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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
    More: Interesting, United States, house ways and means committee, Major Changes, price bubble, private ownership, Senate Finance Committee, McMansion, Baucus  
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5319 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Nov 2013 at 2:37 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2013-11-22 01:16:30 PM  
7 votes:
That's really stupid
2013-11-22 02:45:04 PM  
5 votes:
This tax would ruin family farmers.
2013-11-22 02:55:42 PM  
4 votes:
i'd rather see a mandatory minimum 20% tax on all churches with congregations larger than 100, escalating with higher avg attendance numbers.  and make them print out receipts for tax credits for the people who contribute to the offering tray.  hehe, cuz that's as likely to happen as the author's hopes.
2013-11-22 01:21:37 PM  
4 votes:
 Just tax the stuff that humans had nothing to do with creating, and therefore have no basis to claim ownership over at all.

It's always nice when authors put tells as to the quality of their article so early on.
2013-11-22 02:50:40 PM  
3 votes:
Basically, it's this: land is a natural good. The value of unimproved land increases due to social and not natural causes, so it behooves society to tax that value so as to remove this unearned advantage to the property owner and use that value for society. This does not apply to improvements to the property, because those improvements benefit society and any profits therefrom should revert to the entrepreneur.
2013-11-22 02:48:48 PM  
3 votes:

Primum non nocere: You guys are right and have stated the issues in more formal economic/market terms.

My point is that you can tell when a proposed tax is out of sense of fairness or out of a sense of "soak the rich". For the latter, it seems most schemes won't achieve their aims because the pain will just be passed-on somehow and to some degree. Luxury taxes in the 1990's on yachts hurt machinists and dockworkers first. Now for those of a certain ideologic persuasion, maybe there is the perfect tax against the rich that would have no downstream effects on the non-1%ers. A simple raise in elimination of the capital gains rate?



Tax all the income as income.
2013-11-22 02:45:51 PM  
3 votes:

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


It's such a simple solution that applies something we already knows works to an area where it would intrinsically work extra well due to the motivations involved, and would target one of our number 1 sources of inequality.

That means it will never happen.
2013-11-22 02:43:18 PM  
3 votes:
or we could just take capital gains at a progressive rate...
2013-11-22 02:38:38 PM  
3 votes:
If we cut the military budget, we would see what a huge portion of the taxes collected right now could provide revenue-wise.
2013-11-22 01:33:48 PM  
3 votes:
As someone who's dabbled in residential rental properties, you better believe any additional taxes would be passed on to the tenants. And if it made me really angry, I might even add a "fuel surcharge" and "processing fee".
2013-11-22 03:25:17 PM  
2 votes:
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 03:18:27 PM  
2 votes:
Sounds a bit like Henry George and the single land tax.
2013-11-22 03:12:13 PM  
2 votes:

bglove25: A Cave Geek: DNRTFA, but isn't that what a "Property tax" is?

No.  Your property tax is based on the value of the land as well as the building or fixtures on top of it.  He's suggesting that we actually only tax the value of the land and not the things on top of it.  So, if you own 2 acres of floodplain that's not commercially feasable to develop, well, your land (with nothing on it) isn't worth much.  However, if you're Mcdonald's and actually own the real estate under every restaurant, you pay a tax on the value of that land, without regard for what's built on top of it.  It also means you don't have Mcdonald's 1) pay corporate income tax or 2) need to engage in shenannigans to try to avoid income tax.


Remove the religious tax exemption for hilarity.

/still a foolish idea

To The Escape Zeppelin!: "Despite this, the new developments wouldn't push rents up throughout the rest of the neighborhood, because the increased land value would be taxed. The rest of the apartment buildings in the area didn't get any nicer. So why should they cost more?"

Clearly someone doesn't understand how gentrification works. Property value and rent goes up when it's next to expensive houses owned by rich people and goes down when it's next to poor people.


This is why, throughout much of US history, we had mixed development housing. Look at the factory housing through the 20th century. My old neighborhood had 5 house designs. They ranged from new employee to factory manager. The 'rich' often lived fairly close to the 'poor' people. This was important because it connected people in the workplaces. You couldn't really ignore, in comparison to modern times, the plight of Joe the Janitor or Sally in the Secretarial pool. You saw their families, your kids were near their kids, often playing together.

