Talk:Land value tax

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Former good article nominee Land value tax was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 3, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
March 7, 2009 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Land value tax:

New Valuable Source[edit]

LAND VALUE TAXATION: THEORY, EVIDENCE, AND PRACTICE edited by Richard F. Dye and Richard W. England.

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-55844-185-9 1. Land value taxation. I. Dye, Richard F. II. England, Richard W. III. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. HJ4165.L375 2009 336.22′5—dc22 2009007248

This has quite a bit of information as well as biblographical references.70.22.35.192 (talk) 17:24, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

https://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/dl/1568_856_Web%20Chapter.pdf96.234.194.138 (talk) 15:27, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Overall structure of article[edit]

This seems to have developed in an ad hoc way. All the relevant material seems to be present but...

If I wanted to learn about the subject I would want to see something more structured perhaps like this

What is LVT?

How it should operate in accordance with the theory and how it operates in practice

What is the origin and basis of the idea ie historical and underlying principles.

What are the claimed advantages

What are the objections

Answers to objections

Objections that remain valid

Practical applications past and present and critical review of these.

That would be a big task! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Physiocrat (talkcontribs) 23:37, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


There are a few concerns I have with this layout:
  • "What is LVT?" - The lead section should generally explain the concept like that... if it's unclear right now, we should improve that section.
  • "How it should operate and how it does operate" - That's generally what we have in the "Implementation" and "LVT systems" sections. Do you think moving up the "LVT systems" section to right under "Implementation" (or merging the two) would be an improvement?
  • The origin and hisorical basis of the article is covered by the "History" section.
  • Having sections for advantages/objections is how the article was previously structured, but it caused us to fail last year's Good Article review per Wikipedia:Pro and con lists.
  • Similarly, it's not our place to write a critical review of LVT, since that would be original research. We have to stick to the facts.
--Explodicle (T/C) 15:24, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Land value tax/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    Some comments:
    • The lead needs to be considerably longer, at least three times the current length. More at WP:LEAD.
    • The hyphen (-) is for connecting words, while the emdash (—) is used as punctuation.
    • Though the economic effects of land value tax are very important, and definitively require their own section, I am somewhat concerned with it being the first section. I would have preferred to see the first section looking at it from a political/implementational aspect, rather than it as part of a highly abstract framework.
    • As unfortunately is common on many Wikipedia articles on economics, this article uses a too complex language. Economic theory is very abstract, and even myself, with a MSc in the field soon in my pocket, finds it difficult to understand the matters at hand. The use of an unnecessary complex prose makes things even worse. The art of writing an encyclopædia is not to get other economists to undestand the matter at hand, but to explain it to a lay person at high school level. For instance, the phrase "Most taxes distort economic decisions" means abosultely nothing to most people. The next sentence uses a lot of complex words, and introduces many technical terms in the sentance; for instance, i doubt most people know what 'dissuaded', 'correlation', 'levy', 'fallacious' and 'marginal' means. Rememerb, economists can go elsewhere for an academic description of the topic, while our purpose here is to provide information to the masses. I would recommend completely rewriting the section. Do not be concerned if it becomes significantly longer; it is much better that more words are used if they can help explain.
    • In what country is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? This is not the US Wikipedia, it is the English-language version, and is used by very many people from outside the US, who do not have the slighest idea where neigher Harrisburg nor Pennsylvania is. Always indicate the country, unless evident from context.
    • 'Alegded' should be avoided; if there is disagreement, state the disagreement.
    • Terms like 'deadweight' need to be wikilinked. Even if 'excess burden of taxation' has been linked before, when a synonym is used, it needs wikilinking, since most people associate deadweight with shipping tonnage.
    • 'Surplus' links to a disambiguation page.
    • The history section mixes past and present tense.
    • I find most of the quotes very pereferial to the topic. It would be a lot better just paraphrasing their meaning in the text.
    • Never repeat the name of the article in a section header.
    • I find that there is a blur between the 'implementation' and the 'land value tax systems' sections; they should probably be merged.
    • 'Land value tax' is never to appear all-capitalized (except for the 'l' if at the beginning of a sentence). It is not a proper noun. Of course, the acrony LVT is capitalized.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    • Entire paragraphs are unreferenced. There are {{fact}} tags.
    • References are references, not quotes. State where the information was found, and if available provide a link. Do not quote the text, even if it is in the public domain.
    • Some of the references are incomplete. All references must have an author (or reliable publisher), and a link to the top of a web site is insufficient.
    • Some sources, such as 'New Jersey Land Value Tax Project', 'Denmark' are not reliable.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    • There are expansion tags on the 'pre-modern' and 'other countries' section.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    • The article is very skewed against the United States. The level of detail used to describe the tax in the US is many-fold that of the rest of the world. This is seen both in the 'implementation' and the 'land value tax systems' sections. Since the amount of information in the article about the US must be scaled down, feel free to create the article Land value tax in the United States to cover that country in detail.
    • I find the article unbalanced. While it is natural that the article presents all information currently included, I fail to see much critisism of the tax. The gold standard for measuring POV is: if after reading the article, can the reader make up an opinion on the POV of the author? In this case, I find that the article is written in favor of LVT, and therefore fails criterion 4. The following are some thoughts to get you understanding the direction of my concerns, though I realize some are partially covered in the article: I get the impression the article is biased against libertarianism, and fails to look at it from a political side, especially from from a socialist view. For instance, why is the tax so little used? I would presume that tax would be evaded by shifing investments into non-land based assets. Is there academic discussion about this? If there is no deadweight loss, why is it not used more? Are there flaws in the theories? Are there arguments that are fundamentally non-economic? As for the political discussion, can a modern view be pulled out and given a separete section? In general, the challenge is that there is often very subtle differences in the prose throughout the text that tend to aggregate the POV, and make the bottom line unbalanced.
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Portraits should use the 'upright' syntax.
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    Unfortunetly, I have to fail the article. While it has a lot of the workings of a GA, it is under-referenced, is highly US-biased, unbalanced and uses a technical rather than lay language. Once these issues have been resolved, I would recommend sending it to peer review before a new GA nomination, since I have not thoroughly worked through the prose to see if it passes the GA on all unmentioned areas. I wish you good luck with the further work; you have done a good job so far :) Arsenikk (talk) 21:38, 7 March 2009 (UTC)


