Forget value capture. Go with a broad-based land tax

Cross-posted from The Conversation:

Is “value capture” a wonderful untapped opportunity to fulfil all our infrastructure dreams? Or is it just a new way to sting the taxpayer? Our new report casts a cold, hard gaze over value capture, and finds that it’s a good tax in theory, but will prove very hard to put into practice.

Value capture is the name given to a policy whereby governments capture some of the increased value of land that results from building a new piece of infrastructure. Typically, the money the government “captures” is used to help fund the project.

At first glance, value capture seems marvellously fair, because it applies only to those who benefit from the particular project. So the people of western Sydney do not help fund a new railway station on the North Shore. But look a little closer: it also means that affluent inner-city residents don’t help fund a better railway station in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs.

Federal ministers from the prime minister down are enthusiastic about value capture and are pushing the states to embrace it. Only last week, Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher reiterated that the Commonwealth does not want to be “just an ATM” for the states. But if the federal ministers face up to some home truths, they may find value capture less to their liking.

Value capture is a tax

Home Truth No. 1 is that a value-capture scheme is a tax. That’s how it raises revenue. Politicians tend to shun the “T word”. They prefer to present value capture as an innovative financing mechanism. Sorry, it’s a tax.

Some advocates point to Hong Kong, where a private company builds and operates the rail lines, in return for cheap access to development rights around the new stations – a non-cash subsidy. Yes, integrating new infrastructure with rezoning and other planning changes is a great idea. But a similar model in Australia would have to be much smaller in scale.

That’s because in Hong Kong the government owns all the land. In addition, the city is dramatically denser than Australian cities: more than 7 million people live in a built-up area of around 285 square kilometres, compared with Sydney’s population of about 5 million in around 2,000 square kilometres. In a very dense city, good access to mass transit is highly valued.

Others in the value-capture camp point to tax increment financing (TIF) schemes. These have been used in the US with mixed success.

TIF schemes don’t involve a new tax, or indeed a funding source of any kind. Instead, they are financing schemes that earmark an expected increase in future revenue from existing taxes, such as land taxes, which can be attributed to a new piece of infrastructure. This increase is then used to repay special-purpose bonds.

But TIF schemes are of little value in the Australian context, since Australian governments have strong credit ratings and can borrow at extremely low rates of interest – more cheaply than private sector financiers can. Not only this, but TIF schemes generally do not offload project risk. They may instead come with a hidden government guarantee.

Family home would be captured

Which brings us to Home Truth No. 2: to raise a reasonable amount, a value-capture tax would need to include the family home. Owner-occupied housing accounts for around 65% of total land values in Australia, and increases in its value are taxed very lightly (see the chart below).

 

To minimise the distortions value capture could have on the economy, it should be charged on unimproved land value, as a flat proportion of the land-value uplift attributable to the new infrastructure, with no exemptions.

A tricky question of who’s in and who’s out

Home Truth No. 3 is that many taxpayers are likely to feel aggrieved. Property prices go up – and down – for many reasons.

Drawing a boundary around a new piece of infrastructure to distinguish between those who must pay the new tax and those too far away to benefit is bound to involve rough justice.

Also, it won’t be easy for governments to convince people that their new tax bill still leaves them better off. Homeowners get the benefit of the new project on paper, but have to pay the tax bill in cash. Is this sounding like a political nightmare yet?

A way to reduce the political heat

There is, however, a way to implement value capture that could take a bit of the political heat out of individual decisions. Governments could pass general legislation that applies value capture to every transport infrastructure project with certain characteristics:

  • an identifiable beneficiary catchment
  • a project that’s expected to makes an area significantly more accessible
  • the amount of revenue to be raised far outweighs the cost of administering the scheme.

So, for example, value capture might apply to all urban passenger rail projects costing over A$50 million. The tax might then be levied on all properties within 800 metres (i.e. walking distance) of a new station.

Once such legislation is in place, each value-capture tax may be slightly less politically fraught. This approach will minimise the opportunities for rent-seeking or corruption that arise from designing bespoke schemes for every individual project.

Broad-based land tax is better still

A better answer still could be a broad-based land tax. Such a tax is highly efficient, because land is an immobile tax base (see the chart below).

