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The Polish legislators repeated the mistakes of the British Town and Country Planning Act of by adopting the occasion of sale of the property as the only tax collection point and by stipulating a maximum number of five years beyond which the authority to tax would expire. When a legal framework is weak, there is room for differential application not to say Based on personal conversations with Polish government representatives during two visits as a guest of the Polish government in spring and summer Based also on ongoing conversations with Dr.

Miroslaw Gdesz, an administrative court judge in Warsaw. There is currently some discussion in the Polish gov- ernment about major revisions to the law Gdesz, personal conversations. The Spanish Tradition and Beyond Spain is another OECD country that, although not in my sample of countries, mer- its a quick look at its plus-value capture policy because the Spanish tradition, like the British one, has been influential beyond its borders.

The rate of the levy is rather low- about 10 to Unlike Israel and Poland, in Spain the betterment levy is not necessarily assessed parcel by parcel and may not reflect the real value increments of specific plots.

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In addition to direct bet- terment capture, Spanish law obliges developers to finance a wide range of public services as well as to dedicate land to the municipality Calavita and Mallach ; Calavita et al. Legislated instruments of various types have been enacted Furtado ; Smolka and Furtado , ; Smolka and Amborski However, the evidence shows that actual implementation is weak due to the rampant informal develop- ment and other administrative and governance weaknesses.

In devel- oping countries, where public administration is often weak, even where such levies are on the books perhaps as relicts from former colonial status , they are unlikely to be effective in practice. Distilling Lessons from the International Experience Why have most countries avoided adopting direct betterment capture policies? The experiences gained by Britain, Israel, and Poland should be mined to draw out the relevant lessons. In the absence of any rigorous comparative empirical research on outputs, outcomes, or impacts of betterment capture policies, I shall rely on the observations presented earlier.

Here are some tentative thoughts: The British experience is a real-life laboratory of how the absence of political support can lead to the rise and demise of betterment capture policies with shuffles in the ruling parties. To adopt a successful betterment-capture policy, proponents must be able to package a rationale that transcends party ideologies. This is no easy task, but it is a sine qua non. In the Israeli and Polish cases, the betterment tax has not yet?

If that were true, it would erode some of the justification for recapture policies. The British experience has not generated much evidence on this issue despite the experimentation with a broad range of tax rates. Nor has the Israeli experience delivered reliable empirical evidence because the 50 percent rate has been uniform over time and place except where exceptions apply. The scholarly literature on related taxes and exactions indicates that their effect on property values depends on a variety of extraneous market and contextual variables Skaburskis and Qadeer ; Evans-Cowley and Lawhon Empirical research has shown, for example, that the impact may differ between raw land and built-up areas and that these may offset each other Ihlanfeldt and Shaughnessy Since the authority to tax must usually be derived from primary legislation and applied equally, policy makers have little flexibility to adjust the levy in order to accommodate market fluctuations.

In considering betterment capture it is important to conduct as much prior economic modeling as feasible see also Vickars In the Israeli and Polish cases, the levy is administered and kept by the local governments, and they have been its major watchdogs. However, there is built-in tension between this objective and the need to maintain flexibility to accommodate changing needs for public services or changing public perceptions about what services merit public financing. The traditional services such as linear infrastructure and educational facilities may compete with newer items on the list such as environmental conservation, historic There are always many mouths to feed, while the potential income from a betterment levy is finite.

This argument should be resisted because it turns betterment recapture into an indirect value capture instrument with a rationale based on mitigation of negative impacts or on indemnification of burdens on public services. If so, this type of value capture policy should be designed from the start as an indirect value capture instrument with an impacts-based rationale at its forefront. However, this raises the administrative costs significantly. To allow a reasonable net yield, the rate of the levy must be relatively high. Public agencies might be tempted to simplify the levy by adopting a preset charge based on some easy formula such as per the size rather than the value of the built-up area approved.

This type of quasi-betterment levy was briefly proposed in Israel in but discarded following protest by the Association of Local Governments. Some scholars have recommended similar formula substitutes Ihlanfeldt and Shaughnessy ; Gdesz for Poland. Such shortcuts gnaw away the very rationale of direct value capture and, with time, are likely to lose the value capture justification and become just another tax.

