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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (428)

Wiggiatlarge in the comments at Broad Oak Magazine:

"The author of this has been on a mission to implement LVT as the prefered method of tax, he is entitled to his view, but no tax is perfect and many far more qualified than myself have taken apart aspects of LVT on his site, the author also rather spoils his pitch by using phraese like "homies" as a derogatory term for all home owners (1) and feels for some strange reason that anyone who has a garden (2) should bear the sins of mankind (3), all rather strange."

1. That's a deliberate misinterpretation of what the term means. As I have pointed out many a time, "Home-Owner-Ist" does not mean owner-occupier. Not all owner-occupiers are Home-Owner-Ists; indeed not all Home-Owner-Ists are owner-occupiers.

I am an owner-occupier and I guess most Land Value Taxers are. "Home-Owner-Ist" is my catch-all term for:
- people who celebrate high and rising house prices;
- NIMBYs;
- people who think that "land and buildings" is synonymous with "property";
- people who say that income tax or poll tax is fairer than LVT without realising that they are two extremes and that LVT combines the best aspects of those taxes without their worst aspects;
- people who cheerfully say that the value of land is dictated by its location, location, location while denying the existence of the concept of 'community generated land value';
- people who genuinely believe the 2008 recession was caused by Labour government deficit spending and not by the land price/credit bubble bursting
- etc.

2. Anybody who thinks that Land Value Tax is a 'garden tax' has no grasp of reality. It is a charge based on the value of a location. Anybody can look this up for themselves - in the UK, the average value of a flat is approximately equal to the average value of a semi-detached house with a garden. So clearly, the size of your garden barely matters, it all depends where your garden (or home) is.

3. Who said anything about 'bearing all the sins of mankind'? Does he think that people who go to work (and pay income tax) should 'bear all the sins of mankind'?

The value of any bit of land is down to the extra advantages you can enjoy by occupying that location, location, location. There are thousands of factors, but a major one is being within easy commute distance of a decent job or having lots of potential workers and customers within easy commute distance of your business. And what you are paying for is the right to exclude all others from doing your job or taking your workers/customers; so you are placing a burden on them equal and opposite to the value you are enjoying. Sure, people can commute in from further away and do a similar job, but that extra commute time is a burden for the other person; similarly, there are people who live closer to your place of work than you do; they are placing a burden on you.

Therefore, it seems fair and reasonable to me for people to pay compensation (i.e. LVT) accordingly, and for everybody to receive an equal share of the compensation paid by all other land owners (whether that is in terms of public services or a straight cash payout).

There's no point bleating that "I paid for it and it's my land and therefore shouldn't have to pay further compensation", you are still placing a burden on others. What if I move in next door to you and listen to music at top volume all night long? I'm clearly placing a burden on you, and you wouldn't be too happy if I argue that "I've paid for my sound system and CDs and have no duty to minimise or mitigate the burden I place on you".

2 comments:

wiggiatlarge said...

This has been done to death, I can't be bothered to join all the others who have taken apart your missives on LVT despite the merits in parts, but your second paragraph under 30 is total rubbish and if you can't see that you are deluded.

Wildgoose said...

A Land Value Tax is quite clearly (also) a "garden tax" and I say that as a supporter of Land Value Taxation, depite my very large garden.

Moderation in all things. I support the introduction of LVT, I just don't support the extremist view that it should be used to replace all other taxes.