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.

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.

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

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.

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
Increase taxes along transit lines: National Post · Jul. 6, 2012

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.

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

Toronto Star, Saturday, May 19, 2012

There’s really only one way to make Toronto housing affordable for everyone — including young families. But the City can’t do it alone; the provincial government will need to help out.

Step one: the Ontario government would need to instruct the Municipal Property Assessment Corp.(MPAC) to ignore buildings and assess only the land under buildings.

Step two: Toronto would then apply the municipal tax to the lot values alone, also ignoring buildings.

Land Value Taxation and the Built Environment

Watch video: Land Value Taxation and the Built Environment

The main benefits of LVT (revenue-neutral municipal tax sifting off buildings onto the land below the buildings) are:

1. LVT doesn't punish businesses, landlords or home owners for fixing up, expanding, renovating, or re-purposing their buildings;

Globe and Mail columnist calls for Land Value Taxation.

Doug Saunders: "If we really wanted housing to be profitable and plentiful, we’d tax owners on the annual rise in value of their property – a Land Value Tax. This has two benefits: First, you’re taxing a non-productive source of wealth, whereas income and corporate taxes can stifle innovation and risk-taking."

Globe and Mail, Published Saturday, Apr. 28, 2012

I want to live here!

Who is property speculation really good for? With global economies stressing as property values plunge and banks write down their books, this film gives an alternative to the push for austerity.

Real Estate 4 Ransom is a documentary about global property speculation and its impact on the economy. Real Estate 4 Ransom considers the changing motivations behind property investment and challenges the notion that the Global Financial Crisis was caused by bank lending alone.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is calling on Germany to raise its property taxes dramatically and reduce taxes on labor. The group, whose membership is made up of 34 of the world's leading market economies, also made similar recommendations for Denmark, Norway, and the UK over the past month.

by Tom Gill

They show that €9.5 trillion (£7.9tn) is tied up in household wealth.

That's a vast resource that if tapped would solve the country's public finances overnight and provide plenty of resources for growth, jobs and high-quality public services for all.

Equal to almost €400,000 (£330,000) a family on average, the figures show Italy is considerably richer than other leading developed economies, including Britain, France and the US.

On the invitation of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Frank de Jong visited Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg in November, speaking on the multiple benefits to urban design when municipal property taxes are shifted off buildings and onto land value alone.
Interviews -- audio, text:

Henry George during his campaign for NYC mayor

I take issue with the final sentence in the below New York Times op-ed. Not only did Georgism account for greed, it was essentially designed as a system to dampen or ameliorate greed, which I would think means the desire (and collection) of more wealth than one deserves.

Greed, in economics, is almost synonymous with rent-seeking. Georgism neutralizes rent seeking (provided new forms of rent are identified and taxed as the greedy invent them). As long as assessment is accurate, greed becomes very difficult to act upon.


Perhaps the most constructive comment on the solution to the Greek debt crisis has come from Andrus Ansip, prime minister of Estonia. He is reported to have said, “If I may give my advice to Greece, it is that you have to cut public expenditure. You have to make structural reforms. And you have to create a really efficient taxation system.” Whatever can he mean by a really efficient tax system? Is the tax system in Estonia a guide for Greece?

The aim of the NDP Land Campaign - - is to improve the understanding of and support for Land Value Taxation amongst members of the New Democratic Party; to encourage all New Democrats to promote and campaign for this policy as part of a more sustainable and just resource based economic system in which no one is enslaved by poverty; and to cooperate with other bodies, both inside and outside the New Democratic Party, who share these objectives.

A 30-minute interview where Earthsharing Canada's Frank de Jong argues that governments should finance programs like health care, education by collecting economic rent in lieu of taxing jobs, businesses and consumption.

30-minute interview

Herman Daly endorses Henry George

For some time a small group of ecological economists has been suggesting that we switch the tax base from income (value added to natural resources by labor and capital), and on to natural resources themselves. Value added to resources is something we want more of, so don’t tax it (either at each stage of production as in Europe, or at the final stage as income as in the U.S.). The resource throughput, beginning with depletion and ending with pollution (both real costs), is something we want less of in a full world economy, so let’s tax it.