This article could be very interesting, if it made sense. There needs to be a clear description of the concepts at the beginning of the article. As it is, someone new to LVT can read the whole article and still be none the wiser. FreeFlow99 (talk) 15:05, 30 May 2017 (UTC) I have found a much better (though unrealistically optimistic) description here: [1] FreeFlow99 (talk) 15:34, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

UK vs US English[edit]

I have made contributions and had them severely edited primarily on the grounds of the differences between US and UK English. This is a subject area where so many of the terms are different that we are dealing with dialects on the verge of separating into different languages. I don't know what the answer to this one is, but if it is not addressed the article will be endlessly edited and re-edited by contributors on the two sides of the Atlantic!

The manual of style says we should pick one and use it consistently within the article. Since LVT has plenty of history both in the UK and USA, I'm OK with either. I guess we should just go with the preference of whoever wants to go through the article fixing grammar/spelling/etc. --Explodicle (T/C) 18:00, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality improvements[edit]

Since the neutrality problems are the most fundamental issue with the article (compared to formatting, references, etc) I think we should start with those. A few of Arsenikk's starting points:

  • "Why is the tax so little used?"
  • "If there is no deadweight loss, why is it not used more?"
  • I think we can elaborate on Julie Smith's work for that. LVT is not widespread because landowners are politically powerful. --Explodicle (T/C) 15:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Nice article. Hadn't seen that one. Yes, it would make a useful reference. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:26, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "I would presume that tax would be evaded by shifting investments into non-land based assets. Is there academic discussion about this?"
I'm not sure why we need to discuss this in any case. The beauty of the tax is that it can be avoided directly, in the sense that you can avoid being the person paying it to the Government, but that it cannot be avoided indirectly, since if you are not paying tax, you must be paying rent to someone who is paying the tax. So it boils down to a choice between paying tax and paying rent, and thus it becomes unattractive to avoid the direct tax since you end up paying it plus any rental increment that the landowner manages to squeeze out of you. Just moving your wealth to non-land-based assets isn't going to help, since the vast majority of such assets still require at least some land and labour to make them productive. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:32, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "I fail to see much criticism of the tax."
  • "Are there arguments that are fundamentally non-economic?"
  • "I get the impression the article is biased against libertarianism, and fails to look at it from a political side, especially from from a socialist view."
  • There used to be something about Herbert Davenport that had no sources and was obviously biased against him. I bet we can find something from Davenport to beef up the criticism in existing sections. Murray Rothbard made some solid non-economic arguments, and I think we can elaborate those in the Ethics section. Other than Marx calling Georgism "decked out with socialism", I don't know of any socialism-related sources. Any ideas? --Explodicle (T/C) 15:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
The anti-libertarianism claim surprised me. Georgism is sometimes known as left-libertarianism because of its strong view in favour of free enterprise, private ownership and against all personal taxation. The only real difference from right-libertarianism lies in its treatment of property rights over natural resources. So if anything, I would expect the article to be pro-libertarian rather than anti. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:12, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "Are there flaws in the theories?"
  • All of the major problems I'm aware of are practical, not theoretical. Maybe when I research Rothbard and Davenport I'll find more. --Explodicle (T/C) 15:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
The neo-classical economists are actually the people to check if you want to discover George's most effective opponents. See [1] for a starter (and the paper it's based on). -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:05, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "As for the political discussion, can a modern view be pulled out and given a separate section?"
  • I'm not quite sure which timeframe is "modern": most of the sources are 20th century views, which are generally considered modern in the context of economics. LVT isn't exactly the hot thing that everyone is talking about. --Explodicle (T/C) 15:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

