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(Salon)   If we instituted a land tax, we wouldn't need any other taxes. No sales tax. No income tax. No payroll tax to fill a social security trust fund. No corporate income tax. No need to tax labor and industry at all   (salon.com) divider line 305
    More: Interesting, United States, house ways and means committee, Major Changes, price bubble, private ownership, Senate Finance Committee, McMansion, Baucus  
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5244 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Nov 2013 at 2:37 PM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-22 03:12:46 PM

Rev.K: But how about we go after the income taxes the 1% should be paying first?


Because they would enjoy increasing my property taxes more, especially knowing that already costs me 8% of my income each year.
 
2013-11-22 03:12:46 PM

Witty_Retort: whidbey: And they'll all be in China if this happens.

So stuff will just be UPSd directly from China? Shipping will be through the roof.


Good point. Maybe Amazon would lobby for its own DMZ.
 
2013-11-22 03:12:53 PM

jst3p: Witty_Retort: Eddie Adams from Torrance: oldfarthenry: So my "living in a zeppelin in the sky" idea would bear financial rewards?

FTFA: Just tax the stuff that humans had nothing to do with creating, and therefore have no basis to claim ownership over at all.

Sure.. until you have to pay the helium tax.

I'll show them.
My zeppelin is filled with hydrogen!!!!
Helium tax can BURN!!!!

In before huge manatee.


On that note, "oh the huge manatee!" has always bothered me when "Oh the huge mammaries!" is just as obvious but vastly superior. For shame internet, you blew it.

[www.androidfreeware.net image 480x800]



While I agree that your image is far more aesthetically pleasing, the manatee graphic actually plays into the Hindenberg fire from which the "Oh, the humanity!" quote is taken, so it is comedically superior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F54rqDh2mWA&t=0m48s
 
2013-11-22 03:13:02 PM

jst3p: Rev.K: DamnYankees: The amount of people dismissing this out of hand is pretty interesting. What's so objectionable about this?

It might not be a totally horrible idea, I'll give it that.

But how about we go after the income taxes the 1% should be paying first? I don't mean raising their rates, I mean collecting what they do owe through closing loopholes and ending sweetheart deals.

Because as soon as the people get behind "closing loopholes" the GoP starts with "OK, let's get rid of the ones that everyone benefits from, like the mortgage deduction." Not to argue the merits of the mortgage deduction, but that doesn't really pursue the stated goal...


Are you saying that you think it has any merit?

Are you saying that the GOP would love to cut a taxpayer funded giveaway that goes mostly to the top 20% highest earners.
 
2013-11-22 03:13:56 PM
Can we not tax the very air itself?
 
2013-11-22 03:14:05 PM
This is another East Coast attempt to cripple Stanford, isn't it?
 
2013-11-22 03:15:05 PM

jst3p: On that note, "oh the huge manatee!" has always bothered me when "Oh the huge mammaries!" is just as obvious but vastly superior. For shame internet, you blew it.


img.fark.net

She'd be paying a lot of tax on those huge tracts of land...
 
2013-11-22 03:15:12 PM

whidbey: The_Six_Fingered_Man: whidbey: The_Six_Fingered_Man: DamnYankees: The amount of people dismissing this out of hand is pretty interesting. What's so objectionable about this?

Other than the clear constitutional issue that a direct tax that is not apportioned among the states as required by the 16th amendment? If the Feds imposed the direct land tax, they would not be able to keep it. They would have to send it to the states.

Commerce clause, biatch.

Whids, I love you man, and we always get along, but the idea that the Federal government could circumvent the 16th amendment apportionment clause by citing the commerce clause is pretty pants on head.

Also, I have no idea how the Interstate Commerce Clause would apply to land that, by nature, cannot cross state lines.

Well I was only half-serious, but there is enough precedence to justify that since the Govt does enough commerce in all 50 states (with all 50 landowners, (another joke) (maybe?) with the individuals/corporations who own the land, then there is legal grounds to invoke the CC. Yes, I know you hate it when they flip it on and off like a light switch.


That is still dumber than heck.  To fit with current president you could argue that one acre of land in state A displaces need from state B thus causing an economic effect accross state lines.
 
2013-11-22 03:15:14 PM

Target Builder: There is a reason an acre of land on Manhattan costs somewhat more than an acre of land in rural Wyoming - it's because a lot of people have put a fair bit of work and financial investment into developing and building both the useful structures on the land itself and the surrounding infrastructure that supports the operation of the fancy things that get built.


