måndag 8 januari 2007

A land tax is 200 years overdue

It is encouraging to see someone speaking for land value taxation, (today's Guardian page 24 - "A land tax is 200 years overdue") but it is essential to be clear about the sort of land value taxation that is being proposed.

Ill-conceived land taxes such those related to the sale or development of land have done immense harm, proved harmful and often unworkable and in many cases, have been scrapped. This fate awaits the government's suggested Planning Gain Supplement.

Properly speaking, a land value tax should fall on the whole rental value of land, assuming that it is at its optimum permitted use. As each site is valued in turn, the buildings and other improvements on that site are ignored and their value excluded. Thus the assessment is the rental value of the site.

It is not, therefore, a tax on the selling price of land; it is not a tax just on some arbitarily selected increase in value; it is not a
mere property tax; and it is not an additional tax, but a replacement source of revenue.


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