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Germany Lander to introduce a land value tax

November 11, 2020 3:52 PM
By Tony Vickers

The German state (Land) of Baden-Wurttemburg has taken the historic step of legislating to introduce a state-wide Land Value Tax. See https://www.grundsteuerreform.net/aktuelles/ for details (you may need to translate from the German).

With its population of 11 million and major cities including Stuttgart, Mannehim and Karlsruhe, it becomes the largest part of Europe to have LVT - called Grundsteuer in German - and the first in Europe for nearly 100 years other than former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania. Twice the size in area and population of Denmark, which has had LVT as a local tax since the 1920s, this places the policy literally at the heart of Europe.

Baden-Wurttemburg has a 'green/black' government coalition of Green and CDU parties. The tax will come into effect from 2025 and will apply to all urban and 'developable' land.

The article talks about how LVT can tackle the "social consequences of constantly rising land prices" and also about how the threat of climate change influenced the policy move, which has taken seven years to reach the statute book following a Federal German decision to allow Lander to legislate on tax.

The hope is that other German lander will follow this lead and also that politicians elsewhere in Europe will take note.