 

While it would not zero in on the beneficiaries of new infrastructure, a land tax would capture the effects of all infrastructure, old and new, as these translated into land values, making it scrupulously fair. A broad-based land tax would also be simpler to administer than a value-capture tax. That’s because there would be no requirement to police the geographic boundary of the catchment area.

So a broad-based land tax has some distinct advantages over a value-capture tax.

Some will say our conclusions are pessimistic, that a little more creativity could devise a way to design value capture so it painlessly funds public infrastructure. To which we would say: there’s no magic pudding when it comes to public money – the only sources of funding for public infrastructure are user charges or a tax. Value capture may involve taxing beneficiaries more than the general taxpayer, but it’s not a bucket of free money.

Yes, if value capture is done the right way, as a tax that embraces the principles of equity, efficiency and simplicity, it could make a positive contribution to infrastructure funding in Australia. But the truth is, there is nothing easy about capturing value.

Article by Marion Terrill and Owain Emslie from the Grattan Institute

Comments

  1. Arguably a tap water tax is akin to a land tax. People are not going to get water delivered by truck – and if they do, you can catch them.

    Lot harder to transport water by road than it is to transport $100 banknotes.

    Just need to rebate low/no income voters $5k/year.

    • two plus twoMEMBER

      What’s the water bill for a land bank? Disproportionately low when compared to active land use I expect. I can’t see how water billing could fulfill many (any?) of the objectives of a land tax.

      • Not saying have a tap water tax instead of a land tax.

        Cash in hand jobs, restaurants that refuse to accept EFTPOS, etc.

        I would like to see a restaurant trying to avoid a tap water tax.

    • What about rain-water tanks? I know – new techology – but you gotta keep up with them plastics these days…. splastic is fantastic. Hell – you can even bury them – so you won’t know they’re there…

      • More rainwater tanks being sold would be a positive outcome. People using rainwater tanks to flush the toilets and perhaps water the garden is bad?

  2. CounterfiatMEMBER

    Wouldn’t it have been simpler and better to allow Rudd to bring in capital gains tax on PPOR property over $1m (the real knifers in the back), let alone the mining tax…

    Who wants to be paying a LVT on residential property? Foreigners and corporations fair enough.

    • One problem with that is that thanks to government mismanagement and bubble blowing, pretty much every property with a backyard is now worth $1M+, plus it incentivises the government to keep house prices frothy. Which is a similar problem with implementing an LVT.

    • People pay LVT anyway as rent to their landlord, or mortgage interest to their banks. Wouldn’t it be best to let the State collect it in return for lower taxes on output?

      • Yeees – because the states are so “fair go”… Politician – meet “bucket-o-money”. When was the last time the state really dropped a revenue stream without replacing it with another 3 which bring in equal if not more revenue?

      • That’s a separate issue. Besides surely any kind of public spending is better than it going into higher unearned incomes of bankers and landlords?

        Suggest you vote someone what spends all taxes wisely. Or even better, one that would return the LVT as a basic income ie your share of the rent.

  3. naturaltrustMEMBER

    Nonsense.

    I hope to have time to reply to this attempt to justify a pernicious tax on the poor (as renters) and all home owners. And this pernicious attempt to justify the no back-yard or front-yard minimalist dog-box apartment for all Australians.

    Land Tax was properly ended as the failure it was by the Federal Australian Government around 1960.

    • Rusty PennyMEMBER

      It was rescinded in 1951, 2 years in the first ever term of a liberal government.

      It was a successful policy, it did good for Australia.

      That the liberals removed something so intrisicaullly embodied with fairness, efficieny and equity….

      well that sums up the libs to a tee.

      • It was good for a young Australia. It forced the Squatocracy, often landholders based in England, to use their land or sell it. As the large parcels were subdivided and sold off more people could go onto the land and start their lives. A much nicer outcome than compared to Ireland and Scotland.
        A well applied tax on economic rents is the best preventor of feudalism.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        Sorry about my date typo, Rusty.

        It was 1952.