Sure, but that doesn't mean you should be able to sit on your ass and let other people's hard work raise the value of a natural good you just happen to own.
 
2013-11-22 03:15:23 PM

jst3p: Witty_Retort: Eddie Adams from Torrance: oldfarthenry: So my "living in a zeppelin in the sky" idea would bear financial rewards?

FTFA: Just tax the stuff that humans had nothing to do with creating, and therefore have no basis to claim ownership over at all.

Sure.. until you have to pay the helium tax.

I'll show them.
My zeppelin is filled with hydrogen!!!!
Helium tax can BURN!!!!

In before huge manatee.


On that note, "oh the huge manatee!" has always bothered me when "Oh the huge mammaries!" is just as obvious but vastly superior. For shame internet, you blew it.

[www.androidfreeware.net image 480x800]


She has huge ... tracts of land
 
2013-11-22 03:16:27 PM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Headso: or we could just take capital gains at a progressive rate...

For liberals, every day is April 15th.


yeah, red state welfare is like a tax we pay everyday.
 
2013-11-22 03:17:28 PM

Witty_Retort: Lord_Baull: Farmers own land.

So you want only land owners to be able to vote (in this situation, FTFA)?



That was the original intent of my post, yes.
 
2013-11-22 03:17:38 PM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Headso: or we could just take capital gains at a progressive rate...

For liberals, every day is April 15th.


For almost every conservative, every day is derp day.
 
2013-11-22 03:17:50 PM

badhatharry: Haha. Renters think they don't pay property taxes. Haha. Good one.


Wait until this "property owners only" tax happens.  Renters won't pay even more tax while their rent  skyrockets.
 
2013-11-22 03:18:27 PM
Sounds a bit like Henry George and the single land tax.
 
2013-11-22 03:19:06 PM
Maybe we should just put a tax on....thingy
 
2013-11-22 03:19:22 PM

runwiz: Sounds a bit like Henry George and the single land tax.


It's exactly that.
 
2013-11-22 03:19:52 PM

BMFPitt: Are you saying that the GOP would love to cut a taxpayer funded giveaway that goes mostly to the top 20% highest earners.


It's what they were pushing last year and it would have the greatest effect on the upper middle class, not so much the "1%"

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2012/12/04/deductions-eyed-for-e li mination-limits-john-boehner-fiscal-cliff-plan-benefit-many/OdFe1okaHP LItvvteEZyJJ/story.html
 
2013-11-22 03:20:37 PM
Waiting for the bit from dragonheart "A road tax, sire...I mean, they are YOUR roads, after all...."
 
2013-11-22 03:20:41 PM

oldfarthenry: So my "living in a zeppelin in the sky" idea would bear financial rewards?


Great idea, we will call this place Columbia

gametac.com
 
2013-11-22 03:20:53 PM

Saiga410: whidbey: The_Six_Fingered_Man: whidbey: The_Six_Fingered_Man: DamnYankees: The amount of people dismissing this out of hand is pretty interesting. What's so objectionable about this?

Other than the clear constitutional issue that a direct tax that is not apportioned among the states as required by the 16th amendment? If the Feds imposed the direct land tax, they would not be able to keep it. They would have to send it to the states.

Commerce clause, biatch.

Whids, I love you man, and we always get along, but the idea that the Federal government could circumvent the 16th amendment apportionment clause by citing the commerce clause is pretty pants on head.

Also, I have no idea how the Interstate Commerce Clause would apply to land that, by nature, cannot cross state lines.

Well I was only half-serious, but there is enough precedence to justify that since the Govt does enough commerce in all 50 states (with all 50 landowners, (another joke) (maybe?) with the individuals/corporations who own the land, then there is legal grounds to invoke the CC. Yes, I know you hate it when they flip it on and off like a light switch.

That is still dumber than heck.  To fit with current president you could argue that one acre of land in state A displaces need from state B thus causing an economic effect accross state lines.


Why would it have to be an interstate effect? The argument is that since the US government does business or is affected by commerce in 50 states, then they would have the right to regulate that commerce. Land would be taxed because the owners benefit from State and Federal interaction.
 
2013-11-22 03:23:09 PM
If you own land, do you own the land underneath it down into the core of the Earth?

