In support of land taxes

Thanks to Alex Fletcher who submitted this as a comment:

From a purist point of view I believe Geolibertarianism is the moral philosophy that should guide taxation:-

“Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all natural resources – most importantly land – are common assets to which all individuals have an equal right to access; therefore, individuals must pay rent to the community if they claim land as their private property. Rent need not be paid for the mere use of land, but only for the right to exclude others from that land, and for the protection of one’s title by government. They simultaneously agree with the libertarian position that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor as their private property, as opposed to this product being owned collectively by society or the community, and that ‘one’s labor, wages, and the products of labor’ should not be taxed.”

In reality though it is about what is practically possible. The Henry review [in Australia] aimed for four bases – personal income, business income, consumption and economic rents of natural resources and land. At present land tax has a much smaller role than the other three.

Any change to increase the proportion of total taxation from LVT can only be achieved slowly and with much opposition. The ACT proposal to change existing property taxes and stamp duty to an annual LVT is the best start one can hope for. The plan is such that if a landowner really wants to keep stamp duty instead of an annual fee they can virtually do so. There was an article in The Drum about it.

I believe GST is more efficient than income tax and in that context may be better. However if, as geonomics asserts, the main contributor to unemployment is that land is priced out of reach, increasing the GST and broadening the base without a broad-based LVT as well, would not abolish unemployment and so would increase hardship for the very poor.