        Here is a little information from the Federal Government about why Land tax (socially and economically sensibly) was done away with at a Federal Level last century (Note that there are many more problems with Land Tax than mentioned in the following brief synopsis):

        As a form of wealth tax, land taxes became less effective over time as the productivity base of the economy diversified from being mostly agrarian at the beginning of the twentieth century, and wealth was held in more diverse forms. In addition to having no regard to other forms of wealth, land taxes were applied taking no account of net property wealth, such as the value of mortgage debt. By the middle of the twentieth century wealthy primary producers and large landholders had also been largely excluded from land tax requirements through exemptions granted to land used for primary production, restricting the application of land tax to urban property. Land tax revenue became less stable, susceptible to the fluctuations of town property markets. Land taxes were also unpopular as the federal and state taxes were not well integrated with income taxes. In 1952, land taxes were abolished at the federal level, but still operate at the state and local level, accounting for 24 per cent of state and local government revenue in 2003-04 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006).

    • As you can’t even be bothered to justify your position, this comment added no value to the discussion.

      • Yes, shame on nt for presenting an opposing view.

        Land tax is excellent. Especially when you can use it to abolish stamp duty.

        It will lead to lower taxes overall for investors, with the potential to pass the tax on to renters.

        It will increase overall taxes on the principal place of residence.

        It will allow investors to achieve much higher debt leverage.

        Yes, yes – no need to think too much about it. A land tax is an excellent policy in an environment of rising house prices. We can’t let the investor bubble burst – we need to come up with any way we can to give investors a better deal.

        NT should stop being a leaner, and start being a lifter and invest in some property.

      • melbourneguy

        And just why will renters be willing to pay it?

        I am not so sure investors will have the potential to pass the tax on to renters. For mine, it is more likely the Gov would make it deductible, feeding the negative gearing even more.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        One justification of many for you Bobalot:

        Expect to see much more of this forced selling of homes and other property nationwide by the Federal Government if we ever get a Universal Land Tax.

        BARGAIN hunters have the chance to snap up a block of land at auction after Somerset Regional Council moved in over unpaid rates.

        Time is up for the owner of a 1750 square metre parcel of land at Moore who failed to pay their rate for more than three years before the council took over the property.

        Moore is on the busy D’Aguilar Highway West of Kilcoy and the property is centrally located to the township’s amenities.

        Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said when rates were unpaid for more than three years, the council issued notices of intention to sell land for overdue rates.

        “Council works with property owners to avoid rate arrears auctions where possible and when properties do go up for auction, we want them to be successful,” he said.

        Rates pay for the council to deliver vital services to the community, including road maintenance, parks, library services, sport and recreational facilities and activities, kerbside rubbish services and more.

        The block is described as Lot 50 on RP14965, 2 Paterson Rd, Moore.

        It will go under than hammer at 11am on Thursday March 30 2017 in the Simeon Lord Room at the Esk Library Building off Heap St, Esk.

      • melbourneguy,
        Your point on rents doesn’t make sense.
        Accommodation rents are based on what the market is able and willing to pay. If a land lord could charge more they would, land tax or not.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        Here is some more for you bobalot:

        1: Land Tax is applied to housing. Price of house falls because of Land Tax to a value that takes account of the cost of the Land Tax.

        2: The only change is that the occupier has to pay more to live in the house.

        How does that benefit anyone?

        3: Poor people,such as the unemployed, disabled, low income earners and people such as pensioners now have to pay more to live in any house and the weekly cost of Land Tax can be more than they can afford. The result is that they have to move to cheaper accommodation and as Land Tax is payable that simply means a less desirable location.

        4: Who will move into the newly vacant home? Will there automatically appear a wealthier person who can afford to pay the weekly Land Tax? Why do you want to give wealthier people the homes of poorer people?

        5: As there are a given number of people for a given number of houses and the higher Land Tax applies to them all there is no advantage for any of them. The only change will be that everyone will now have to pay higher Land Tax and some poor people will have to exchange their better homes with some wealthier people who can afford the higher weekly payments of Land Tax.

