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Lincoln Institute announces credit for online courses in tax policy and planning

Continuing education credits from APA and IAAO

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Users who engage in the Lincoln Institute's self-paced online education courses about land use planning and property tax policy can now get continuing education credit from the American Planning Association and the International Association of Assessment Officers.

Upon completion of the courses, users can apply to get one credit for each hour of approved online education completed. The planning-related courses are for certification maintenance credits for  planners accredited by APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP),says Armando Carbonell, chair of the Department of Planning and Urban Form.

The tax-related courses are eligible for continuing education credit within IAAO's professional designation program, according to, and Joan Youngman, chair of the Department of Valuation and Taxation.

As part of its continuing commitment to online education, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy currently offers 12 online courses that are now available on the Adobe Captivate platform for optimal viewing. There are also numerous online courses in Spanish, in addition to lectures and conference keynote presentations at the Lectures & Videos page.

Under the Department of Planning and Urban Form, the APA-eligible courses are:

1. Comprehensive Planning. Underscoring the critical importance of citizen planners in shaping the future of their communities through simple actions (or inactions) that can have important consequences, this course encourages responsible stewardship in a society that is rapidly changing. Modules provide users with tools and techniques, case studies, good practices, and other resources to meet the needs of twenty-first century urban, rural, or suburban communities.

2. Introduction to New England Forests The topics of forest management, ecology, stewardship, and sustainability are explored in this online program coordinated by Brian Donahue of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. They discuss how woodlands can be actively managed for timber and at the same time protected, in the context of urban and suburban growth, for future generations.

3. Local Communities Adapting to Climate Change Adapted from a two-day course developed by Larry Susskind, Patrick Field and Todd Schenk at the Consensus Building Institute in collaboration with Steve Aldrich of Bio Economic Research Associates (bio-eraTM), and Paul Kirshen at Battelle, this course introduces decision makers to tools for climate change adaptation planning, using videos, interactive exercises, and self-assessments.

4. Practical Ecology Dan Perlman of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts introduces key lessons from the sciences of ecology and conservation biology to help land use planners, developers, and members of planning boards manage the interface between humans and nature for the benefit of all parties. Incorporating ecological and conservation insights into planning and development will increase human health and safety, add to human pleasure, and help protect native species and ecosystems.

5. Property Rights in America  In this course, property rights scholar Harvey Jacobs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison acquaints participants with the history and structure of the property rights movement; approaches taken to restrict land use and environmental planning and policy (such as Measure 37 in Oregon); strategies to engage land use planning's opponents in constructive dialogue; policy approaches that address the concerns of property rights advocates; and the future of property rights in local, state, and national politics.

6. Resolving Land Use Disputes Based on the introductory course offered as part of the Mediating Land Use Disputes Series developed by Patrick Field, Ona Ferguson, and others at the Consensus Building Institute with the Lincoln Institute, this course presents practical experience and insights into negotiating and mediating solutions to conflicts over land use and community development. Through filmed lectures, interactive exercises, and simulations, participants learn about cases involving land development and community designing and adopting land use plans, and evaluating development proposals.    

Under the Department of Valuation and Taxation, the IAAO eligible courses are:

7. Designing and Implementing Property Tax Systems in Africa This course provides an overview of property taxation and its role in fiscal decentralization, reviews current international practices and trends in developing and developed countries, discusses the implications of choosing different property tax bases, and examines the administrative realities inherent in any property tax system.

8. Successful Property Tax Reform: The Case of Massachusetts This course examines the deep problems of the Massachusetts property tax in the 1970s and the subsequent reforms that created one of the most functional and fair property tax systems in the United States. Course modules explore the property tax system prior to reform; events leading up to the tax revolt and the assessment reforms; and the future of the current system. 

9. Taxation and Economic Development Developed by Jeffrey Chapman of Arizona State University, this course analyzes the theory and tools of local economic development in the United States. In addition to modules focused on the role of the property tax and economic development, the course also explores economic development theory and the current state of the law on these issues; innovative public financial incentives; the role of the community in economic development; special problems in rural areas; and includes case studies offering private and public perspectives on these issues.

10. The New Model of Tax Administration This course examines advanced statistical methods and new technology, such as spatial analysis and geographic information systems (GIS), that can improve the valuation of land and buildings for tax purposes.

11. Two-Rate Taxation of Land and Buildings: Benefits and Challenges of Innovative Property Tax Reform This course presents a variety of political and economic views on the taxation of land and buildings. It reviews the rationale for applying different tax rates to land and buildings, describes the history of two-rate taxation in Pennsylvania, and discusses current issues in the assessment of land value.

12. Valuing Land Affected by Conservation Easements Conservation easements brings together land policy, environmental questions and tax policy in a complex and compelling way; and though widely used and accepted since its implementation several decades ago, conservation easements still generate controversy. This course provides an overview of conservation easements, including background on the current policy debate, and draws on experts in environmental studies, planning, tax law, valuation and assessment.   

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high quality education and research, the Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy.

SOURCE Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

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