Basically land is the economy.  Our forefathers, the original settlers of this continent came here to obtain land.  And who owned this land originally?  Today we like to refer to them as the Native Americans.


The Native American didn’t own the land directly, not in the modern sense.  They merely used it although they established territories designated for each of the tribes.  The introduction of the horse began to test the old territorial systems. 


It was the settlers soon following the horse by setting up land registration offices who contributed to the complete destruction of the land use processes. 


This continent became the new economy, the land of opportunity, opportunity to become landowners.  We’ve read about all the official races and contests for the runs to acquire land.  Land wealth equal to that of a non-productive gold.


Free opportunities for acquiring land did not exist in England were conquers were rewarded by obtaining lordships, mainly to be given districts of land, lords of the land they possessed, “landlords.”  That term for owners of property still exists today.  


The kings would then tax the landlords who taxed their serfs.  This taxing method is today referred to as property tax.  Land barons in other countries were the landlords there.  These landownership conditions brought my parents to this country over a hundred years ago.


Our community Shorewood today operates mainly on property tax revenues.   Management seeks to make its operations efficient in order to require only a low amount of revenue and to keep the tax rates down.  How do we measure declining or increasing revenue, value of money, tax rates and less or more taxes?


When I became a city planner and later an urban designer, after obtaining two degrees in economics, a good basis for the profession, our main job was land planning and land use planning.


Its main purpose was to give order to land use and to obtain the best use for the land which was meant to increase its value as much as possible, in order to tax land at its highest value and to obtain this easy revenue for the community.


One of the economic problems in Shorewood seems to be high land values.  What may appear to be any easy method for obtaining value from land is given complications as it passes through a number of market requirements.     

High-density uses tend to produce more revenue for communities.  This concept appearing a simple one may not be so simple although being simply applied in Shorewood.  It’s not like landlords paying taxes to the king.


High-density also comes with its invisible costs.  (More in following blogs).

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