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Land value taxation to REPLACE all other taxes.

If you are not familiar with what a LVT is here is a quick explanation from Wikipedia: A land value tax (or site valuation tax) is a levy on the unimproved value of land only. It is an ad valorem tax on land that disregards the value of buildings, personal property and other improvements. A land value tax (LVT) is different from other property taxes, which are taxes on the whole value of real estate: the combination of land, buildings, and improvements to the site.

Although the economic efficiency of a land value tax has been established knowledge since Adam Smith,[1] it was perhaps most famously promoted by Henry George. In his best selling work Progress and Poverty (1879), George argued that when the site or location value of land was improved by public works, its economic rent was the most logical source of public revenue.

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  • Apr 23 2014: It's called "destroy your own economy very quickly". The Georgists were failures.
    • Apr 24 2014: It is not destroying the economies where it is currently being used. Prove your claim.
  • Apr 23 2014: How to estimate the unimproved value of land? How to avoid it being under- or over-valued by corrupt officials? (Wikipedia's LVT is too heavy to read.) Could it be valued by an algorithm devised by central government rather than arbitrarlily decided by a local government official? Or unimproved value bands e.g. 0-$49,000, 50k-99k, 100k-200k, etc devised by central government that each property is then assigned to by a local government official?
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    Apr 21 2014: I am still thinking about a comment made in an economics class I attended. Nothing has value until somebody writes a check. It could be said that a resort built in the desert has a value equal to the improvements, but again that is a sunk cost until revenue is generated or somebody writes the check. Taxes attached to such value could best be called... taxing wistful thinking.
    Public services have costs and to pay for such services is always.... pardon the pun... taxing.
    Worse would be a LVT in this concept would be a tax on what could be.... even more wistful then taxing what it is.
    • Apr 21 2014: You cannot deny that land has differing values (given same size) due to whats built around it, and many other factors. If all land was valued the same there wouldnt be land appraisals.
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        Apr 21 2014: I can deny value.... or rather see no value in land based upon what is around it. For example, which has more value.... the lake or the lake front property. You have a sandy beach and I have 50 feet of water.
        • Apr 22 2014: Compare to similar land. Land appraisal has methodology. With remote sensing and computer mapping land appraisal can be as objective as possible. Obviously there is subjective value sometimes, say if a person wants to live alone in the desert. The land appraisal wouldn't know that this person would pay more but it doesn't matter much because the lands value to the broader community can be easily assessed. If a person so happens to like big city living then they will have to pay heavily but justifiably so since other interests compete for land in a city compared to land in the middle of nowhere.
    • Apr 21 2014: Public services among other factors, give unearned value to landowners that stand to benefit. This is the short and sweet moral explanation for a LVT.
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        Apr 21 2014: Brian,
        As I see it, there is no value until value is received. So, could you tax something that has no value? You do when you give an appraisal of what it could be worth.... but could be is not to be.
        I could hold land and do nothing with it to improve it or not sell it. What is it worth? Nothing, because I hold no value to my land.... if you think it is worth something, make an offer. But if you appraise it at a value, your appraisal is no more valid then mine at no value.
        Are you looking for a fair way to solicit taxes? Most people have no problem paying taxes in most any fair way, what is not well received is the waste that is made of the taxes paid.
        • Apr 22 2014: No LVT would not tax marginal, remote land. Should in time a community grow around it creating a demand or should minerals of some kind be extracted than justifiably so a LVT could be levied.

          Yes I was searching for the fairest way to solicit taxes when I found LVT. I find it a better deal to tax a persons unearned income compared to earned i.e wages, investments, property, etc.
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        Apr 22 2014: I own no land. Would I pay for LVT levied on another person who owns land?
      • Apr 23 2014: That's as daffy as levying taxes on "imputed income". This is the "income" that one would have spent on a service or good that one performs or provides for oneself. Own your own home? Then the difference between rent and your property tax plus maintenance costs is the "imputed income" from owning the home (Hillary Clinton once proposed taxing this particular imputation several years ago--then she wished everyone had forgotten she proposed it). Taking the premise to its logical end, it would also apply to imputation of "income" for cooking your own meals instead of hiring a chef, washing your own clothes instead of hiring a laundress, etc. This "LVT" is every bit as daffy, since it's based on an imputed value to land that is pulled out of the air and allegedly independent of the actual use to which the land is being putl

        LVT is superstitious twaddle, just like "imputed income".
        • Apr 24 2014: I am glad you bring the question of how LVT could fairly be raised. I honestly have some questions I want answered. After reading several articles about LVT I started this conversation. I am extremely busy and only have small amounts of free time to read. What I am clear on though is the concept. The concept makes perfect sense.
          Land (unlike goods and services) has no cost of production. If an ample supply of land of equal desirability were available everywhere, there would be nothing to pay for its use. In reality land acquires a scarcity value owing to the competing needs of the community for living, working and leisure space. Thus land value owes nothing to individual effort and everything to the community at large. It belongs justly and uniquely to the community. Conversely, the reward for individual effort can belong only to the one who earns it, to spend, save or give away as he or she may see fit.

