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.


An excellent new video from Fred Harrison on how those who rent effectively pay most if not all of the taxes. While the people who own land or resources also pay taxes, they receive most or all of it taxes back in land value uptick.

To check this out, just calculate your total tax paid over the last 10 years and weigh this against your total land value increase of the same time period.

Collecting the economic rent of oil doesn't impact job numbers.

Corporate taxation is one of the main election issues in this campaign, and many writers, analysts and politicians are weighing in on the effect corporate taxes have on employment. Is Harper right or wrong? What is the correct level of corporate taxation, if any? Here's another piece on this subject, just as unhelpful as the others.

*** Abolish corporate tax – it has been a worldwide failure, Globe & Mail ***

Reverse mortgages allow seniors to stay in their homes

Today's Toronto Star front page features a dejected senior citizen struggling to pay her rising municipal taxes. Purchased decades ago, mortgage long paid off, her house, in a groovy part of downtown, is now worth upwards of $700,000, having doubled in price in the last 10 years alone.

Written as a hard luck story, this "unfortunate" fixed-income senior can barely make ends meet, mortified of being forced to sell her long-time home.

The Generalized Henry George Principle:
One of the general principles of taxation is that one should tax factors that are inelastic in supply, since there are no adverse supply side effects. Land does not disappear when it is taxed. Henry George, a great progressive of the late nineteenth century, argued, partly on this basis, for a land tax. It is ironic that rather than following this dictum, the United States has been doing just the opposite through its preferential treatment of capital gains.

tax-increment financing toronto transit

Toronto's mayor is on the right track with his suggestion to use "tax-increment financing" to pay for new transit. The best way to finance transit is indeed by collecting the upkick in land values (economic rent) so that the unearned increment generated by the new infrastructure goes to pay for that infrastructure, rather than financing it out of general revenue by taxing distant taxpayers who won't benefit from it.

The property tax is actually a combination of two taxes: one on the land and one on the buildings, but there are multiple benefits to urban design when municipal property taxes are split in two and shifted off buildings and onto land value alone. When municipalities collect a percentage of the community-created land value (economic rent), instead of taxing improvements (buildings), walkability and infill occur naturally, reducing municipal taxes and improving the quality of life for all. By employing economic rent capture as a market mechanism, municipalities can generate sufficient revenue pl

Well, the federal political parties are saber rattling again, threatening an election over the corporate tax cuts which will be in the upcoming budget.

The Conservatives are sticking with their plan to roll back corporate taxes from 22% in 2007 to 15%, that corporate tax cuts are good for the economy..., while the Liberals say this is a bad idea in the face of a $56 billion deficit. The NDP are of course lined up behind the Libs.

Both sides are half right and half wrong, giving the Green Party an excellent opportunity to promote our economic program.

The best way of paying for infrastructure like transit, is through "land value taxation."

There is good evidence that all warranted infrastructure (hospitals, transit, parks,...) could pay for itself if the rise in local land values that the infrastructure generated was collected by government for this purpose.

However, under the current municipal tax structure, most of the increase in land value is capitalized into the land, and therefore doesn't go back to the public purse which created it, but instead into the pockets of local land owners when they rent or sell their land.

land value taxation

In the absence of land value taxation, hundreds of frustrated Toronto landowners and merchants have taken matters into their own hands, voluntarily taxing themselves to finance a redesign of their local street.

Six hundred and fifty-eight businesses in the Bloor and Yonge shopping district agreed to levy themselves $20 million to finance sidewalk widening, adding benches and granite planters, and planting trees along the street. Toronto Star columnist Christopher Hume calls the street remake "an enormous success, a model for the rest of Toronto".

A very good development coming out of the Irish meltdown, the introduction of nation-wide land value taxation policy.

Site Value Taxation (or Land Value Taxation) is like the property tax except that it levies only the value of the lot underneath the buildings, not the value of the buildings (improvements). It is a tax shift, not a tax grab, since other taxes will be reduced.