Categories

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

Corporations, Democracy, and the US Supreme Court

On Jan 21 2010 our High Court shocked Americans by ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission that a corporation may contribute unlimited funds advertising its views for and against political candidates of its choice – in practice, the choice of its CEO or Directors. . . . → Read More: Corporations, Democracy, and the US Supreme Court

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

New Life in Old Cities

Some cities have grown in notable spurts. Some of these cities were new; others have revived after decaying. Cities’ cells, like ours, metabolize and can refresh themselves constantly. Cities need not die like us. They can continue this cycle of renewal forever, when people remodel buildings and clear and renew sites. This can happen even after periods of sickness . . . → Read More: New Life in Old Cities

Tax Reforms to “Promote” Saving would Backfire

There is a strong movement afoot to tax just consumption rather than all income. The “good reason” for this is to promote saving and investment, and thus enhance domestic capital formation, said to be the main force for economic growth, poorly defined but assumed to be a good thing. A battery of well-financed pols, . . . → Read More: Tax Reforms to “Promote” Saving would Backfire

The Sales Tax: History of a Dumb Idea

Commercial-capitalist civilization has progressed in step with people’s success in fending off sales taxes in their various guises. We might begin with The Enlightenment, late 18th Century, with its epicenter in Versailles. At the core were the philosophes; at their core were les économistes, or Physiocrats; and at their core was the physician from . . . → Read More: The Sales Tax: History of a Dumb Idea

The Danger of Favoring Capital over Labor

This paper deals with an anomaly one meets when seeking to teach and apply the ideas promoted by Henry George. How does one forward the interests of labor by untaxing capital? George left some unanswered questions, and later writers and activists have not met them.

Mason Gaffney, 2004, in Lindy Davies (ed.), The . . . → Read More: The Danger of Favoring Capital over Labor

The Philosophy of Public Finance

THE TREATMENT of rent as public revenue is part and parcel of an organic theory of the State.
In the contractual theory, government is a kind of business which extends services to landowners. They only need pay for benefits received, which are construed in the narrowest possible terms.
In the organic theory, landowners hold title to land as a privilege. In return, . . . → Read More: The Philosophy of Public Finance

The Taxable Capacity of Land

The question I am assigned is whether the taxable capacity of land without buildings is up to the job of financing cities, counties, and schools. Will the revenue be enough? The answer is “yes.”

1993. In Patricia Salkin (ed.), Land Value Taxation, Papers from a Conference sponsored by The Government Law Center of Albany Law School, The Senate Environmental . . . → Read More: The Taxable Capacity of Land

Rising Inequality and Falling Property Tax Rates

In the sections that follow, I first document the rise of inequality in the distribution of farmland that followed a sharp drop in farm property tax rates after 1930. Then I show, by cross-sectional analysis, a positive relationship between higher property tax rates and more intensive use of farmland, which in turn is associated with more equal distribution of farmland. Conversely, . . . → Read More: Rising Inequality and Falling Property Tax Rates