/random, end of Friday thoughts
 
2013-11-22 03:24:36 PM

theorellior: Target Builder: There is a reason an acre of land on Manhattan costs somewhat more than an acre of land in rural Wyoming - it's because a lot of people have put a fair bit of work and financial investment into developing and building both the useful structures on the land itself and the surrounding infrastructure that supports the operation of the fancy things that get built.

Sure, but that doesn't mean you should be able to sit on your ass and let other people's hard work raise the value of a natural good you just happen to own.


The only people who really meet that description are farmers and semi-rural folks who aren't cash-rich but have owned their land for few decades while a nearby city expanded towards them. They would instantly find themselves forced to sell en-mass to developers if they got hit with a bill based on the value of their land, which would then promptly throw land values into chaos as millions of acres around cities across America go on the market in simultaneous distress sales.
 
2013-11-22 03:25:17 PM
Except it's going to completely fark over the farmers and homeowners while stock traders live comfortably tax free in their penthouse apartments.

Salon: where economic literacy goes to die.
 
2013-11-22 03:25:55 PM
Brilliant. And then every billionaire would either find a loophole (because there is ALWAYS a loophole), or divest himself of all land, even if it's for pennies on the dollar. They can afford to do these things out of spite.
 
2013-11-22 03:26:08 PM

Lord_Baull: Witty_Retort: Lord_Baull: Farmers own land.

So you want only land owners to be able to vote (in this situation, FTFA)?


That was the original intent of my post, yes.


Ahhhh. OK. Thanks for clearing that up.

But less than half of the land used for farming is owned by farmers. Big Ag owns the rest.
 
2013-11-22 03:27:48 PM

Hillbilly Jim: She'd be paying a lot of tax on those huge tracts of land...


Do you have to pay more tax if you enhance your land?
 
2013-11-22 03:27:49 PM
I've found the idea of an LVT to be an interesting concept.  The economist side of me likes the nice efficiency gains for land usage that it brings.  A few cities have been testing an idea somewhat similar; the split-rate property tax reform.  Basically, it's an attempt to bring in the same revenue totals by increasing the tax rate on land and decreasing the tax rate on capital.  So far, it's appeared to do a fairly decent job of reducing urban blight areas.  LVTs also discourage land as a form of investment since it costs more to hold undeveloped land with no use, and helps to encourage use of land by essentially making any land improvements tax free.

That being said, I don't think an LVT as a single tax is really all that feasible.  For one, there's a big question as to whether the U.S. even has enough valuable land to pay the federal government's, much less state and local expenditures as well.  The reason for this is that you can't just raise or lower the rental rate of LVTs when you need more or less value.  Basically the government gets what it gets.  If you lower the LVT, then you're just encouraging the same behavior that existed prior, and if you raise the LVT above the rental rate of land then you'll generate all sorts of not so fun byproducts.

Plus, people already hate property taxes immensely.  I can't imagine the outcry that would follow when the first tax bills came in, even if we were capable of removing all other forms of taxation.
 
2013-11-22 03:27:54 PM

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: If you own land, do you own the land underneath it down into the core of the Earth?

