Can The Property Tax Be Made Fair, Productive, Sustainable - without taking away the homestead?

Don’t say No too soon.

Radical Tax Reform for Fairness and Sustainable Development
London and Portland Trailblazers to Speak

Both Portland and London have earned reputations resolving sprawl and congestion. This is a rare opportunity to hear two high level officials from each city speak about their experiences and successes. The concept they work with, and why it is both sustainable and productive.

Public citizens will discuss a new look at the property tax on Monday, July 24th at 6 pm in the Bay View Library, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Two experienced world-traveled presenters will lead the discussion, based on their actual experiences in a wide range of politics and cities around the world.

Who should attend:

  • public citizens who are looking for solutions to the counterproductive property tax,
  • citizens who are interested in hearing how property tax can drive growth instead of impeding growth,
  • homeowners who want to upgrade their homes but are afraid of the tax consequences of improvements,
  • people who want a breath of fresh air in our public discussions,
  • elected officials who are not afraid to rattle cages
  • any candidate challenging any incumbent.

Questions about this event, or press contacts, please email Bill Sell at:


Jeffery Smith initiated the introduction of a bill to shift the property tax from buildings to land in the last three Oregon legislative sessions, co-sponsored by both major parties. A member of Mensa, he resides in the American Pacific Northwest.

Dave Wetzel is Vice Chair of Transportation for London (England). The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone is the Chair of Transport for London. (No, London’s mayor is not coming but the mayor of Milwaukee has been invited). Wetzel, in charge of Transportation of London runs was one the largest public/private urban transportation archipelagoes in the world: the London Underground, London Buses, using the Congestion Charge they have bridled the traffic mess that was London. They are in charge of river bus piers, all traffic signals, the Docklands, light railway, transportation planning etc.. He believes he has a way to finance mass transit.

Dave is now the VP for Transport for London, the mass transit system of that world-class city. He helped utilize increases in site values to fund mass transit and other infrastructure improvements. He testifies before numerous parliaments and meets innumerable mayors worldwide. Dave also helped bring in London’s highly successful congestion charge.

Land Value Taxation

Their work is named Geonomics or Land Value Taxation. LVT taxes only the value of the property not the improvements. Here’s a thumbnail sketch how Land Value Taxation works: The tax is shifted to the property, and away from the building, onto locations. Doing this it has motivated owners to use land more efficiently, infilling cities, reducing sprawl. That in turn puts uses closer together, which shortens travel distances; the density also provides more riders for mass transit. So you burn less fuel - good for both peak oil and global warming.

More on geonomics at:


July 23, afternoon. arrive in Milwaukee 4 pm

Trocadero’s, Sunday July 23, about 7 pm. (This was a brilliant evening. Reports later.)

July 24, 10 a.m., meet with County Supervisor James White, chair of the County Board Transportation Committee
July 24, a.m., meet with Mayor Barrett
July 24, noon, lunch with Bob Greenstreet, UWM, Department of City Development
July 24, 1:30 p.m., interview with Larry Sandler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
July 24, 3:15 p.m., meeting with UWM transportation engineering professors and economists
July 24, 6 p.m., meet the public at Bay View Library
July 24, 8 p.m., informalities, probably at a Bay View dig.

July 25, morning, more meetings (TBD) with Milwaukeans (call Bill at: 414–272–3787)
July 25, afternoon, departing from Milwaukee

I will be hosting the meeting. My own interest stems from my work on transportation issues with the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin and the Bay View Neighborhood Association Transportation Committee, and, to be quite frank, my interest as a senior citizen in remaining in my home after retirement.

My goal is to hear our two guests. If there is interest, I shall host a follow-up meeting in which we can discuss local strategies for widening the discussion.

Jeffery Smith contacted me a couple of months ago and offered that they swing by Milwaukee and meet people interested in change.

I invite my friends, associates, candidates for office, and office holders to join us in a quest for a solution — quite mindful that the public service of Frank Zeidler will continue with your goodwill.

July 24th from 6 pm to 8 pm in the Bay View Library

The presenters have suggested we go informal afterwards - maybe Lulu’s or Highbury? What say? Isn’t Milwaukee beer a good way to encourage them to return?

Questions about this event, or press contacts, please email me at:

Bill Sell

Last edited by bs.   Page last modified on July 25, 2006

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