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Taxation, Housing Markets, and the Markets for Building Land

Almost everywhere in the world housing policies play an important role in government programs. Especially in the industrialized Western economies housing policy issues are triggered mainly by two developments: growing population density and increasing environmental pollution enforce a systematic planning of regional and urban development; all social groups want to participate in the increasing welfare of the domestic economies; until today housing policy is considered an appropriate tool for redistribution and social policy. Taxation serves as an important instrument for the realization of the political objectives mentioned above. Surprisingly, there exists wide-spread consent (even on the academic side) on the effectivity of this instrument. However, strictly speaking this consent concerns only the short run. Long-term effects are usually ignored. Therefore, there is always the inherent risk in these policies that (supposed) market inefficiencies will not be cured, but merely carried forward, and possibly amplified. Moreover, it is characteristic for the political discussion that there is no consistent notion of what efficient housing and land markets ought to look like. Generally accepted for example, is the position that land speculation should be fought whereever possible. Hardly anyone asks the question whether the holding of building land will be beneficial to the economy as a whole, and not only to the speculant.
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Table of Contents

I. Introduction.- 1. Motivation.- 2. A General Framework with Housing and Vacant Land Markets.- 3. Summary of Results.- II. The Laissez-Faire Economy and the Condition for an Efficient Allocation of Housing Capital and Building Land.- 1. The Decision Problem of the Landlord.- 1.1. The Optimal Financing Decision.- 1.2. The Optimal Maintenance Plan.- 1.3. The Optimal New Housing Investment Plan.- 2. The Decision Problem of the Landowner.- 3. Conditions For The Market Equilibrium - Features of a Pareto-Optimal Allocation.- 4. Model Dynamics.- III. Taxation and Market Reactions.- 1. Land Taxation.- 1.1. A Tax On The Value Of Land.- 1.1.1. The taxation of vacant land.- 1.1.2. The taxation of developed land.- 1.1.3. The intertemporal incidence of a tax on the property of land.- 1.2. Site Value Taxation - The Best Solution?.- 1.3. Neutral Taxation Of Land.- 1.3.1. The per-unit land tax.- 1.3.2. A general tax on equity.- 2. Sales Taxes And Value Added Taxes.- 2.1. Manufacturer Sales Tax (MST).- 2.2 Retail Sales Tax (RST).- 2.3 Value Added Tax (VAT).- 3. Taxation of Income From Real Estate Property.- 3.1. A Neutral Income Tax.- 3.2. The Ideal And Reality - Existing Income Tax Regulations.- 3.2.1. Income taxation of the landowner.- 3.2.2. Income taxation of the landlord.- Authors Index.- References.

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