Trust me, it's a lot harder to have a slum in a mixed income neighborhood. Kind of like my yard is 'modern field' and not some specialty crap. I had the Tru-Green Chemlawn people out one year telling me how terrible my grass was with various weeds growing in it. I asked the guy if he drove by the new development by X on the way to my house. He replied yes. I asked him why he wasn't there, since those people try to keep impeccable lawns. I didn't wait for him to answer, we were having a drought that summer, and said 'My lawn is imperfect green, but it's green. You go look at their manicured, dead, brown, grass. You're going to honestly tell me that it's better than my mixed nature yard? Who has a green yard again?'  He left.

Mixed income neighborhoods are like my yard. You can wilt one or two things, but the overall whole will stay vibrant.
2013-11-22 03:06:30 PM  
2 votes:
I should also add a single tax to replace all other taxes intrinsically will tend to make government revenues much less stable than the current situation, although how unstable will depend on the particular tax chosen, some are worse than others. A land tax would seem to be somewhat problematic as for example from 2000-2007 government revenues would presumably have doubled (absent reaction by the government in the form of massive tax cuts) as property values roughly doubled, and then government revenues would have collapsed exactly when the government needed money to address the problems in various markets.
2013-11-22 03:02:32 PM  
2 votes:
Also no produce, no meat, and only rich people could afford land.  Wow awesome idea moron.
2013-11-22 02:59:45 PM  
2 votes:
It would just be more fun to label those who use off-shore accounts to shelter income as traitors, and charge them with capital crimes against the United States.  For corporations, since they are people too, if found guilty, they would be put to death (e.g. dissolved) with all profits evenly distributed to the lower level employees.
2013-11-22 02:54:51 PM  
2 votes:

Masso: Uh.. that's so dumb. The rich would just move away from owning land.


Hang some priceless art in your home and be "open to the public at no charge" one day a year.  Boom, you're exempt.
2013-11-22 02:52:49 PM  
2 votes:

A Cave Geek: DNRTFA, but isn't that what a "Property tax" is?


No.  Your property tax is based on the value of the land as well as the building or fixtures on top of it.  He's suggesting that we actually only tax the value of the land and not the things on top of it.  So, if you own 2 acres of floodplain that's not commercially feasable to develop, well, your land (with nothing on it) isn't worth much.  However, if you're Mcdonald's and actually own the real estate under every restaurant, you pay a tax on the value of that land, without regard for what's built on top of it.  It also means you don't have Mcdonald's 1) pay corporate income tax or 2) need to engage in shenannigans to try to avoid income tax.
2013-11-22 02:43:58 PM  
2 votes:
Henry George nods and rubs his hands together in anticipation.
2013-11-23 09:50:04 AM  
1 vote:

Rhino_man: Tyee: 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.

Here's a little hint: density.

THIS
[taylorcrary.com image 792x612]
is about five acres, and its tax is split about 600 ways.

By comparison, THIS
[www.larryhotz.com image 622x467]
is likely to be on a similar amount of land, and its tax would be paid by ONE person.

It's really not that hard to understand.



No one is talking about taxing the area of land. They're talking about taxing the value of land.
Do you imagine the value of land under a single family home in the farking burbs is nearly the same as the value of land in a city block?
2013-11-23 06:50:25 AM  
1 vote:

HeadLever: looks like this joker may be a OWS activist.  No wonder it is full of derp


Wouldn't be the first time a retarded lefty came up with a "soak the rich" tax scheme that would actually be wildly regressive in practice.
2013-11-22 06:39:55 PM  
1 vote:
I seem to recall reading about a dispute over the ownership of some land in Florida once. They actually tracked it back to the King of Spain who had granted title of it to someone. And who gave the King the right to do that? Why GOD, of course.
2013-11-22 06:37:47 PM  
1 vote:

SunsetLament: Mrtraveler01: SunsetLament:20% across the board.

Didn't the sequester teach us what a clusterfark it is when you do a basic "across the board" spending cut instead of specific spending cuts?

The sequester has been great.  Are you guys being taught in liberal indoctrination camp that the sequester was bad?