This book may be very helpful to future edits[edit]

Land Value Taxation: Theory, Evidence, and Practice
Author(s): Dye, Richard F. and Richard W. England
Publication Date: May 2009
248 pages; ISBN 978-1-55844-185-9
—Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.22.75.243 (talk) 16:54, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Definition of Supply[edit]

The introduction to this article talks about supply of land being fixed. This seems to be wrong. Obviously the amount of land in existence is essentially fixed (ignoring seasteading projects) however just because something exists in a fixed amount does not mean that supply in an economic sense is fixed. Supply is the amount on offer for sale at a given price. At a price of zero the supply of land would be near zero. This does not mean that there is zero land, but rather than zero land (or very little) would be on offer for sale at this price. Meanwhile at a price of $1,000,000 per square meter hardly any land on earth wouldn't be for sale. As such the graph that shows a vertical inelastic supply curve seems to be wrong simply because it is confusing supply with existence. In any case a land value tax isn't a sales tax so the conceptualisation seems flawed from the outset.

Terjepetersen (talk) 19:10, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Wrong. This criticism is based on confusion about the nature of land.
Land has no cost of production, i. e. it is not a produced factor (the market price of undeveloped land appears as a result of demand). Availability of supply of land is not to do with an economic fact but with property law. A landowner is not the producer of the land he is holding off the market. While a factory owner cannot afford to produce certain items if his costs in producing them are not covered by the price, a landowner benefits from a monopoly power based on the said property law.
A simple scenario proves the special nature of land (and of all natural resources): if all humans disappeared, the land would still be there, but if industry disappeared most modern products we enjoy today would also disappear.
Janosabel (talk) 17:17, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
We need to improve that diagram. It is poorly labeled at the moment. The supply curve is not the supply of Land-For-Sale (which would behave as you describe), it is the supply of Land-Use. And that is fixed because even land which is not being used by a tenant, is being used by the owner. The price paid for that use is the rent. You might well say, "But wait a minute the owner isn't paying rent to himself!", but in an economic sense he is. He is charging himself $0 and paying it to himself; or $100 and paying it to himself; or whatever. The net effect is the same. In return he is receiving the use of the land, hour-by-hour, which of course he may be wasting. That's his choice.
Now the actual level of the rent doesn't affect the amount of use which the land provides. Even if I offer $1,000,000 per square meter per hour, I won't actually affect the amount of use which the land provides. It's just that I will receive it instead of the owner. The land will still provide the same amount as it would if I offered a rent so low that the owner preferred to keep that use for himself. That is why we say that the supply of Land(-Use) is fixed, even in an economic sense.
Okay, so why is it called a Land Value Tax rather than a Land Use Tax? Well, that is because the rational value of a piece of land is the Present Value of the stream of expected rents resulting from the sale of the use of that piece of land out into the indefinite future. It is absolutely not a tax on Land-Sales which would have the same deadweight effects on the economy as any other sales tax. -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I fixed the caption. I'd rather not change the labels in the image itself because the same picture is used in geolibertarianism to describe the taxation of all fixed-supply resources (including land). --Explodicle (T/C) 18:30, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Diagram labels[edit]

Perfectly inelastic supply.svg

In Image:Perfectly inelastic supply.svg, why is the yellow rectangle identified as "Tax revenue"? Melchoir (talk) 04:06, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