/random, end of Friday thoughts


No. You don't own the infinite pyramid of airspace and space over you either.

~~~^*the more you know*^
 
2013-11-22 03:28:00 PM

jst3p: BMFPitt: Are you saying that the GOP would love to cut a taxpayer funded giveaway that goes mostly to the top 20% highest earners.

It's what they were pushing last year and it would have the greatest effect on the upper middle class, not so much the "1%"

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2012/12/04/deductions-eyed-for-e li mination-limits-john-boehner-fiscal-cliff-plan-benefit-many/OdFe1okaHP LItvvteEZyJJ/story.html


Did you even read the link you just posted?

Are you just going with the WSJ definition of "middle class"?

The mortgage debt subsidy is indefensible, period.
 
2013-11-22 03:28:04 PM
Ground-rents are a still more proper subject of taxation than the rent of houses. A tax upon ground-rents would not raise the rents of houses. It would fall altogether upon the owner of the ground-rent, who acts always as a monopolist, and exacts the greatest rent which can be got for the use of his ground. More or less can be got for it according as the competitors happen to be richer or poorer, or can afford to gratify their fancy for a particular spot of ground at a greater or smaller expense. In every country the greatest number of rich competitors is in the capital, and it is there accordingly that the highest ground-rents are always to be found. As the wealth of those competitors would in no respect be increased by a tax upon ground-rents, they would not probably be disposed to pay more for the use of the ground. Whether the tax was to be advanced by the inhabitant, or by the owner of the ground, would be of little importance. The more the inhabitant was obliged to pay for the tax, the less he would incline to pay for the ground; so that the final payment of the tax would fall altogether upon the owner of the ground-rent.

- Adam Smith , The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter 2, Article I: Taxes upon the Rent of Houses
 
2013-11-22 03:28:23 PM

super_grass: Except it's going to completely fark over the farmers and homeowners while stock traders live comfortably tax free in their penthouse apartments.

Salon: where economic literacy goes to die.


Less than half the land used for farming is owned by farmers. Big Ag owns the rest.
The land the apartment is on would be taxed, and passed on to the stock trader.
 
2013-11-22 03:28:54 PM
I'm glad to see that Republicans and Democrats can both recognize an utterly stupid idea when presented with one.
 
2013-11-22 03:31:16 PM

BMFPitt: The mortgage debt subsidy is indefensible, period.


You missed my original point, which still remains valid.
 
2013-11-22 03:31:50 PM

EatenTheSun: Today I learned my two acres in the flood plain qualifies me as landed gentry.


So does my two acres of desert sand and creosote bushes! Woo hoo!
 
2013-11-22 03:32:03 PM

StrikitRich: This tax would ruin family farmers.


I have an outstanding crop of fire ants coming in.
 
2013-11-22 03:33:04 PM

Stile4aly: I'm glad to see that Republicans and Democrats can both recognize an utterly stupid idea when presented with one.


I thought you libuhtarians like a Flat Tax.
 
2013-11-22 03:33:29 PM

jst3p: BMFPitt: The mortgage debt subsidy is indefensible, period.

You missed my original point, which still remains valid.


That was them offering it as a concession to get rates reduced, not asking for it.
 
2013-11-22 03:35:57 PM

Hillbilly Jim: jst3p: On that note, "oh the huge manatee!" has always bothered me when "Oh the huge mammaries!" is just as obvious but vastly superior. For shame internet, you blew it.

[img.fark.net image 480x800]

She'd be paying a lot of tax on those huge tracts of land...


She could make up for it in drilling rights.
 
2013-11-22 03:36:20 PM

super_grass: Except it's going to completely fark over the farmers and homeowners while stock traders live comfortably tax free in their penthouse apartments.

Salon: where economic literacy goes to die.


Rent everywhere will go up.  If Salon thinks the cost of ownership of the apartment building isn't going to be absorbed and paid for by the renters they have to be nutz.
 
2013-11-22 03:36:23 PM

Witty_Retort: Lord_Baull: Witty_Retort: Lord_Baull: Farmers own land.

So you want only land owners to be able to vote (in this situation, FTFA)?


That was the original intent of my post, yes.

Ahhhh. OK. Thanks for clearing that up.

But less than half of the land used for farming is owned by farmers. Big Ag owns the rest.


This tax would ensure they get the other half too.
 
2013-11-22 03:38:18 PM

Tyee: super_grass: Except it's going to completely fark over the farmers and homeowners while stock traders live comfortably tax free in their penthouse apartments.

Salon: where economic literacy goes to die.

Rent everywhere will go up.  If Salon thinks the cost of ownership of the apartment building isn't going to be absorbed and paid for by the renters they have to be nutz.


Adam Smith was nuts.
 
2013-11-22 03:39:51 PM

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: If you own land, do you own the land underneath it down into the core of the Earth?

/random, end of Friday thoughts


Actually, Yes you do.  As well as any minerals, etc.  You also technically own the airspace above your land, although advent of air travel caused some regulations to be passed that take away your ability to sue Delta for flying through your air


.

super_grass: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: If you own land, do you own the land underneath it down into the core of the Earth?

/random, end of Friday thoughts

No. You don't own the infinite pyramid of airspace and space over you either.

~~~^*the more you know*^


Sorry but wrong.
 
2013-11-22 03:40:11 PM

BMFPitt: jst3p: BMFPitt: The mortgage debt subsidy is indefensible, period.

You missed my original point, which still remains valid.

That was them offering it as a concession to get rates reduced, not asking for it.