      • 1. yes.
        2. no that’s not the only change. Either other taxes will go down, or the LVT receipts would be equally shared as a Basic Income.
        3. poorer people already live in the poorest areas. If they owned property in a high value area, they wouldn’t be poor. If you mean they are asset rich and income poor, well why are they income poor if they live in a valuable thus productive location? By definition someone has to live in the poorest areas. Under the LVT they’d be compensated and thus better off for doing so.
        4. yes that’s right. Imagine all those wealthy people paying LVT, which will then reduce the tax liabilities of the not so wealth. So a win-win.
        5. no that’s not the only change, but allowing the market to allocate resources to those will to pay the most to use them is certainly good for a number of reasons. Firstly, it means a reduction in vacancy and under occupation, which reduces costs. Secondly it would reduce individual, inter generational and regional inequality. Thirdly it would allow for the reduction in damaging taxes on output, which would make us all better off. Fourthly, it puts an end to the excuse culture. People would have got wealthy by earning it, and the poor would be receiving what is rightfully theirs rather than a welfare benefit.

      • Doesn’t the Gov control the approval process for developments?

        Tighten and restrict this, and the problem goes away.

      • Then why is Melbourne turning into a collection to dog boxes if it doesn’t have a land tax?

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        footsore, dog boxes in Melbourne are caused by different variables that I have previously told you about. I suggest you recall my previous answers.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        Lama, As you know the answer…call “the government” you say. Why don’t you call the government now and tell them to stop the building of dog box apartments.

        A lot of people will be very relieved and you will be a National Hero.

      • So, since the factors are government controlled it is perfectly possible to have any combination of the following: land tax, no land tax, dog boxes, no dog boxes. This can be seen by looking at the many different cities around the world, and not just picking one example to suit your scare mongering.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Then why is Melbourne turning into a collection to dog boxes if it doesn’t have a land tax?

        Pretty much every negative outcome NT predicts from a land tax is already occurring and has been for decades. He blames “alternative variables” for that.

        Apparently similar “alternative variables” could not be responsible for this happening wherever a land tax exists. Except of course where there are alternative variables” _preventing_ a land tax from destroying everything.

        Then he has the cheek to attack other people for lack of honesty and integrity.

        NT’s view seems to be that once you’ve bought a piece of land, you should never have to bear any of the costs related to that piece of land ever again. So it could go from being basically useless scrub in the middle of nowhere to the centre of a new suburb, with millions spent on the surrounding infrastructure, and the landowner should not have to have paid a cent towards this massive and unearned uplift in his property’s utility and value, nor for its ongoing maintenance.

        He is a staunch and tireless defender of the landed gentry.

    • naturaltrustMEMBER

      Here is another one for you, Bobalot. You can read the whole report in the Times newspaper.

      I am giving you just one paragraph from the report:

      There is a new Land Tax in Britain.

      “The chancellor is facing a revolt amid complaints that the changes favour online giants over “bricks and mortar” shops. This week pub and restaurant chains employing more than a million people signed a letter to Philip Hammond warning that the rises would damage their ability to help to make Brexit a success.”

      • Wow, cherry picked articles rather than rather an actual economic analysis of the benefits (or negatives) of a land tax proposal.

        I’m impressed.

        You make the mistake that I’m a full blown advocate of land tax rather than someone who dislikes low effort shitposts.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        You have no facts to support you, bobalot. You use emotive terms like “cherry pick” to attempt to support your fantasy about Land Tax.

    • Renters already pay a 100% LVT, only it’s collected by their landlord. So if that was collected by the State, and returned as either a Basic Income or lower taxes, they’d be better off.

      Also, the LVT taxes the value of a plot on it’s current use within existing planning regulations. LVT really changes the demand for what gets built on that plot in the future.

  4. Macrobusiness readers will take great comfort in the extensive employment opportunities created here for PR hacks to deflect and distract discussion, ‘cept Rusty.

    • naturaltrustMEMBER

      And here is one for you, David Collyer:

      You choose to be blind to reality, David.

      BLIND AND IN DENIAL OF YOUR OWN PROSPER AUSTRALIA REPORTS

      Your Professor Cameron Murray clearly states that it is an objective of Canberra’s Universal Land Tax to reduce the amount of land homeowners can have. In other words…Live in small dog box apartments and dog box boundary to boundary houses on very small blocks of land.

