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Two Centuries of Economic Thought on Taxation of Land Rents

Professor Harry G. Brown often complained of a “conspiracy of silence” against the land tax idea. Certainly it has received more silence than its due, yet it would be hard to find a topic on which so many economists have rendered opinions and taken positions over the last two hundred years. I group these writers under five headings, according to their apparent sympathies towards the policy: (1) mainly negative; (2) mixed, or shifting and changeable; (3) noncommittal, detached, or supercilious; (4) positive but tentative, limited, partial, and remote; (5) mainly positive.
In Richard Lindholm and Arthur Lynn, Jr., (eds.), Land Value Taxation in Thought and Practice. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1982, pp. 151-96. Excerpt republished in State of New York, Temporary State Commission on the Real Property Tax. A two-rate Real Property Tax System, Albany: State Printer, 1986, pp. 79-85. Translated into Korean; republished as Appendix to Yoon-Sang Kim, 1991, Land Policy and Land Value Taxation. Seoul, Bubmoonsa. [Yoon-Sang Kim is Professor, Department of Public Administration, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, 702-701, ROK.]

1 comment to Two Centuries of Economic Thought on Taxation of Land Rents

  • Will

    Professor Gaffney-

    You say in this essay that Schumpeter was in favor of land value taxation. I wonder if you can provide a citation? My impression was that his great History dealt with the idea rather derisively, and damned Henry George with faint praise.