OECD, central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America), and focuses on the potential contributions of the property tax to the revenues of urban and rural governments and to more efficient land use. Introductory chapters highlight the diversity in the application of land and property taxes among the countries. Major policy alternatives with respect to taxing land and property are discussed, including the choice of tax base, exemptions, methods of determining the tax base, tax rates, differential treatment of different classes of property (such as farms, residences, commercial properties), and the process of tax administration. Other taxes levied on land, such as land transfer taxes, development charges and unearned increment taxes, are also reviewed, as is recent experience with property tax reform in a number of countries. This major reference work will provide a valuable resource and necessary addition to the libraries of government officials, municipal associations, property assessors, international agencies, teachers and students of public finance.
Edited by Richard M. Bird, Professor Emeritus, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Canada and Enid Slack, Economic Consultant and Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto, Canada