Thursday, July 30, 2009

Abolish all taxes except...

...the property tax:
In 1879, Henry George ... found it perverse that we tax productive activities like work and innovative investment while letting landowners grow rich simply because they scooped up property at the right time. In that spirit, George called for a “Single Tax” on the unimproved value of land. There’s a certain compelling logic to the Single Tax that stands the test of time. When you tax income, aren’t you punishing people for working hard? But when you tax an asset like land, you’re simply encouraging the most valuable use of that land. In the years since George faded from the scene, a number of economists, from Milton Friedman to Paul Romer, have found virtue in the Single Tax...
Via Rebecca Wilder


  1. Property tax only is a DUMB(!) idea.

    Example 1: farmer needs lots of land to grow food and feed people, but doesn't make much money. Wall street investor may create little if any "real" wealth, but requires next to no land to do it.

    Example 2: coal mine uses tons of land by necessity. guy who invented pet rock (or jump to conclusions mat) used no land to make his millions.

    The examples are intentionally inflammatory and or funny, but you get the idea. Property tax only has little if any logical basis.

  2. farmers and coal miners would pass their tax on through their prices. There would be no slash and burn to keep prices of veggies up if farmers didnt farm so much of the stuff too. Those are pretty bad examples.

  3. I am agree with the first comment 100% and great examples too ! too bad it is an anonymous poster

  4. Those would be great examples if the government didnt buy food from the farmers and let it rot, just so that the price of potatoes dont go down to a penny per ton.

    Big cooperation have pushed all the small farmers out too! If there was a tax on the property it would do two good things....

    1) I would make the costs for a big coorperation, who are hording land and pushing the little guys out, so high they would have to stop their practice.

    2) It would allow the little guys to own small local farms bringing back local business, local foods, and local culture.

  5. DC is getting ready to tax plastic bags at 5 cents each. Plastic bags are property, so I guess that tax is ok.

  6. land is no longer reflective of earning potential. This isn't the 1800's.


  7. "Don't tax me, and don't tax my friends. Instead, tax that guy over there. He's got money. Trust me."

  8. "land is no longer reflective of earning potential. This isn't the 1800's.


    yeah, Im sure you make a lot more than Donald Trump.


  9. I didn't say that land wasn't ONE way to make money. I was making the point that land isn't necessary to be filthy rich. Land simply isn't as important as it was historically.

    Google, Microsoft, Investment firms, etc,...they didn't need land to become extremely wealthy ...the list goes on.

    A huge cattle ranch might have as much land as Google, but the ranch earns $1,000,000 a year and Google earns $4,220,000,000.

    And you want to tax them the same?!?

    LAND /= earning potential.

    This isn't the 1800's.

  10. Taxing unimproved land encourages development of undeveloped land.
    Therefore, it encourages wasteful development. Might as well pave that wetland so that it is a "developed" parking lot that is not subject to taxation. Even if such a parking lot is not economically needed, it may nonetheless be built as a tax shelter.
    This is a conservationist's worst nightmare; it is worse than unbridled capitalism with no land use restrictions because it is a tax structure which encourages development beyond what the market will support.

  11. PS
    My last post assumes, as the quote suggests, that the proposal is to tax the "unimproved" value of the land.