(tax revenue) = (market price) X (number of items) X (tax rate). For example, if the average lot is worth $15 per year, and we've got 7 lots taxed at 1/3rd their value, then the tax revenue will be $35 per year. --Explodicle (T/C) 14:37, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
But that's not the yellow rectangle. The yellow rectangle is (market price - taxation rate) X supply. Melchoir (talk) 03:14, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
On this diagram, the tax is shown differently.
I think I see the point of confusion. I'm thinking of tax rate as a percentage, but you're thinking of a dollar value. Since the diagram just shows it as a flat line on the price axis, that's really my fault. If I modify the image so tax rate is expressed as a range like this diagram, do you think that would be better? --Explodicle (T/C) 13:58, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
That second diagram also looks a bit problematical to me, Explodicle. I realise that it's trying to show showing the implications of taxing an elastic resource, rather than an inelastic one. However it looks like there are two rectangles, one denoting "tax" and the other denoting "revenue" whereas I take it that this is actually one rectangle labelled "tax revenue". I spent five minutes trying to work out why the lower rectangle was "revenue" before realising that. If someone like me who is quite familiar with these diagrams got confused, I think that it would be a common mistake. -- Derek Ross | Talk 14:18, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I'll keep that in mind if I update the diagram. Are you ok with clarifying it as a range, though? --Explodicle (T/C) 14:35, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
No objection in principle. However it may prove a little difficult to do in practice. The problem being that for a resource in inelastic supply the taxed supply curve will lie directly on the untaxed supply curve since they are both vertical lines which intersect the X-axis at the same point. However if you think you have a solution, that's great. The current diagram is obviously causing some difficulty to a few people, so anything that can be done to make it clearer would be good. -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:04, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually looking at the current LVT diagram, I wonder if the problem might be solved by switching the tax revenue label and the producer surplus label. The reason I say this is that, intuitively speaking, as the taxation rate rises, the tax revenue increases, whereas on the diagram, as the taxation rate line rises, the area of the tax revenue rectangle falls. Our current diagram therefore suggests that when the taxation rate is 0% the tax revenue is all of the revenue whereas when the taxation rate is at 100% the tax revenue is zero. This might be the cause of the confusion and switching the labels would sort it out. What do you think ? -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:14, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I do think that's the greater source of confusion. On the other hand, you wouldn't want to change the meaning of Image:Perfectly inelastic supply.svg if that would make it harder to compare with related diagrams. It would be simpler to just label the tax using a double-headed arrow.
Speaking of which, there ought to be a comparison diagram with an elastic supply. The current caption in this article says "A supply and demand diagram showing the effects of land value taxation. Since the total land supply is fixed, the burden of the tax falls entirely on the land owner with no deadweight loss." But it's not clear where the deadweight loss would be represented if it were nonzero. Melchoir (talk) 04:27, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I like the "comparison with double arrows" option the best. Any other tax diagram would have the tax revenue in the "middle" and I don't want to depart from the mainstream S&D diagram convention. --Explodicle (T/C) 13:04, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I updated the diagram we have right now, but I couldn't find a good diagram with deadweight loss for comparison. If someone else does, please add it. --Explodicle (T/C) 20:16, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Melchoir (talk) 05:00, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Merge "Existing tax systems" and "Countries shifting towards land value taxation" sections?[edit]

Peter Gibb just contributed a whole lot of top-notch content and created a new section called "Countries shifting towards land value taxation". However, I'm not sure there's a clear distinction between what's a mature LVT system and what's still shifting. For example, the United States already has some LVT in Pennsylvania but is only starting to try it out in Connecticut, but it's in the "Existing tax systems" section. Does anyone have any objections to merging them into one section titled "International usage" or "Adoption worldwide" or something? --Explodicle (T/C) 15:11, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

We might want to merge in the "Policy interest elsewhere" section too. --Explodicle (T/C) 18:55, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Responding to Explodicle. No, there's no 'clear distinction' (never mind, any real 'mature LVT system' to use as a measure), but there certainly is 'difference', and we can usefully distinguish cases. So, as a counter-proposal to my original and to Explodicle's suggestions, perhaps it would be appropriate to differentiate between: 1. practice of lvt in the field; 2. live developing political support for lvt, and; 3. intuitive popular comprehension of lvt ideas. These are three different things, encyclopedically, even though all the cases can be tagged by a common sort of heading, like the name of a locating country. Somesuch idea was behind my initial proposal. Such a division of cases of lvt would be useful once the amount of information in the greater section had increased beyond a certain amount; which I think has already happened. Without such a division we leave the case of Scotland, for instance, unduly prominent in the text, simply by stint of the amount of material there. Dividing the cases somehow, allows the cases of actual practice of lvt to regain prominence, as is appropriate I would say. There are of course other ways to deal with that particular problem - either pare back the Scotland section, or - certainly the right course in any case - build up the other country cases to match. To start, someone needs to set out a comprehensive gazetteer, with the bones of the situation in each case. I'd say the best way to achieve that would be a trawl of Bob Andelson's definitive and comprehensive (for its date), and authoritative book. If it is agreed to proceed with Explodicle's suggestion then I'd favour the term 'worldwide' - to me, 'international' suggests itself opposed to 'domestic', which of course is not an appropriate dichotomy for Wikipedia. Finally, in such a section division as I suggset, there would be nothing stopping a country in some cases having entries in more than one section: for instance - Philadelphia would be described in section (1) in terms of policy achievements on the ground, but also, perhaps, in section (2) with a description of the further initiatives being driven by the Center for the Study of Economics and others.

