This website acknowledges that land is free – as free as sunshine, air and water. However, the further fact is that we think it can be owned, and this has a serious effect on the distribution of wealth.
That land is free by nature cannot be disputed.
It is here when we arrive, and we cannot take it when we leave. By natural law, all must have equal rights to its use. But we have devised a system of absolute ownership with the right to charge a rent to a user. This is completely entrenched in the law of the land.
Of course, man must be able to use land for a reasonable term so as to be able to bring his product to completion and sale, and also to continue in business. The use of certain pieces of land bring benefits, either due to fertility, or more importantly, due to facilities provided by the community around.
So the question is, how to recognise the freedom of land, wbookshile providing security of tenure, and return to the community the result of its efforts as they apply to each piece of land. If we do not upset the laws we have too much, so much the better.
The method for collecting revenue supported by this website is a levy of a site value each year on each site. Although termed a tax, it is really a return to the community for the benefits attached to each site, whether negligible or enormous.
The following Topic Papers explore some of the implications of this proposal. The general intention is to name a particular problem, then to show how it might be dealt with under site value taxation.
The consequences of not recognising natural law are growing. The heavy burden of land prices and the increasing gap between rich and poor are problems that will have to be dealt with.
Please note; Signed Articles must be considered personal views of the contributors, and not necessarily the views of Landisfree.
[ We have included the Executive Summary and Conclusions of this paper, to read the full article click here ]
Prosper Australia’s Speculative Vacancies Report demonstrates how Government housing, tax and supply policies have allowed widespread residential and commercial vacancies in Melbourne.
Melbourne’s three main metropolitan water retailers, City West Water (CWW), South East Water (SEW), and Yarra Valley Water (YVW) made their data available for this report. Continue reading
We are grateful for this example of land appropriation, and at the end will add our comments on how the proper collection of public revenue would bring justice.
– an exploration of land ownership through contemporary art.
StoreyG2 is a small contemporary art organisation based in Lancaster, in north west England. In 2014-15 we ran a project researching land ownership and its effects on people’s lives. “Landed (Freeman’s Wood)” is centred on a plot of land where the interests of a local community collided with those of global capital. Continue reading
I begin with a quotation from Aristotle’s Politics:
“And it is a characteristic of man that he alone has any sense of good and evil, of just and unjust, and the like, and the association of living beings who have this sense makes a family and a state.”
― Aristotle, Politics Book I Chapter II
It is worth pondering what this is saying. The human species is distinguished from all the other species because it alone has a sense of what is good and evil, and a sense of what is just and unjust. Continue reading
LAND VALUE TAX: A VIABLE TAX ALTERNATIVE?
HENRY LAW, LAND VALUE TAXATION CAMPAIGN
Land value tax (LVT) has been high on the political agenda for most of the past two centuries; in the three decades up to World War I it was backed by a widespread popular movement. Thus, in the broader perspective, its eclipse since about 1950 is exceptional. The flurry of fresh interest in recent years is due, amongst other things, to the
realisation that tax systems have hit the limit to what they can raise, whilst expectations of government continue growing and attempts to cut large welfare bills consistently fail.
LVT in its classic form is a tax on the annual rental value of all land, ignoring buildings and other developments, the valuation being on the assumption that the land is at its optimum use. It would not be additional to existing taxes but a partial or complete replacement for them. Proponents argue that it is a precondition for the solution of a wide range of apparently intractable economic ills. Opponents usually come up with objections
which are criticisms of what is not actually being proposed. Continue reading
A friend remarked “It would be foolish to think that LVT or Location Value Refund would solve all our problems”, and you would have to agree, but:-
- This is a refund of benefit already received, it cannot be passed on
- It will reduce poverty by removing one cause of inequality
- Infrastructure improvements, such as transport and communications will produce their own financing
- It is a fair way of producing government revenue
- Booms and slumps would be much reduced
- It would do away with many of the glaring faults in our tax system
- It would eliminate the shortage of building land
- It brings to the fore the factor of land, so long forgotten
- It removes harmful taxes from production
- Higher wages will appear without false promises
- It will reverse the decay of urban communities
- The likely hood of financial crashes will be reduced
- Unemployment will be mostly eliminated
- Housing will become affordable
- The home owner has a duty to look after the land he uses
- Windfall gains from land sales will be eliminated
- The whole natural world will become common property
- Local government becomes a matter to be proud of
- Spoiling the environment will be reduced
- Sites will not be held out of use
- The Chancellor will have an expanding revenue, easy to ascertain
- Tax havens will lose their meaning
- All other taxes can be systematically reduced or eliminated
- Banks will rely less on security and more on business
- The accumulation of debt will be stopped
- The reduction in unfairness will bring peace and happiness to all
So, it would seem to bring enough benefits to be worth trying, don’t you think?
Note. All these are explained more fully in the topic papers themselves.
Local urban authorities are searching for a sustainable and equitable source of public finance, one that can fund infrastructure, education and other public goods while also addressing poverty, wealth inequality and the need for affordable housing for all. Continue reading
On Wednesday, 3rd February, The Daily Telegraph provided Scottish landowners with a public platform under the headline ‘Eminent lairds warn SNP land reforms may stop farm lets’, in which estates owned by major landowners like the Duke of Buccleuch and the Earl of Seafield led warnings that allowing tenant farmers with no successors to sell on their secure tenancies would backfire and lead to challenges in the courts. Continue reading
Reviewed by Brian Hodgkinson
Shepheard-Walwyn Books, 2015
This book by Andrew Purves is a remarkably concise, yet wellresearched, study of the Hong Kong economy. The author spent his childhood there and makes good use of his acquaintance both with the place itself and with people in strategic positions within the ex-British colony. His stated aim is to answer the question that the students whom he has taught in the School of Economic Science in London most frequently ask, namely ‘Is there somewhere where Land Value Taxation is actually put into practice?’ Yet the book is in no way an attempt to paint Hong Kong as an economy of milk and honey based upon a perfect tax system. Purves is only too well aware of deficiencies such as serious inequality. Continue reading