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The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

A tax based on land value is in many ways ideal, but many economists dismiss it by assuming it could not raise enough revenue. Standard sources of data omit much of the potential tax base, and undervalue what they do measure. The purpose of this paper is to present more comprehensive and accurate measures of land . . . → Read More: The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

A tax based on land value is in many ways ideal, but many economists dismiss it by assuming it could not raise enough revenue. Standard sources of data omit much of the potential tax base, and undervalue what they do measure. The purpose of this paper is to present more comprehensive and accurate measures of land . . . → Read More: The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare

Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent

The Harvard Registrar reports the most popular undergraduate courses now are “Justice,” “Principles of Economics,” “The Concept of the Hero,” and “Literature of Social Reflection.” The “Me Generation” is passing; Justice, Heroism and Social Thought are “In.” Are economists ready for this future? I think not: changes must be made.
Classical political-economists were moral philosophers. They made distribution of wealth and income central . . . → Read More: Equity Premises and the Case for Socializing Rent

Rent-Seeking and Global Conflict

National governments originate historically to acquire, hold and police land. Other functions are assumed later, but sovereignty over land is always the first business. Private parties hold land from the sovereign: every chain of title goes back to a grantor who originally seized the land.
When economists today speak of “rent—seeking” they usually are thinking not of basic land rent, but in . . . → Read More: Rent-Seeking and Global Conflict

Soil Depletion and Land Rent

This paper attempts to define land rent net of soil depletion. The paper is an outgrowth of a larger study’ of the meaning and function of land rent, and is not represented as more than a subspecialized monograph focused on its fragment of the wider topic. Some economists will challenge one or more of its implicit postulates, but it offers only . . . → Read More: Soil Depletion and Land Rent

The Synergistic City: Its Potentials, Hindrances and Fulfillment

The object of human organization is synergy, combining parts into a whole greater than their sum. Large organizations seek synergy in hierarchy and financial controls. Cities achieve it by bringing independent actors into mutual access so they can cooperate via free contracts and association in the marketplace, in government and society. This paper purports first to show how market allocation of land operates to . . . → Read More: The Synergistic City: Its Potentials, Hindrances and Fulfillment

Proposition 13: An Alternative Reform

What is the “message” of Proposition 1 3? Everyone was invoking it this past summer to fill his sails, but what was really blowing in the wind?
Howard Jarvis had been fighting property taxation for a score of years with minimal success. Philip Watson, until recently more prominent, led two property tax limitation initiatives to defeat. All these prior efforts were tax shifts, . . . → Read More: Proposition 13: An Alternative Reform

Land and Rent in Welfare Economics

In the classical synthesis, human welfare and land rent were two parts of an integrated philosophy. As Smith, Mill, Marshall, and especially Ricardo scan us from their present eyries they must note with shock two virtually separate disciplines tagged “land economics” and “welfare economics.” The first has come to connote Wisconsin Institutionalism with its skepticism of marginal analysis, its emphasis on evolution, . . . → Read More: Land and Rent in Welfare Economics

The Many Faces of Site-Value Taxation

There is a great interest stirring currently in Canada and elsewhere in tapping for the public revenues more of the economic rent of natural resources and/or the unearned increment of land values. “Economic rent”, not long ago a strange alien wording, has become common currency in Canadian discussion. Ontario has enacted a tax on increments of land value when realized by . . . → Read More: The Many Faces of Site-Value Taxation

Taxation and the Functions of Urban Land Rent

MANY, IF NOT ALL economists now agree that the fisc may tax away rent without impairing any economic function. It is only necessary that the tax be independent of landowner behavior.
What is less widely understood is that not taxing rent obstructs its proper functioning. Untaxed landowners through the centuries have manifested a propensity for passive withdrawal that is simply too . . . → Read More: Taxation and the Functions of Urban Land Rent