To the editor:
The property tax as presently applied cripples the economy. Corrective change can only come with a constitutional amendment. Until there is an understanding that the property tax is not one but two vastly different taxes, the need for this change will not be apparent.The present heavy tax on buildings, improvements, and personal property is a major contributor to slowing the economy and putting housing out of reach of many.
The undertaxation of land values, on the other hand, results in land with a high-use potential being held vacant or in limited use as slums or deteriorating property.
A pro-enterprise amendment would provide local governments with the option of shifting the property tax, as desired, from improvements to land values.
Opinion polls that consider the property tax as one tax rather than two cannot be answered with any intelligence by those who want to remove the improvement tax, increase the land value tax, and continue the aggregate property tax revenue at its present level.
Earl A. Hanson
Intermountain Single Tax Association