The Split Tax Solution

In the letter “Lite’s approach to growth is just what council needs” (July 15, 2007), B.J. Snow stated,

“Several City Council members have said that we cannot limit growth in Asheville, because the developers will just move out to the county and further desecrate our mountains. Since, currently, there are no substantial growth control measures in Buncombe County, I think they’re right.”

But, rather than hoping that the county will cooperate in helping to push density toward the center of Asheville, we should adopt tax policy that will draw density toward the center of Asheville.

This can be accomplished with the Split Tax, where land values are separated (split) from the values of improvements and are taxed at six times that of the improvements in a revenue-neutral way.

I support Elaine Lite’s candidacy for city council. Her perspective on growth and development is one shared by a great number of citizens.

However, without Home Rule — that is, local political autonomy — there is little that can be accomplished regarding land use, development and growth.

Yes, some cleverly crafted piecemeal ordinances can be adopted, but without local legislative authority and a comprehensive regional approach, these will be reactive, stop-gap measures that will ultimately be unsatisfactory. Damage, once done, is not easily undone.

I wish Ms. Lite good luck in working with the county. And with fighting the state legislature.

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About Tim Peck

Unaffiliated Objectivist
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