Abstract

Tax motivated takings are takings by a local government aimed purely at increasing its tax base. Such an action was justified by the Supreme Court's ruling in Kelo v. New London, which allowed the use of eminent domain for a private redevelopment project on the grounds that the project promised spillover public benefits in the form of jobs and taxes. This paper argues that tax motivated takings can lead to inefficient transfers of land for the simple reason that assessed values understate owners' true values. We therefore propose a reassessment scheme that greatly reduces the risk of this sort of inefficiency.

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