Adoption of a uniform rate for all landowners and locations is fair in some ways but not in others. Although the rate may be ostensibly equal across landowners, the opportunities for revenue are never equal across place and time. Betterment levies also have inherent regressive attributes.

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Well-off towns where property values are usually high or where land reserves happen to be available will be able to reap higher revenues than less-advantaged or just historically unlucky towns. Thus an equal assessment rate by no means ensures equal revenues. On the one hand, the desire for local voter support justifies retention of the full revenues at the local level.

But on the other hand, distributive justice considerations justify redistribution. Localities with high revenues do not necessarily need or merit the revenues most. Calibration of funds among municipalities could be done by means of the national or regional governments on the basis of various criteria.

Two of the British postwar policies as well as the rejected proposal did incorporate a national-redistribution policy. However, these policies may have failed partly because they paid a price in lost local public support and in reduced efficiency in tax collection. This dilemma raises issues of both ethics and feasibility, and there is no sure and tested way to resolve it. There are many built-in catchs and very little international experience from which to learn.

Meantime, the indirect value capture instruments have been flourishing. Indirect Value Capture Although direct betterment capture is not prevalent, the idea that government should reap the unearned increment on land has not died away; it has simply undergone various mutations. The need for innovative funding sources for pub- lic services has in fact increased in recent years. Local governments therefore increasingly need to conjure up financial instru- ments that are less visible to voters than direct taxes or levies.

But instead of doing so through the front door of direct betterment capture, local gov- ernments in many countries are increasingly adopting a variety of instruments for shifting the burden of supplying public amenities on to the developers. A Variety of Terms and Instruments of Indirect Capture Indirect capture instruments vary from country to country and locality to locality. They are known by a smorgasbord of terms figure A general term proposed by Alterman and Kayden is developer obligations.

In the United States indirect value capture instruments are generically called exactions. In the United Kingdom they are known as planning gain, or, more recently, planning obligations. In France the term is participation Renard If based on preset formulas indirect instruments are called impact fees in the United States or development charges in Canada Slack In the Netherlands the term as translated into English is cost retrieval or cost allocation.

These are the official terms in the English translation of the Dutch Land Development Act that came into effect in July Term proposed by Alterman and Kayden, Exactions - used in the USA to denote a variety of instruments whereby developers are required to provide some land, public service or financing as a condition for receiving a rezoning, development permit, subdivision approval or the like Developer agreements - an exaction obtained through negotiations with the developer Planning obligations — term used in the UK to denote exactions negotiated with developers according to explicit statutory authority Planning gain — term usedin the UK prior to the above.

Impact fees — used in the USA. Detailed formula-based fee calculated to represent the precise share of the anticipated impacts of a specific development on specific infrastructure or environmental costs. Used in the USA Incentive zoning - a two-tier regulation where in order to be granted development rights beyond a certain permitted level, the develop will have to provide a prescribed public good or financing. Used in the USA. Participation — used in France parallel to exactions Cost recovery term used in The Netherlands to denote exactions to indemnify particular infrastructure costs translated from Dutch Figure Alternative Rationales for Indirect Value Capture How do indirect value capture instruments relate to the direct ones?

The same gen- erator propels indirect and direct value capture—the increase in land values due to land-use decisions. However, the indirect instruments leave the unearned-increment rationale in the background, often disguised by some alternative rationale. In cases where the law requires that a direct betterment levy be capped at the cost of public services, the instrument becomes a hybrid between direct and indirect value capture the recent English Community Infrastructure Levy has this rationale.

In practice, a mixture of these rationales may serve as the legal or public-policy ground for indirect value capture.

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Real-life application of indirect instruments often contains ambiguities about which of the alternative rationales is being applied in a particular case. Indirect instruments also vary in how the contribu- tion is delivered: some are in money, others in kind whereby the developer con- structs a public service, delivers mitigating technologies, supplies land, or builds housing. An International View of Indirect Value Capture Among the sample of thirteen OECD countries, all except Sweden and the Netherlands have decades-long experiences with shifting the costs of public ser- vices onto developers.

