Thailand’s Prime Minister Proposes a Tax on Land Rent

The new government of Thailand plans to introduce new taxes before the beginning of the new fiscal year, which starts next month.

Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha said, “Tax collection in this new fiscal year will be broadened to boost state revenue and promote fairness. This will include inheritance and land taxes. This would have a limited impact on low-income earners, while tax benefits that favour the rich will be eliminated.”

Prayuth, who also heads the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), also noted that only some 20 million of Thailand’s 68 million people paid taxes.

“It’s no use having grand-sounding policies unless you put them into action,” Prayuth said.

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members praised Prayuth’s policies, and other than offering a couple of proposals, they came up with no points that need to be debated by Cabinet. Most NLA members who stood up to make remarks were former bureaucrats, academics, businessmen, and ex-senators. Military officers, meanwhile, remained quiet.

The air of fierce exchanges, the raising of hands in protest and the generally tense atmosphere that usually marks debates in the Thai parliament were conspicuously missing yesterday.

Politicians have voiced concern on whether the NLA, which was handpicked by the NCPO, could effectively perform the task of policy regulation by engaging in critical debate.

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Ed. Notes: If the new tax law passes, and if the land rent does get collected, Thailand would become the next Asian Tiger — all of which taxed land to some degree — and soon the first geonomic capitol of the world!

At the same time that Thailand recovers all its socially-generated value of locations, it should also delete its taxes on earnings, sales, and buildings. That’s not only fair to everyone who must now pay land taxes or land dues. It is also good economics, clearing the way for much more commerce.

Then society will prosper more than any other ever has throughout history. With its surplus, it should pay its citizens a dividend, as does Singapore. But that city state — since it still levies some counter-productive taxes — and all the other Tigers will seem like weak sisters compared to successful Thailand!