Washington Law Review


In 1973 Vermont became the first state to enact a tax applying specifically to gains realized from the sale of land. The tax, confined to gains on short-term land holdings and designed to control short-term land speculation, promises to become a new weapon in the growing arsenal of innovative land use measures designed to channel land transfer and development in environmentally and socially responsible directions. This note examines the new Vermont tax, assessing its advantages relative to more traditional land use measures. It analyzes a recent Vermont Supreme Court decision upholding the tax and concludes, as did the court, that the tax is constitutionally permissible. Finally. this note predicts the tax's future effectiveness both as a source of revenue and as a tool for regulating uncontrolled land speculation.

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