No, I just remember the whinging the right did when it found out that the sequester would've impacted FAA Air Traffic Controlers and as a result had to pass legislation to make them immune to them.
2013-11-22 06:34:28 PM  
1 vote:

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


And that's why it's really the only thing that *should* be taxed, maybe. It's the common heritage of mankind - it was just here and took essentially no effort to get it (unlike oil or mined materials, which required extra labor).

Since it was there and free for the taking, someone asserting exclusive control over a piece of land is denying someone else who had an equal right to it. Therefore that first person should pay that other person. Since "that other person" is "everyone", the landowner should pay an impartial entity that represents "everyone" and spends money for the common good, i.e. the government.
2013-11-22 06:31:08 PM  
1 vote:
SunsetLament:20% across the board.

Didn't the sequester teach us what a clusterfark it is when you do a basic "across the board" spending cut instead of specific spending cuts?
2013-11-22 06:21:44 PM  
1 vote:

SunsetLament: Mrtraveler01: SunsetLament: Oh, thank god the liberals can solve all our problems with increased taxes and welfare.  I was worried they were out of ideas.

True, we need to cut even more taxes, then somehow we magically balance the budget.

Oooh!!! Ooohh!!! I can't solve the second part of that dilemma ...

[www3.pictures.zimbio.com image 594x396]

Cut spending.  It's MAGIC!!!


Yeah, but by cutting taxes even more, that means you have to cut the spending even more to offset the loss in revenue from the tax cut let alone attempting to balance the budget.

Of course this is all by design for the GOP to get rid of programs it doesn't like and isn't actually a legitimate concern about the budget. You're not fooling anyone here by saying otherwise. Otherwise things like Defense and Entitlement reform would be on the table since they actually make up the majority of the budget.
2013-11-22 05:59:41 PM  
1 vote:
This is not a new idea. The flipside of a Georgist conception of land is a libertarian absolutism on all other forms of property. In other words, it's the same "taxation is theft" idea that, whatever its merits, is never taken that seriously around here.
2013-11-22 05:49:25 PM  
1 vote:
tax all the churches, legalize/decriminalize pot, prostitution, online poker at a federal level and BOOM, massive new jobs and taxes under a regulated environment, decreases expenditures on jails and a refocused police force on the real criminals in society.  i'd predict a surplus in less than 5 years.

/one can dream
2013-11-22 05:47:31 PM  
1 vote:

paygun: Yep, just keep chasing your tail.  If you want to stop the rich from being rich, pass a law banning personal wealth over X amount and be done with it.


Wouldn't mind salary caps. But of course, that would mean that people at large would actually have to get off their asses and care about it. Right now it seems to be all right to have such an insanely cavernous gap between rich and poor in this country. Must be patriotic or something.

*polishes flag pin*
2013-11-22 05:43:22 PM  
1 vote:

Witty_Retort: jigger: Witty_Retort: whidbey: Saiga410: I am sure around 47% of the population will be able to afford the higher rents when we get rid of the income tax.

Yeah well we're going to keep that around.

So you didn't RTFA?

The income tax, as evil as it is, is going nowhere. It'll be there when you die and when I die, sadly.

So you didn't RTFA?


We're also going to increase the sales tax to 15%. Any other hidden taxes we should raise, let us know.
2013-11-22 05:31:43 PM  
1 vote:

Smackledorfer: I don't like the chaos of it.

I would probably sell my home. It has twice the lot of my neighbor, who has almost a thousand more square feet of home. He earns about 20% more than me. Should he really pay half my amount of federal taxes?

I would likely have to shortsell after the huge drop in price, and his property would jump up.

If I were one of a few losers in this scenario I would dismiss my personal needs. But this would throw the market, and consequently much of the economy, into some goofy shiat.


img59.imageshack.us
2013-11-22 05:23:02 PM  
1 vote:

whidbey: Saiga410: I am sure around 47% of the population will be able to afford the higher rents when we get rid of the income tax.

Yeah well we're going to keep that around.


2.bp.blogspot.com
2013-11-22 04:50:18 PM  
1 vote:

GoldSpider: The_Six_Fingered_Man: 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.

Why not?  The government circumvents all kinds of Constitutional powers by citing the commerce clause.