Obama wants to raise the marginal rates on the highest 2 percent of taxpayers

Or rather to avoid having the rates raised on the very wealthy. The difference is eliminating the interest deduction affects (most significantly) the top 80% when the original stated goal when this conversation was to focus on the 1%.

I know you want to make a point, but it isn't relevant to the discussion you jumped into.
 
2013-11-22 03:40:43 PM
I did this experiment my freshman year for a first year intro class to taxation and accounting theory

All current federal debt, tax confusion, etc. can be solved thusly:

Separate the SSA, Medicare and Medicaid into a quasi-federal bank (This would actually be the Third Bank of the United States since pre-civil war states got twitchy about government entering banking). Payroll taxes will go to this institution.
Sell 49.9% of ownership on the public stock exchanges to help grandfather in existing SSA, Medicare, and Medicaid accounts.
Bar Congress from voting money to any private entity except in exchange for goods or services (no taxpayer funded bailouts). Bank becomes responsible for analyzing, approving, and managing loans to private corporations deemed credit worthy
Bank manages universal pension fund in leu of SSA and establishes private interest bearing accounts guaranteed by statute at an inflation adjusted rate not less than #% per annum
Bank manages universal health savings fund with semi-private accounts, that operates in leu of Medicare and Medicaid. No limit on amount saved and all funds roll over at the end of the year
Set a .5% VAT on all non-medical, clothing or food goods in the US to go directly to the coffers of the Defense Dept. Any additional funds must be requested by the DoD in an itemized list to Congress.
Set a .5% VAT to go directly to the Transportation Dept. for the upkeep of airports, interstate highways, bridges, and other vital infrastructure. Same rules as the DoD for additional funds
Set a 1% tax on all sales of fossil fuels to fund alt energy development. Any additional funds to this effort must be voted up or down by Congress.
No taxes on any income invested or placed in a savings account with yearly limits on withdrawals.
Capital Gains tax set to 25%

No taxes on the first $30,000.00 of income. New tax rates set at 10, 15, 20, and 25 precent in accordance with current tax schedules. No more AMT.

Problem solved. The national debt would be paid down to half its current level in a decade. The military would be fully funded with room to spare. SSA is saved and made even better, and the social safety net of Medicare and Medicaid are made to work a little more like a single payer system but with more contact with the private sector.

/numbers may need adjustment since i last did the figures pre-Great Recession
 
2013-11-22 03:41:16 PM

oldfarthenry: So my "living in a zeppelin in the sky" idea would bear financial rewards?


You're gonna take your chances on a big jet plane?
 
2013-11-22 03:43:35 PM

KhanAidan: I've found the idea of an LVT to be an interesting concept.  The economist side of me likes the nice efficiency gains for land usage that it brings.  A few cities have been testing an idea somewhat similar; the split-rate property tax reform.  Basically, it's an attempt to bring in the same revenue totals by increasing the tax rate on land and decreasing the tax rate on capital.  So far, it's appeared to do a fairly decent job of reducing urban blight areas.  LVTs also discourage land as a form of investment since it costs more to hold undeveloped land with no use, and helps to encourage use of land by essentially making any land improvements tax free.


But improvements of the land would increase the value of the land and thus increase the tax burden.
 
2013-11-22 03:43:55 PM

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: If you own land, do you own the land underneath it down into the core of the Earth?


It varies from state to state. In PA the answer is "sort of": you own everything to the core, with the exception of any mineral rights under your property that may have been sold. If you had nothing but dirt to the earth's core, you're fine, but if there's coal underneath you, you don't own that.
 
2013-11-22 03:46:35 PM

Saiga410: Isn't this part of georgism economic theory


Linkied for you; and pretty much, yes.

Saiga410: god who was the farker that always expounded that theory.


Google-fu indicates Snarfangel said he was a fan, a few times. However, I suspect the approach in the modern day would be complicated by the frequent separation of "ownership" of the land and subsidiaries like "mineral rights".
 
2013-11-22 03:46:43 PM

Saiga410: But improvements of the land would increase the value of the land and thus increase the tax burden.


Not quite. The Commonwealth of PA requires that there be uniformity, so if you're in an area where land is going for $1000/acre, you'd be taxed at that price, no matter if you built a hovel or a mansion. Now, if everyone built a mansion, then yes the price would probably rise, but we're only talking about one piece of property here.
 
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