          Because of differences in positional advantages, fertility or natural resources, some locations are more desirable than others. Demand for access to these features gives land its rental value.
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    Apr 18 2014: Taxation is a way to proportionately distribute the responsiblity of paying for public infrastractures and services among citizens. What are the most effective and fair methods to tax citizens? That's the question that will give us a lot of thought - and the answers depend on who you ask.

    A country whose citizens honestly and generously pay their fair share is a prosperous country. The poorest countries in the world are those whose citizens barely pay their taxes, their rich citizens able to bribe their tax agents.

    Honest and responsible citizens, prosperous country. Dishonest and corrupt citizens, poor and destitute country.
  • Apr 18 2014: That is the surest way to create a society of serfs. Sales tax only is the only way to guarantee freedom in a society that uses money or hoards wealth. Don't want to pay taxes? Don't buy anything. Become self-sufficient.
    • Apr 18 2014: How would a LVT create serfdom? Maybe read about it before you make that claim.
      • Apr 19 2014: If it is impossible to survive without paying taxes, then slavery is involved. If the only choice I have is pay taxes or starve to death, then the definition of slavery is fulfilled.
        • Apr 22 2014: Ok but doesnt have anything to do with a LVT
  • Apr 18 2014: The "Flat tax" on consumption seems to me the fairest method with "NO" exceptions.
    • Apr 18 2014: I like consumption tax compared to most other taxes but it is regressive without a pre-bate, and the incentive to turn to black market goods/services is biggest downside. Still think a consumption tax shouldbe part of raising revenue but wouldnt rely on it completely.
      • Apr 18 2014: There is no perfect tax, in a perfect world we would survive on donations but this is not a perfect world. Taxation is the beginning of evil that chases it's own tale. Freedom is the other option and a lot better one.
  • Apr 17 2014: time of idea if it was there has come and gone. We need mobility to allocate resources when and where needed. Even if your system is to be installed we will have people who will game it and we will have others who will be clue less and lose their diaper. We have hundreds of apartment buildings on a single lot. Besides I am happy to rent and walk out if I want to move with a months notice
    • Apr 18 2014: Not my idea. Is Henry George's. You should read about it more. There is a fixed amound of land so it would be a lot harder to evade the tax compared to labor and capital which constantly changes.
      • Apr 18 2014: BRIAN
        I have a friend in the supper cub.He has been hawking the idea for last 10 years in Chicago and he has his own club to this idea. So far no real takers,

        Land is expanding everywhere. Brazil and most of the Latina America huge expansion bu tuning wilderness into owner land. In the entire western USA huge expansion. In Chicago last 40 years suburban land had quadruped. When you convert wilderness into residential or commercial property land is expanded. Salt Lake city has tripled land conversion to triple its size in last 50 years.

        In your scheme in Chicago 100 floor building land will go at same tax as small guy living with 25000 dollar shack.

        Gaming happens when value of the land can stay on books at 10,000 dollars while property liek Empire state Building can rise to a Billion dollars.

        But if you can sell your idea, my best wishes to you.
        • Apr 18 2014: Land does not expand. The creatures making there home in the wilderness still live on land even if there isnt clear ownership. Obviously use this tax where applicable. You have a clear misunderstanding of how LVT works. There will always be crooked people who try and game the system. What I am saying is land tax would be harder to evade. Your Chicago example of skyscraper next to shack is a good example of the incentive to utilize valuable land to the fullest. Valuable land would have highest land rent so owner would want to utilize it to fullest.. skyscraper.
  • Apr 16 2014: Please complete this sentence but without using the expressions "economic rent" and "public revenue": Land value taxation should replace all other taxes because...
    • Apr 17 2014: Here is one way to complete the sentence. LVT would lessen economic inequality.
      • Apr 17 2014: How can it if the owner of an acre of dust-bowl pays as much tax as the owner of an acre with a casino in uptown New York?
        • Apr 18 2014: Read about LVT. Unvaluable land would not get taxed at all.