I know you really don't want to admit that the word is "enumerates."
2013-11-22 04:38:22 PM  
1 vote:

rumpelstiltskin: The problem with restricting that to a land tax is, land is not distributed the same way wealth is.


Exatly.  Take some 4th,5th, and 6th generation family farmers/ranchers that I know.  Thier income is typically lower middle class and they manage to live a modest lifestyle while working nearly every day of the year.  On paper, however, they are all multi-millionairs since they own several thousand acres in some beautiful country.  They will never see this money until they sell thier land. They are not 1%ers in any way shape or form.
2013-11-22 04:33:19 PM  
1 vote:

YoungLochinvar: 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.

If all of the landowners CAN charge more, why aren't they already doing so?


If one, or a few, landlords raise their rents then people will just rent out other properties in the area.

A uniform tax on all land means nobody would lose a competitive advantage by charging more, as every landlord in the area would be charging the same amount more. The tax would also raise the cost of home ownership and so the economic benefits of buying vs renting would stay approximately the same so the housing stock used for renting vs buying would stay about the same.

The only limit would be if people literally could not afford the rent increase on a massive scale to the extent they would move out of the area in such large numbers to depress the demand below supply, in which case you'll see a few landlords who have mortgages default on their loans.
2013-11-22 04:24:25 PM  
1 vote:

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.


If all of the landowners CAN charge more, why aren't they already doing so?
2013-11-22 04:10:47 PM  
1 vote:
This article made absolutely no sense.  First off, it kind of sounds like the author is saying that we should tax all land, but tax just the land and ignore the improvements on it.  That's kind of impossible to do in a reliable way with respect to improved property, because to determine the value of "just" the land, you have to pretend that the land is something that it isn't -i.e., vacant land.  For example, how do you tax the land that the empire state building sits on?  You just imagine it's an open field in the middle of new york city, that can't be developed?  Ok, what would a hypothetical buyer pay for vacant land in the middle of NYC that they can't build anything on? Uhhh.....

If you want to tax the top 1%, or oil/gas/mineral producers, or income extracted from high rents in certain urban cores where land is extremely expensive, then there are plenty of ways to do that in a way that makes sense.  But it's not like land = wealth in this country, and it's not like every person who is rich is only rich because they own valuable real estate.  It's like the author was high one night and said "I got it! land = wealth!  tax the land and get rid of every other tax, and everyone will be better off!"

And so the author writes this article where he starts by talking about how screwed up our tax code is (true), but then pivots to "therefore, tax land only and it fixes everything," without providing any specifics whatsoever as to how it's supposedly going to work.  My guess is that in practice, any national "land value" tax like that would be ultra-regressive.  It's not like the average rancher in Montana who owns 500 acres of land is sitting on a pile of cash produced by that land.  I think the author is just trying to come up with some idea for taxing the bejeesus out of wealthy landlord is insanely high cost urban centers like NYC.

I don't necessarily disagree with him as to taxing the ultra-rich, but focusing only on land owners is stupid.
2013-11-22 04:09:49 PM  
1 vote:
Please videotape when you go and attempt to take my FIL's farm and all of his neighbors land, I wouldn't want to be anywhere within a mile of the place. Oh, and I would bring some Kevlar.

And the military.

/repeat thousands of times around the country.
2013-11-22 04:02:57 PM  
1 vote:
Nah, what will happen is the people who can't afford to pay the land tax will lose their land. Land will become concentrated in fewer (domestic and foreign) owners.


It's too bad someone doesn't make a movie about it...


3219a2.medialib.glogster.com


Then the land tax will be replaced with a sales tax so that everything the now landless buys is taxed.
2013-11-22 04:00:12 PM  
1 vote:

sendtodave: MFK: jst3p: netweavr: Witty_Retort: netweavr: DamnYankees: The amount of people dismissing this out of hand is pretty interesting. What's so objectionable about this?

Well for starters it would penality brick and mortar stores while rewarding digital services. That effectively cripples local industries for most of America.

Wouldn't online stores still have warehouses? Amazon has several really big ones.

In crappy areas and only when it's financially beneficial. Hell they refused to put one in California until the state finally hit them with Sales Taxes anyways.

