Social enterprises across the United States have taken on a wide range of public assets in recent years – from libraries to markets. But what really sets them apart from the UK is their innovative use of taxation, as Gareth Potts explains Thriving hub for growers and foodies – Detroit’s Eastern Market Earlier this month Independence Day was celebrated in the United States – the day when, angered by taxation without representation, the 13 American colonies broke free from rule by the Kingdom of Great Britain. Starting in the early 1980s and intensifying in the last decade, many US community and civic assets have also been set free by their city governments – their management and programming, but not freehold ownership, entrusted to social enterprise. In terms of legal form these are almost invariably charities known as 501(c)(3)s. All manner of assets have followed this path – including zoos, public markets … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Gareth Potts is based in Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of a free, recently-published assets toolkit, The New Barn-Raising, and is establishing a non-profit of the same name. Follow him on Twitter, @garethpotts1