|SUMMARY: The principle of government revenue being derived entirely from land and from resource rental is explained. The value of land sites comes, not from land or land owners, but from the value of what is around the land, the value of others' improvements and which they (including governments) have to maintain. Land "tax" is particularly suitable for government revenue. This writer recommends three stages for the changeover from the present system of taxing enterprise and work, to a system of obtaining revenue from the value of land that has been created by community effort: 1. Changes to business and land taxes, 2. Collection of assorted economic rents, 3. Residential land revenue instead of sales tax and personal income tax such as PAYE (Pay As You Earn).|
Land value is our name for the value of the advantages to a site, and land tax is our name for part of that value used to maintain those advantages and those values. It might better be called a "community charge."
B. ITS ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EFFECTS
Since it is a differential holding charge on valuable land, this "community charge" has beneficial effects upon:
P.O. Box 443, Enfield, NSW, 2136
Tel. (02) 9744 8815, (02) 9746 5154; Fax (02) 9744 3804
What can be done to introduce this reasonable and beneficial reform in such an environment?
The following is a suggestion.
THE FIRST STAGE -- CHANGES TO BUSINESS TAXES
The rates of company tax would be significantly reduced or eliminated, and the shortfall would be made up from increases in state land taxes, renamed a Community Charge. At the same time consideration could be given to the elimination of payroll taxes.
Such a change would lead to a reduction in Commonwealth Grants. The Community Charge would be placed upon all non-residential land.
Each State would become responsible to fund some agreed-upon percentage of the reduction in Commonwealth Grants from an increase in land tax.
A preliminary survey of the consequences of such an alteration of funding might identify the problems involved, and devise welfare measures to eliminate or reduce these problems. Nonetheless, if what has been said about this kind of site revenue are actual, the benefits of this revenue would flow on in reduced unemployment, higher wages, and lower welfare costs.
Public education regarding the mechanism involved and in the more general expectations would be of vital importance.
|OBJECTIVES: Social Justice, Land Rights for All, Collection of Site Revenue and Resource Rentals, Environmental Protection, Sustainable Development, Decentralisation, Opposition to Anti-Enterprise Taxes and Monopolies, Proportional Representation, Responsible Government Expenditure, Exclusive Land Occupation, Collection of Misappropriated "Economic Rent," Natural Public Revenue, Abolition of Involuntary Unemployment, Wealth Producers to keep Full Value of their Production and Enterprise, Reducing Speculation, Freedom, Civil Liberties, Human Rights.|
Some consideration could be given to its use to charge for other licences, quotas and tariff protection. Again, public education would be important, so that the electorate understands how these changes would work, the evils they address, and the way government decisions have in the past created windfall gains.
THE THIRD STAGE -- RESIDENTIAL LAND
Should the advantages of the first stage become apparent, and the second stage likewise show promising results, it would be inevitable that taxes which especially affect the consumer and the worker (sales taxes, and PAYE) would be abolished or reduced, in favour of the more or less complete use of the Community Charge. At this stage it might be reasonable to look also at what may be called a "social dividend;" that is, a social wage generated by surplus revenue.
Naturally, the problems of the "asset-rich, income-poor" would require research and very possibly ameliorative
It might be that many in the Liberal and National Parties would espouse the changes as more favourable to business and less intrusive into private life, and that many in the Labor Party would see how the Community Charge improves the security of workers and small business, and how it yields more intangible rights which we seek as citizens and human beings.
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