      Murray says, in Orwellian speak, on page six or the report (my capitalization):

      Many specific objectives were nested within
      the overarching ones. For example, one objective
      outlined in the Review was for INCREASED DENSIFICATION TO PROVIDE EFFICIENCY BENEFITS of
      lower infrastructure costs for new dwellings
      and commercial uses and meet equity objectives
      by charging rates based on the value of
      the consumption of land.

      https://www.prosper.org.au/2016/09/12/the-first-interval-evaluating-acts-land-value-tax-transition-full-report/

      The title of the report is:

      The First Interval – Evaluating ACT’s Land Value Tax Transition – Full Report

      You must have integrity if you are going to write for public consumption, David, and you must be seen as honest and genuine.

      • That you keep on applying the slippery slope fallacy to a selective quote from a broad report for scare mongering purposes does you no favours. I think that there are more worrying things identified by Dr. Murray in it, but it is still the lesser of two evils when compared to stamp duties.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        I see that you are happy to put future generations into dog boxes to stick with your fantasy, footsore.

      • Not at all.
        But if scare mongering is all you’ve got, just keep booing away.
        Hell, it’s worked for the minerals council and the property lobby before so we know that the tactic can be successful.

        If we look at the above post, personally I don’t see an issue with capturing the uplift in value cause by infrastructure investment in an indiscriminate manner through a broad based land tax. If you are annoyed that you are paying more because the government increased the value of your house by building a school, hospital, public transport, then vote with your feet and your wallet. Move. Move to the Simpson Desert and really reduce your land tax bill.

        The report written by Dr. Cameron Murray about the phasing out of stamp duties for a land tax in the ACT, that you keep linking to, is an interesting read. It isn’t all sunshine and roses but it does look like it was a good move by Canberra for both their government and the residents. It can’t have caused all the woes that you speak of because the government was reelected.

        Also, the SBS article you linked to above shows the detrimental effects of selling of land to rich foreigners. And surprise, we do the same and we’ve got dog boxes.

      • Urban Sprawl is a symptom of market dysfunction, caused by the implicit subsidy freeholders get that leads to inflated demand for and over consumption of land relative to capital.

        It’s only when freeholders pay compensation for their right to exclude others from valuable locations, to those they exclude as tax, that the market can allocate land to it’s best use.

        It’s is the current market dysfunction that stops people living more closely to urban centres as they would wish.

        The LVT would result in a rationalisation of existing housing, reducing vacancy and under occupation. And over time would result in cites with more compact foot prints. Yes, towards the centre buildings would be taller, but average dwelling size would increase too.

        At the centre there would be more shared parks and squares, giving way to family town houses in the middle, and low rise buildings at the margin with the same size gardens as they enjoy now.

        Something for everyone, only our cities would be much more efficient at delivering wealth AND welfare creating opportunities.

        That’s what happens if we allow fair and efficient markets to allocate resources.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        These are facts I have given you footsore. You use emotive terms such as scaremongering as you have no facts to back up your fantasy. You and the other pro Land Tax respondents on this page are not providing facts.

      • Nope, quite the opposite. Without LVT we get a distortion of the over consumption of land relative to capital. So, we currently get low rise sprawl, where buildings in the middle of urban centres have small room sizes,

        I think we should let a fair and efficient markets sort out peoples preferences for their spending choices.

        You seem to be under the impression the LVT causes distortion, ie a deadweight loss, whereas anyone who knows about economics knows that where markets are perfect (because we all pay rent) the LVT causes none. But where markets are imperfect because owner occupiers can impute their rent, hence enjoy a perpetual freelunch, the LVT is better than neutral.

        You are arguing for protected privileges, that ultimately only benefits a tiny minority at the expense of makes us all collectively poorer. The State isn’t the root of all evil. Unfortunately, most of the things is has to do is due to an unjust economic system you ironically seem to be in favour of. Sort out that injustice, and the size and scope of the State would shrink.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        Once again Benji,

        I see you support dog box apartments for all Australians, Benji.