Peter Gibb (talk) 08:14, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

  • I'm fine with covering the practice of LVT in the field, but
  • I'm concerned that covering developing support might be speculation and without covering dwindling support it would be non-neutral.
  • I'm not sure what intuitive popular comprehension actually means.
--Explodicle (T/C) 17:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Responding to Explodicle immediately above. Point 1 - fine; point 2 - well it could indeed attract such speculation, but it would of course be the job of editors to deal with inappropriate responses; and in response to the 'dwindling' point, well call the section simply "support"; point 3 - what I meant was important instances of key individuals, communities or cultures innocently acting with the sense of understanding the philosophy that underpins land value taxation, which requires a different perspective / mindset from conventional fiscal thinking; for instance, at the level of grand ideas, perhaps Peter Barnes' 'SkyTrust' proposal, and; at the folk consciousness level, the Scottish highland crofters' reluctance to take up their statutory right to 'buy' their crofts for a song. But don't get me wrong: I accept this can be done other ways.

Peter Gibb (talk) 20:27, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Appraisal[edit]

I think the article on Assessments would be better titled Appraisals. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_estate_appraisal . I am tempted to make the changes myself but I will wait for others who understand the difference better than I do; even though I believe I may understand it well enough as I am.

DAB (talk) 15:49, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Well if you want to. But in my opinion it's a pretty trivial change. There may be a difference between assessments and appraisals but is it a meaningful difference ? -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:14, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Here is another resource I just found - http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos300.htm To quote, "Appraisers have independent clients and typically focus on valuing one property at a time"... "Assessors predominately work for local governments and are responsible for valuing properties for property tax assessment purposes"...

I am not so sure now that the difference is meaningful...

But here is another resource to consider http://appraisersforum.com/showthread.php?t=139079 DAB (talk) 16:40, 31 August 2010 (UTC) DAB (talk) 16:47, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

On further thought and in the light of your research, the difference appears to be that assessment is the calculation of how much tax is payable whereas appraisal is the estimation of the land value. In the LVT case, assessment requires appraisal. So I still prefer the term, assessment in this article. However it would be highly appropriate to have a link to the Real estate appraisal article. It looks very relevant. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:49, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

The section on appraisals really glosses over the real difficulties inherent in the process. Take this line: "Where development already exists on a site, the value of the site can be discovered by various means, of which the most easily understood is the residual method: the value of the site is the total value of the property minus the depreciated value of buildings and other structures." For starters, we have to determine what the property value is, so we're no further ahead than with property taxation. Secondly, the method is not even accurate. We can't just deduct the value of any buildings or structures. We have to deduct the value of every *improvement*. So the value of the long-established English garden, the water feature, that 75 year old oak tree that shades the house in summer, the picket fence, the bird bath, the interlock driveway, everything, because all of that contributes to property value but not land value. Third, how is the assessor to determine the value of being proximate to amenities like parks, schools, shops, transit stations? Other properties "in the area" are not necessarily any good because they're not the same distance from these amenities. Or, for that matter, being next door to a real slob of a neighbour or a saint of one - it affects the land value, after all, and nothing else (with respect to the neighbours, how they maintain their property impacts their property value but your land value). Even the differing likelihood of a neighbour's property being redeveloped can affect your land value depending on what is allowed to be built. It seems like Justice William Paterson got it right two centuries ago... D P J (talk) 05:22, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, so you say but the fact is that private industry in the shape of the insurance companies does it every day as a matter of course. And does it cheaply and accurately enough to make a profit. Compared to tracking sales taxes or income taxes which are soooo easy to hide that you need a vast army of snoopers to keep people honest, it's a breeze. Not exactly black magic whatever William Paterson may have thought all those years ago in the days before computers and electronic databases. -- Derek Ross | Talk 07:30, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Land Value Tax Will Cause Bank Losses/Crisis[edit]

