Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Site Value Tax proposal draws an army of 'authors'

One particular trait of Irish policy research community is a troubling one – once a policy proposal is adopted by the governing party, the jostling and positioning begins to align various research bodies and policy advocates to claim the credit.

And so it is with the latest Programme for Government – no sooner did the ink dry out on paper as various august organizations and individuals have managed to stake a claim to fame as the authors.

I don’t know which proposal was finally used by the Green party leaders. All I know is that there is only one current proposal for Site-Value / Land-Value Tax that was produced in 2008-2009 period. This proposal was authored by me, sponsored by a group of research NGOs and is available on the http://smarttaxes.org website - a link to it here.

The proposal was publicized at a conference in April 2009 and at a public seminar in May, made public in Business & Finance, mentioned and cited in the Sunday Times and the Irish Times. I made the presentation on LVT/SVT available on my blog since April 07, 2009, and was a subject of a briefing for the Department of Finance in April 2009 which I attended. (Some links to these public domains: here, here, here).

The proposal (constituting the first volume of research on the issue) contained detailed estimates of the likely effect of the LVT/SVT on budgetary dynamics and revenue stability, as well as broad assessment of expected economic impact of such a tax.

The proposal was also delivered to the Taxation Commission as an official (and presumably logged) submission and the Taxation Commission report draws extensively in its section on LVT/SVT from this submission.

A second submission (see here), dealing specifically with the issue of using LVT/SVT to raise public investment funding was completed by me in August 2009 and made public then. It is also available on the http://smarttaxes.org website.

Both documents formed the submission on the Programme for Government by the Environmental Pillar member group, Feasta which was delivered to the Green Party and launched publicly at an event.

These are the matters of public record.

In the mean time, it came to my attention that a certain leader of one of the Social Pillar organization in the Social Partnership has been claiming authorship of the proposal. The irony has it, his own organization’s website contains no serious proposals for SVT/LVT despite having many detailed position papers on other policies. Other ‘authoring experts’ have been reported sending their CVs to the Green Party leadership in a hope of gaining a slice of action.

My research on SVT/LVT has been sponsored, kindly, by a group of private and NGO sources, cited on the submissions.
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