LongLiveYorke, on Saturday, April 21st, 2012, 7:56 AM, said:
Well, it would be incredibly regressive. It would mean that you could make as much money as you want and not pay more in taxes if your land size remains constant.
Except the rich own land in areas where land is valuable; the poor don't own land at all. That's about as progressive as you can get: no taxes vs very high taxes that increase the more you have. (It's a tax on land *value*, not land *area*).
In addition, it makes no sense for people living in cities.
Why do you say this? Basically, *somebody* owns the land, just maybe not the person renting the office in the building on that land. Whoever owns Rockefeller center would pay LOTS of taxes, the guy renting an apartment in Brooklyn pays none. Of course, in real life, the costs get allocated to the renters, but that's true with any type of tax -- taxes always get reallocated according to supply, demand, and ability of individuals.
Also, the tax itself would be completely determined by how the government determines the rate of different areas. So, it would effectively give the government control over the distribution of populations, where people live, etc (I'm assuming you don't want a constant rate, right, because then that kills farmers, etc).
No, it would be a single tax rate for the entire country. And it would be based on the value of the land, which is very easy to determine based on public records.
Honestly, I don't see any good reasons why this is a good idea.
1. Extremely easy to implement -- run a computer analysis on land values, send a bill. No invasive forms, no audits, No IRS, nothing. Collection costs are almost zero. 2. Extremely visible -- no back door hidden taxes for bureaucrats to sneak through buried in a 1000 page bill, and it takes the courage of convictions to change it (either up or down), because everyone is watching. Everyone knows EXACTLY what the govt costs them so that they can make effective cost-benefit decisions.3. Simple -- not susceptible to the shenanigans of lobbyists or other favoritism. One rate for the whole country. Senator McGraft can't insert a tax break for his uncle's wife's kid for that new startup.4. Fair -- people pay in relation to the amount they get from the economy. People tend to own or use land in direct relationship to their relative position in the economy. Land use is an excellent proxy for wealth. Therefore, the more they get, the more they pay, in a very direct way.5. Prevents land speculation. This is an argument for those who believe that we all have equal right to the earth, and that govt is artificially destroying that right by allowing property ownership. By charging people in direct relationship to the portion of the earth they are using, you are offsetting the advantage of having land, making for a more equal society. The rich cannot just buy up huge tracts of land in the hope that it will eventually be worth more. Instead, that land is more available to the rest of society. [To me, this is a good argument built on a weak premise, but thought I'd include it for completeness].Does my explanation cover your objections? It seems like your objections are based on misunderstanding what it is, not the actual idea. With the above explanation, do you still have objections? Because to me it seems like such a radical idea that there's got to be something wrong with it. When I heard about it I originally thought it was nuts, for some of the same reasons you do, but the more I discussed it with people, the more I like it. It has all the features of a good tax code: fair, simple, visible, difficult to corrupt, and easy to implement.Frankly, I keep waiting for a reason to hate it, because then I could just drop the idea.