CSB: I went to the Amazon Web Services conference last week in Vegas (it was pretty awesome). Where I finally met our sales rep. See, he is not allowed to come to Colorado because Amazon doesn't have a deal with the state to avoid paying taxes here, so they can do no business in the state. They are very sketchy about doing anything that will get them a tax bill and I guess some states tried to collect sales tax on their retail business because their web services guys were working.

OK seriously, this right here is why SOMETHING needs to be done. Amazon is by far and away one of the largest retailers in the US and are sucking up a HUGE percentage of the market share and they are completely shirking their tax responsibility to the society that allows them to operate and accumulate so much wealth.

Yeah, but they sell cheap stuff.


To be fair, Amazon's said they'd happily pay a universal Sales Tax. They just don't want to deal with having to know about every little Sales Tax from every town in America.
2013-11-22 03:52:42 PM  
1 vote:

what_now: 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?



Zepplins and big jet planes aren't all the same. Never let them tell you that.
MFK
2013-11-22 03:47:08 PM  
1 vote:

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

Well for starters it would penality brick and mortar stores while rewarding digital services. That effectively cripples local industries for most of America.

Wouldn't online stores still have warehouses? Amazon has several really big ones.

In crappy areas and only when it's financially beneficial. Hell they refused to put one in California until the state finally hit them with Sales Taxes anyways.

CSB: I went to the Amazon Web Services conference last week in Vegas (it was pretty awesome). Where I finally met our sales rep. See, he is not allowed to come to Colorado because Amazon doesn't have a deal with the state to avoid paying taxes here, so they can do no business in the state. They are very sketchy about doing anything that will get them a tax bill and I guess some states tried to collect sales tax on their retail business because their web services guys were working.


OK seriously, this right here is why SOMETHING needs to be done. Amazon is by far and away one of the largest retailers in the US and are sucking up a HUGE percentage of the market share and they are completely shirking their tax responsibility to the society that allows them to operate and accumulate so much wealth.
2013-11-22 03:40:43 PM  
1 vote:
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 03:28:04 PM  
1 vote:
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 03:27:49 PM  
1 vote:
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 03:24:36 PM  
1 vote:

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 03:19:22 PM  
1 vote:

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


It's exactly that.
2013-11-22 03:17:38 PM  
1 vote:

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 03:12:33 PM  
1 vote:
"No one put any enterprise or cost into producing the land's value - they simply bought it when it was cheap, sold it when it was dear, and waited for the check."

Complete and utter bullshiat.

I'm all for tax codes that place the burden of paying taxes on the folks who derive the most wealth from the systems of laws in place that enable them to acquire and keep their wealth but lets not pretend that land value comes from the land value fairy.

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.
2013-11-22 03:12:09 PM  
1 vote:
C'mon, people. George's idea is a basic extension of Smith's four inputs. Labor, capital and entrepreneurship are rewarded by actual human activities: work more, buy more equipment, or build a better mousetrap, and you profit. The people who profit off land ownership are merely arbitraging the value that goes up because someone else worked harder.
2013-11-22 03:11:28 PM  
1 vote:

netweavr: I'm 90% sure this sort of Tax would result in an actual war between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.


Good. Maybe it'd be the first Interstate Nuclear Confrontation.
2013-11-22 03:08:40 PM  
1 vote:

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


I deal with local property taxes as part of my work, but what bglove25 said above about taxing the property and not the improvements makes sense to me, as the land is itself a public good and the buildings are a private good. Also, taxes on a combined land/building provide a disinsentive to people who want to improve their property.
2013-11-22 03:08:00 PM  
1 vote:

netweavr: I'm 90% sure this sort of Tax would result in an actual war between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.


ANY result would be a win for the rest of the nation.
2013-11-22 03:05:55 PM  
1 vote:

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

Well for starters it would penality brick and mortar stores while rewarding digital services. That effectively cripples local industries for most of America.

Wouldn't online stores still have warehouses? Amazon has several really big ones.

In crappy areas and only when it's financially beneficial. Hell they refused to put one in California until the state finally hit them with Sales Taxes anyways.


CSB: I went to the Amazon Web Services conference last week in Vegas (it was pretty awesome). Where I finally met our sales rep. See, he is not allowed to come to Colorado because Amazon doesn't have a deal with the state to avoid paying taxes here, so they can do no business in the state. They are very sketchy about doing anything that will get them a tax bill and I guess some states tried to collect sales tax on their retail business because their web services guys were working.

