News

Provincial and federal budgets loom: taxation is a hot topic.

The price of living in a modern, civilized nation, it nevertheless rankles when part of our earnings are deducted leaving less to spend on our families, every purchase incurring sales tax making life more expensive and shrinking our purchasing power, every enterprise paying what feel like fines for success.

Some pundits perennially complain of being taxed into the poorhouse, even as they drive fancy convertibles or build expensive home studios.

by David S. D’Amato
An overview of the life, work, and influence of Henry George, who famously argued that the only justifiable tax was a property tax on land.

http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/singular-henry-george-insights-inf...

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.”

Land Rents
September 10, 2014

This 2014 excerpt of PostMag, Spt 7, is by Larred Macfarlane. This article was first published in Scotland 44: Ideas for a New Nation.

Australians are routinely being told that hefty mining taxes would hinder the country’s exports of coal and iron ore. However, mining giant BHP Billiton recently increased its profits by 83% to US $8.1bn. In spite of this enormous growth, the company only paid US $29m in minerals resource rent tax (MRRT). As it stands, the tax is in no way making BHP uncompetitive.

Imagine a new streetcar or subway line were built and extra money started magically appearing in cash registers of businesses along it; along the route, especially at stops, landlords suddenly got a cash bonus with their monthly rent cheques....

Transit can pay its own way with Land Value Capture

http://www.erichthegreen.ca/2013/12/transit-can-pay-its-own-way-with-lan...

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Total Resource Rents of Australia

The Total Resource Rents of Australia report finds the complete removal of income, company and sales tax is possible by replacement with a tax on monopolies such as water trading, cyber squatting, taxi licenses and land.

“Economists have for hundreds of years pointed to a more efficient system by harnessing the naturally rising value of scarce resources as the tax base. Few reports have calculated if this is actually possible” said report author Karl Fitzgerald.

- Press Release: http://www.prosper.org.au/2013/12/03/harnessing-monopoly-to-finance-gove...

Agnes de Mille

New video produced by Earthsharing Canada:

A short history and profile of 19th century American economist Henry George, based on the writings of Agnes de Mille, George's granddaughter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmKZthN50fs

http://www.henrygeorge.org/agnes.htm

Funding: Robert Schalkenbach Foundation http://schalkenbach.org/

Frank de Jong

Expensive farmland close to millions of people is best suited for school kids on field trips, families on farm vacations, and young people learning about agriculture, and for growing labour-intensive crops like organic vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs, not low-value crops like corn and soy.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkXEM7fgGDc

New taxes on sales, gas and HOV lanes may be “fair and balanced” but they will be aggressively opposed and politically damaging to any government imposing them.

A far more politically defensible way to finance Toronto transit is Land Value Capture. The Ontario and municipal governments should finance the new transit by collecting the rise in land value that the new projects produce — a process that makes transit self-financing, with no need for other taxes.

Google the following:
Land Value Capture as a Tool to Finance Public Transit Projects in Canada

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX5gzRnUfSw Francis K. Peddle, J.D., Ph.D., is currently Vice-President -- Academic Affairs at the Dominican University College, Ottawa, Canada and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy. He is a barrister and solicitor and has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada for over twenty years.

Letters:
Tolls, Taxes: Globe and Mail: April 19, 2013

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is right to forge ahead with Toronto-area transit upgrades, even over the complaints of parochial mayors. However, instead of new taxes and tolls – which will pit suburban dwellers against downtown residents and businesses – the new transit should be financed by collecting the rise in land values that the new infrastructure itself will generate.

Land-value capture makes warranted transit “self-financing,” with no need for politically unpopular new tolls or taxes.

by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor, 4 February 2013

Geoism is the social philosophy and theory of absolute human equality, with the belief that each person is properly and fully a self-owner and an equal owner of the surplus from nature and from communities.
Human equality is the proposition that all human beings have an equal moral worth, because there is in human nature no inherent master/slave or superior/inferior relationship. Geoism takes equality to its complete logical conclusion.

There are two big problems with our property taxes: they are too high, and too low.

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2013/02/13/tax-reform-badly-needed-in-c...

How can that be? Well, it’s because in Ontario, as across Canada, property tax is actually two taxes: a tax on land, and a tax on buildings.

Taxing land value is fair, because a site’s value stems from the community around it; land rent is higher in the middle of a bustling city than in a quiet village, and higher in a town than in a remote wilderness.

Municipal governments should finance infrastructure by collecting the unearned income (economic rent) that accrues to land. No new taxes needed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdE1umKfyJA

Warranted new projects (parks, schools, transit, roads, hospitals) always raise local land values more than the cost of the project. Presently this wealth disappears into the pockets of local land owners. Instead, Land Value Taxation should be used to finance the infrastructure.

George Monbiot

Why we need land value taxation.
A Telling Silence www.monbiot.com

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 22nd January 2013

You can learn as much about a country from its silences as you can from its obsessions. The issues politicians do not discuss are as telling and decisive as those they do. While the government’s cuts beggar the vulnerable and gut public services, it’s time to talk about the turns not taken, the opportunities foregone: the taxes which could have spared us every turn of the screw.

Transit Land Value Taxation

Dedicated transit tax runs out of gas fast.
http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=190063

Car culture councillors would quickly vote down Adam Giambrone’s suggested 3¢ transit-dedicated gas tax (NOW, November 22-28, circulation 400,000).

And even if it did pass, huge numbers of car people would tank up outside Toronto, driving and polluting even more.

Giambrone says the property tax base is already “overburdened,” but equally so are the income tax base and the sales tax base.

A Land Value Tax is a better way to finance transit.

untax the poor, tax land

Letter to the Editor: Increased transfer payments are not the best way to address Toronto’s grotesque income disparity, as Wayne Roberts suggests (NOW, October 4-10).

Transfer payments are financed by taxing jobs, businesses and sales, which damages the economy by killing jobs, punishing successful businesses and raising the cost of products we all need.

Toronto City Hall

CD Howe Institute endorses Toronto City Councillors plan to capture land value capture to finance transit. Jeff Dean
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Increase taxes along transit lines: National Post · Jul. 6, 2012 http://www.canada.com/business/Increase+taxes+along+transit+lines/689167...

Toronto's "OneCity" plan, which city councillors will debate on July 11, could be a move in the right direction. OneCity's proponents propose a new transit network, financed by equal federal, provincial and municipal contributions.

Thailand plans to raise land tax to 2%

The Finance Ministry is vowing to push forward the land tax bill, stalled for a decade, and may increase the tax ceiling, says the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

Director-general Somchai Sujjapongse said the FPO is now amending details of the draft. Once the amendment version is completed, it will arrange a public hearing.

The major amendment is the tax ceiling rate. http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/296036/long-stalled-land-t...

Under the current draft there are three tax rates depending on the purpose of land usage.