The taxing implementation of densification: The missed opportunity of the German land value tax

Authors

  • Cornelia Roboger TU Dortmund University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14512/rur.1721

Keywords:

Land value taxation, densification , land policy, Germany , legislation

Abstract

Densification and more efficient use of land are important planning challenges across Europe intended to aid the pursuit of sustainability goals. Property taxation influences land use. It can discourage or incentivize efficient land use. In the international academic debate, the land value tax is considered an effective land policy instrument that can promote more efficient use of land. Germany is currently transforming its property taxation system and has discussed different property tax models in the political decision-making process. This paper explores the political motivations of this reform based on a discourse analysis of plenary sessions and complementary in-depth expert interviews. On the one hand, the empirical findings highlight the experts’ positive assessment of the potential of the land value tax for efficient land use and densification. On the other hand, they also show how the potential allocative effects of the land value tax were largely overlooked during the political debates. Instead, discussion centred around distributional aspects of the property tax. It can be shown that despite the great potential for tackling urgent planning issues, policymakers are hesitant to adopt and apply instruments of land policy that intervene in existing private property rights.

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Issue publication date 2023-12-29 (version 2)
Published online first 2023-12-06 (version 1)

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Roboger C. The taxing implementation of densification: The missed opportunity of the German land value tax. RuR [Internet]. 2023 Dec. 29 [cited 2024 Jul. 20];81(6):636-47. Available from: https://rur.oekom.de/index.php/rur/article/view/1721

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