Since the s Sweden too has been gradually joining the group. The Netherlands is the last in the set to adopt indirect capture instruments, formally enabled for the first time by the Land Act. So even the Netherlands— with its uniquely strong tradition of direct government action in land purchase and development—must now rely more and more on private developers as a source of financing for public services Needham, , — Indirect instruments differ from direct ones in the way they emerge. This is because in well-governed countries, authority for direct value capture usually entails legislation at times even constitutional amendments.

By contrast, indirect instruments often emerge bottom-up through locally grown policies. If the instru- ments are viewed as successful and survive legal challenges, they are likely to be cop- ied by other localities. The United States has been an especially rich breeding ground Yet, indirect capture instruments are not a panacea. They are often applied case by case, without ensuring equality among landowners. These instruments are therefore open to political and legal challenges regarding bias and favoritism.

The value of the financial or in-kind resources delivered by developers is often unpredictable because it depends on uncertainty about the success of negotia- tions with the developers. The financial gains to the community may vary even among parallel projects. Some Preconditions for Adoption of Indirect Value Capture Despite their shortcomings, indirect value capture policies are likely to expand and intensify around the world. Because of the complexity of these instruments, there is great need to share knowledge among jurisdictions, with the help of further system- atic comparative analysis with the help of.

The professionals need to be savvy in real estate economics to be able to assess the limits of what may be exacted from the developer without killing the projects. This type of argument may generate public opposition even though it may not necessarily hold for all market situations. A reasonable good level of trust in government is a precondition for their successful operation. The Future of Direct and Indirect Value Capture An obvious issue is the interrelationship between the two categories of value cap- ture.

In those few countries that do practice direct betterment capture, does it replace the need for indirect capture instruments? This is a common assumption at times direct capture instruments are introduced with the hope that they would totally replace the indirect ones. However, there is no systematic evidence on this question, but I have some doubts on its validity in practice.

So long as governments lack resources for supplying the evolving needs for public services, indirect capture modes will likely be used to some extent.


The indirect capture instruments are often open-ended and flexible, and they possess the capacity to fill in the gaps. The experiences of the United Kingdom and Israel shed some light on this issue. In Israel, negotiated exactions are often applied over and above the 50 percent bet- terment levy, and case law has not ruled them illegal. The inter-party debate that surrounded the Community Infrastructure Levy dis- cussed earlier illustrates the difficulties of drawing a solid boundary between the two modes of value capture.

The bottom line is that the rationale for direct betterment capture may be convinc- ing on paper, but it has not caught on widely across the world. At the same time, indirect value capture tools have proliferated. Alexander, Gregory. Alexander, Gregory, Eduardo M. Alterman, Rachelle. Rachelle Alterman, 3— Steven C. Bourassa and Yu-hung Hong.

Daniel R. Mandelker, — Chicago: Planners Press. Barrie Needham and Yu-hung Hong, 57— Chicago: American Bar Association Publications.

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Alterman, Rachelle, and Jerold Kayden. Rachelle Alterman, 22— Andelson, Robert, ed. Taxation of Land around the World. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Altshuler, Alan A. Andelson, Robert. Oxford, England: Blackwell. Atmer, Thomas. Barker, Kate. Crown copyright for Deputy Prime Minister.

Online: www. Baumann, Arthur. Betterment, Worsement and Recoupment. London: Edward Stanford. Booth, Philip. New York: Routledge.

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Skaburskis, Andrejs and M. Slack, Enid. Richard M. Bird and Enid Slack, 69— Cheltenham, UK: Edward Edgar. Words cannot express the impressiveness of this museum. Lifesize and lifelike figures tell the story of Abraham Lincoln's life in Springfield and in the White House. When you walk in you are greeted by the Lincoln family outside of the facade of the White House, a place you learn where they were not welcome because they were outsiders and thought not well-bred enough by those in Washington government, society, and the media.

As Mrs. Lincoln greets you when you enter the house your thought-provoking journey begins. The movies shown in the museum are excellent and without agenda which was refreshing. This museum is excellent for visitors of all ages, especially children as history comes alive. Everyone there was kind and helpful and eager to share their knowledge. Well done!! Flights Vacation Rentals Restaurants Things to do. Cart 0. Tip: All of your saved places can be found here in My Trips. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers.

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