Apparently the "slick move" is to get vacation time approved and then e-mail HR saying:

"While on vacation I will be in Hawaii. I know we aren't supposed to be doing business there but I can check my email or take work calls right?"

To which HR will reply:

"NO! Under ABSOLUTELY NO circumstances are you to perform ANY job related tasks in Hawaii!"

"Sorry boss, guess I am off the grid for those two weeks."
2013-11-22 03:04:15 PM  
1 vote:

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.
2013-11-22 03:01:20 PM  
1 vote:

netweavr: The building doesn't float in air.


No, but they are different. Firstly, the owners of the land, the owners of the buildings and the people using the building are usually all different people. Secondly, the tax only applies to the land itself, not the building, so when you calculate the tax you don't take into account the value of the building.
2013-11-22 03:00:24 PM  
1 vote:

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

Well for starters it would penality brick and mortar stores while rewarding digital services. That effectively cripples local industries for most of America.

Wouldn't online stores still have warehouses? Amazon has several really big ones.


In crappy areas and only when it's financially beneficial. Hell they refused to put one in California until the state finally hit them with Sales Taxes anyways.
2013-11-22 03:00:05 PM  
1 vote:
In the name of reducing inequality we are going to submit an extreme minority of people with the bill to pay all the tax of all the people.
2013-11-22 02:56:36 PM  
1 vote:

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...
2013-11-22 02:54:51 PM  
1 vote:

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


Land as a social stratification tool goes waaaaaaaay back. Lots of Real Americans can only pine for the days of feudal landlords skimming the cream of their tenant farmers, because of divine sanction and breeding and furthermore.
2013-11-22 02:54:24 PM  
1 vote:

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.
2013-11-22 02:47:46 PM  
1 vote:
Real estate taxes already exist and are the purview of local government. Traditionally used to fund the local schools.

Civics 101 is adjourned kids.
2013-11-22 02:45:51 PM  
1 vote:
Or we could institute a .5% Robin Hood tax.
2013-11-22 02:40:17 PM  
1 vote:
Also, it would take a constitutional amendment to get around the apportionment clause. The whole reason that ad valorem taxes have not been imposed at the Federal level is because of the 16th amendment.
2013-11-22 02:25:48 PM  
1 vote:
You guys are right and have stated the issues in more formal economic/market terms.

My point is that you can tell when a proposed tax is out of sense of fairness or out of a sense of "soak the rich". For the latter, it seems most schemes won't achieve their aims because the pain will just be passed-on somehow and to some degree. Luxury taxes in the 1990's on yachts hurt machinists and dockworkers first. Now for those of a certain ideologic persuasion, maybe there is the perfect tax against the rich that would have no downstream effects on the non-1%ers. A simple raise in capital gains rate?
2013-11-22 01:55:33 PM  
1 vote:
While I'm open to the idea, it would be nice if the article actually had some numbers in there to let us know how this would work.

Primum non nocere: As someone who's dabbled in residential rental properties, you better believe any additional taxes would be passed on to the tenants. And if it made me really angry, I might even add a "fuel surcharge" and "processing fee".


If all land was taxed the same, your desire to 'pass' that on to you tenants would be entirely irrelevant, since that would be the market equilibrium.
2013-11-22 01:43:49 PM  
1 vote:

Primum non nocere: As someone who's dabbled in residential rental properties, you better believe any additional taxes would be passed on to the tenants. And if it made me really angry, I might even add a "fuel surcharge" and "processing fee".


But that's not quite true: the rents that are charged are going to equal what people are willing to pay for them. Unless you're already at equilibrium, if you raise the rents, you're just not getting as much profit as you would have otherwise. Now that profit is accruing to the government instead.
jbc [TotalFark]
2013-11-22 01:34:01 PM  
1 vote:
An LVT would stimulate urban property development without incurring the socially catastrophic ethnic displacement pattern we call "gentrification."

Unlike the article he cites, this numbnuts seems to be under the impression that they don't already pay any property taxes.
2013-11-22 01:26:12 PM  
1 vote:
So my "living in a zeppelin in the sky" idea would bear financial rewards?
 
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