As a child you hear your parents talk about property tax and of course you skim the topic of taxes in school. It was something I knew had to be paid and I knew was necessary to implement, but couldn’t fully comprehend why or how it was connect to zoning and land-use change.
For local governments, property tax is the main source of revenue, though they do rely on some other sources. According to Alan E. Land, author of “Toward Optimal Land Use:Property tax Policy and Land Use Planning”, real property tax is imposed on the value of land and its improvements and it affects the land use by changing the incentives for developing land. Property tax can indeed influence a landowner’s land use decisions. For example, farms and other large plots of undeveloped land are very valuable because of their potential for development. Owners of those lands may want to keep their land undeveloped but may not be able to afford the property tax on it or they may not be profiting from the products produced on their land and in turn will be more inclined to sell their land for development.
Mr. Land also stated, “The existing interrelation of property taxation and land use patterns in central cities, suburbs, and the urban fringe has produced many optimal effects.” Zoning is a particular type of land use regulation in which there are designated permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another. According to William Fischel, zoning is often viewed as a municipal property right and also a means of controlling municipal cost by limiting development that may raise taxes. Basically, it allows the people to shape their environment and their property tax base. Developers use property tax as a means to sway communities to develop more, persuading them that the extra revenue created from property tax could be used to their benefit. on the other hand, in central cities, property tax can create a decline in the tax base as middle class residence move to the suburbs and increased population density. In the suburban areas, the sprawl or movement of people from the cities to those areas can cause an increases in taxes in those areas and those high taxes can negatively affect the underdeveloped areas, such as farms that we discussed early.
Even through further reading, the relationship between property taxation and land-use and zoning still isn’t clear cut, but it makes a little  more sense than it did before. One can either positively or negatively affect the other.