  5. Know IdeaMEMBER

    I am no economist, which is considered quite a strength in some circles, but I wonder if the following would annoy enough people:

    (a) Implement a broad-based LVT at about five times (say) the rate it would have otherwise been done;
    (b) Allow up to 80% (say) of the tax to be offset by other tax that was actually paid by the land owner that financial year.

    There would still be a cost to holding land, but that cost could be minimised (not eliminated) if you are paying other specified taxes.

    I wonder who that would target? Foreigners, profit-shifting multinationals, pensioners and the unemployed I guess. Ok, so maybe it needs some work. Thank you lucky stars that I am not PM.

  6. If you want a tax that efficiency captures land-value uplift, without trying to distinguish between uplifts due to infrastructure and uplifts due to other causes, you don’t tax the WHOLE land value; you tax the INCREASE in the value at a higher rate. Which is why I write submissions like this.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m not disputing the superiority of the whole land-value base for general revenue purposes. But if you want to address a particular problem at minimum political cost, you don’t overplay your hand.

    • naturaltrustMEMBER

      This is not about capturing land value uplift, Gavin.

      This is about the right of EVERY individual Australian to own their own home in perpetuity with minimum interference by government and at minimum cost to each individual so they can live in peace, happiness and security for all their days.

      • Well, if the value-capture mechanism takes the form of CGT, you never pay it as long as you continue own the home. And if you’re selling, your desire to lever up an untaxed capital gain needs to be weighed against other people’s desire to buy into the market for the first time “at minimum cost”.

    • naturaltrustMEMBER

      Gavin.

      There is no justification in taking all or part of the increase in the value of their home from people to then force them into lower quality (cheaper) accommodation when they move home.

      Every Australian has the right to move home into an equivalently valued home and not have their capital taken by tax.

      • Re “Every Australian has the right to move home into an equivalently valued home and not have their capital taken by tax”:

        What is taken by the deliberately misnamed CGT is not capital, but part of the unearned increase in the value of the land. If you want to protect the right of established home owners to move into an equivalently valued home — or the right of non-owners to save up a deposit — how about not taxing their hard-earned income in the mean time?

    • naturaltrustMEMBER

      People on low incomes pay low or no income tax, Gavin.

      You want to take their money if they move home.

      Vile.

      • Any home owners who don’t pay income tax will tend to be retirees or other pensioners who have paid too much income tax in the past. I acknowledge that this raises an intergenerational equity issue. (Mind you, so do their exorbitant “capital gains”.)

        And of course you conveniently fail to mention taxes that feed into prices. These include not only GST (the least inefficient of them), but also payroll tax and the superannuation guarantee (which, while not technically a tax, behaves like a federal payroll tax and indeed serves the same purpose as the payroll taxes in most developed countries).

    • naturaltrustMEMBER

      You are jumping from one economically damaging excuse to another as you try and justify your irrational Love Of CGT And Land Tax. You consistently ignore the attendant variables. You should read some of my positive solutions that I have regularly put on these pages.

  7. naturaltrustMEMBER

    Here is a little history that you all might find interesting:

    Land Tax was the system of control introduced by William The Conqueror (also known as William The Bastard) when he took control of England.

    “At Christmas 1085, William ordered the compilation of a survey of the landholdings held by himself and by his vassals throughout the kingdom, organized by counties. It resulted in a work now known as the Domesday Book. The listing for each county gives the holdings of each landholder, grouped by owners. The listings describe the holding, who owned the land before the Conquest, its value, what the tax assessment was, and usually the number of peasants, ploughs, and any other resources the holding had.”

    William used Land Tax as a process of control.

    The Lords who he taxed ensured that the peasants they controlled paid the tax to them and they then passed the tax onto William.

    Land Tax was, and is, an insidious feudal tax. Used by an unscrupulous Landlord (William The Bastard) to manipulate and control his Lords whose Land he would take if they did not extort the tax from their serfs.

    It is the Government that becomes the de facto Landlord and taker of land if modern day people do not pay their Land Tax. Land Tax has been used to exploit people and has become a gift by various exceptions and relief to those who lobby governments to be excluded:

    Just as William the Bastard allowed his militant supporters and suppressors of the serfs to not pay Land Tax if he desired such, so do modern day governments grant exceptions to their favoured interest groups and favoured lobbyists while the ‘serfs’ must pay up.

