A land value tax won’t prevent land from being submerged, and won’t clarify ownership, but it will importantly change the incentives. The article cites one case where the landowner continues to pay real estate tax [presumably a modest amount, but the article does not say] on the submerged parcel. ‘“It’s Gulf-front property,” says Levenson, who now lives in Tennessee. “Someday it will be valuable.”’
Suppose, instead, that the rental value of land was the sole source of public revenue. The land might someday be very useful, and might have a large rental value, but could never be sold for a high price. End of controversy. The water rises, the owner avoids the taxes by relinquishing the land. Unless the rest of us are obligated to pay to enrich a few coastal owners, this is the just and efficient way to proceed.