Single tax

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"Impôt unique" redirects here. For the Single-Tax movement and economic ideology relating to land, see Georgism.

A single tax a system that mainly or exclusively charges tax on one particular type of thing, especially land value, typically chosen for its special properties.[1] The idea was proposed independently by John Locke and Baruch Spinoza as a tax on the value of land. The French physiocrats later coined the term impôt unique because of the unique characteristics of land and rent.

Pierre Le Pesant, sieur de Boisguilbert and Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban also proposed a single tax, but unlike the physiocrats, they did not believe that land had unique taxation properties, so they instead proposed a flat tax on all incomes.[2]

In the late 19th and early 20th Century, a populist single tax movement emerged that also wanted to impose 'Single-Tax' on tax on land values and natural resources, but for somewhat different reasons.[3] This populist movement later became known as Georgism, a proposal for a tax system with revenue based exclusively on land (economics) and natural resource rents.

There have been other proposals for a single tax concerning property, goods, or income.[4] More recently others have made proposals for a single tax based on other revenue models, such as the FairTax proposal for a consumption tax and the Flat tax proposals on personal incomes.[5] Single tax as a noun on its own refers to the Georgism, but the term can also be used for other taxes, as in the phrase, "a single tax on consumption".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "English definition of “single tax”". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Steiner, Phillippe (2003) "Physiocracy and French Pre-Classical Political Economy", Chapter 5. in eds. Biddle, Jeff E, Davis, Jon B, & Samuels, Warren J.: A Companion to the History of Economic Thought. Blackwell Publishing, 2003.
  3. ^ Young, Nichols (1916). The single tax movement in the United States. Princeton University Press. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  4. ^ Seligman. "The Income Tax". Political Science Quarterly 9 (4): 610–648. 
  5. ^ Calls for single 30% income tax rate