    Giving governments the power to be more directly your Landlord (even if you think you own the land) is only one of the many problems inherent in the insidious Land Tax.

    • I rarely log in since I gave up my memberships for excessive WA bashing. But this was worth it. Quality smack down right there.

    • Sure, if you fail to pay your land tax, the government can take your land. And if you fail to pay almost any other tax, the government can take not only your land but also any other assets that you might have. That’s because a property tax is a debt against the property only, whereas a personal tax is a debt against the person!

      • Don’t get me wrong. I’d happily see a land tax, just as long as it’s done right. Which won’t happen. So let’s go with proximity. Let’s make things more expensive closer to euphoria. Much more expensive. By orders of magnitude. Butr let’s lock the euphoria tax in over time. So ancients aren’t fucked in the arse. Not to mention the early adopters. The gov shall not take the land. The land shall be worth what the buyer paid. Nothing more. Nothing less. And every next property shall cost twice the last.

        It’s a disgusting idea that people should be locked out so others can have more than their worth.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        So that makes a Land Tax good!!! Losing your home is good!!!

        Come on, Gavin. Pull the other one.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        You cannot escape it, Gavin.

        You want to Capital Gains stytax poor and low income earners if they choose or are forced to move home by unfortunate circumstances

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        You cannot escape it, Gavin.

        You want to Capital Gains style tax poor and low income earners if they choose or are forced to move home by unfortunate circumstances and then have them move into less valuable accommodation because you have taken some of their capital.

        Vile.

      • Dear naturaltrust,

        Let me save you a lot of time: The exceptional and improbable consequences of any reform proposal, even if they would only leave the “victims” less far ahead of the rest of us than they are now, are always so diabolical as to render the reform unacceptable, so that we are required to tolerate the present evils that motivate the proposed reform, however widespread and serious those evils may be.

        There — done and dusted.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        I get it, Gavin.

        You want to apply your egotistically based fantasy repair as another bandaid to the the problem of home ownership and you don’t care that it hurts people. You are motivated by ego and or greed, or the wannabe syndrome.

        All the while there are positive business and social alternatives that do not hurt people and that make lives better for people and you prefer to ignore them. I have frequently presented such alternatives in these pages.

    • The LVT is merely the way by which we equally share the scarcity value of resources supplied for free by nature/god.

      In effect, the LVT makes us all equal share landlords of natural resources. That we pool our rent in order to pay for public services is a separate topic.

      The point being, you cannot morally own what hasn’t been produced by your own efforts, or after you’ve paid compensation for the efforts of others.

      This Earth, and the resources it contains, like 3D space, cannot therefore be owned by anyone.

      Thieves and slavers claimed to own what they didn’t produced. Landowners do the same thing too.

      Feudalism never went away. It’s only been evolved and democratized. By far the biggest landowners are the banks who parasite off the productive economy by loans to immovable property (85% of their business).

      We only changed the aristocracy for a new set of wealthy elites.

      And people like you think this is better than sharing this Earth as equals, which is what the LVT does.

      • naturaltrustMEMBER

        “Landowners do the same thing too.”

        I note that you accuse every Australian who owns land of being “Thieves and slavers claimed (ing) to own what they didn’t produced.”

      • Nope. I never said they were the same. I merely pointed out they share a common fallacy regarding property rights. If you want to give them the same equal weighting regarding their morality, well that’s up to you.

        However, it should be noted that slavery was considered to be no more controversial than landowning. In fact, in some respects less so.

  8. Nick1970MEMBER

    Gotta love your efforts natural trust – how much are you being paid to comment on here? You must be getting quite concerned as this is the hardest I have seen you ‘work’. LOL. Let’s see if you are working OT at 7.00pm.

    Quote: ‘This is about the right of EVERY individual Australian to own their own home in perpetuity with minimum interference by government and at minimum cost to each individual so they can live in peace, happiness and security for all their days.’

    At minimum cost… LOL. What about the cost to acquire the land in the first place? Giggle.