Not that I consider this a bad thing but the money that would be (rightfully) collected in a land value tax is currently pledged to the banks in the form of mortgage and interest payments. Rightfully reclaiming this money will therefore cause massive losses, along with making land prices much more affordable. This must be stated upfront in any implementation of a Land Value Tax in order to properly deal with the situation. Therefore banking reform and a rentier/land value tax are inevitably intertwined and must be tackled together. Any talk not taking this into account is therefore a pipe dream. WjtWeston (talk) 20:18, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps. I have no doubt that any implementation of LVT would have to take into account the equity splits between existing mortgagees and mortgagors and split the LVT bills accordingly, since they are both "beneficial owners". However that should be quite an easy matter to handle so I don't think that mentioning it in the article is a big deal. New mortgages would of course be priced, taking LVT into account and so wouldn't need any bill splitting. Basically introducing LVT is similar in effect to reducing the interest rate that mortgagors charge from the existing mortgagors' point of view and leaving it unchanged for the existing mortgagee (although he benefits when his other tax obligations are reduced as a result of the implementation). Also note that LVT would replace existing property taxes which already affect the banks. In any case the banks are quite capable of getting into trouble without LVT being involved as we have recently seen. -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:54, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

That's the point, that a LVT will stop asset price inflation which leads to asset bubbles, thus making housing much more affordable. But I think you underestimate the amount of money that is currently pledged to the banks. The vast majority of bank loans are mortgage loans. A LVT will pop any current bubbles and lead to a revaluation of assets by 50%+ at least, probably much more. Mortgages must be then written down, and the banks must be forced to take these losses so people don't have a $500 000 mortgage for a $100 000 house. A LVT must be part of bank/monetary reform along with other rentier taxes (money and LVT being just two of many) WjtWeston (talk) 23:26, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Hang on now. An LVT can pop a bubble but it doesn't have to. There are a couple of things to take into account. The first is the rate at which it is set. An LVT which collects 1% or less of the ground-rent will hardly have any effect on land prices whereas one that collects 100% of the ground-rent will basically reset all land prices to zero. Secondly you have got to remember that most proponents of LVT want to see it replacing other taxes. So the idea is to reduce income tax/sales tax/etc. while you increase the LVT rate. Increasing the LVT rate may well tend to reduce land prices but reducing the other tax rates will tend to increase land prices. Using that principle, it would be perfectly possible to implement a balanced changeover from the current income/sales/property tax regime to an LVT-only one affecting land prices in any way desired. So people could end up with a $100,000 house, a $500,000 house or a $1,000,000 house as collateral for their $500,000 mortgage. It all depends on the balance between LVT and other taxes or subsidies. So the end result just depends on what you want to achieve and how you go about achieving it. In order to avoid widespread financial disruption, sensible Single Taxers would raise LVT and lower or abolish other taxes in such a way as to cause a gradual reduction in land prices or no reduction at all, not a sudden plunge.
Having said that, I'm not against bank reform. There are plenty of sources of unearned income which should be taxed instead of the earned income which is the current tax target of most governments. But this article is intended to describe LVT so it's not really appropriate to bring up these other topics. They have their own articles. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

A LVT will cause bank losses. There is only so much income available to cover costs. If a person has only $1000 (or the property earns an equivalent in rent) for mortgage and taxes, any increase in taxes will necessarily leave less for mortgage payments and therefore lower the price of the property. That's the benefit, a LVT does not add to rents, it's paid out of rent. This means banks will have massive writedowns and most will be insolvent. WjtWeston (talk) 19:05, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Well as I said above, that might be so if a 100% LVT was imposed without removing any other taxes. However it is generally suggested as a replacement for property tax (or other taxes). So the $1000 paid for LVT would be balanced by the $1000 no longer required for property tax. So no overall effect on property prices. Even in places which impose a sales tax or income tax instead of property tax, LVT would be used to replace sales tax/income tax (to some extent at least). So the $1000 for LVT would be balanced by a $1000 (or more) reduction in sales/income tax. Once again overall property prices wouldn't be affected because, while people might be paying more land value tax they would paying less other tax, and thus overall they would have the same (or more) income to spend on property. The consequence: once again no effect on property prices and so the banks would have zero writedowns to worry about. And that's not just theory. In Denmark in the late 1950s/early 1960s when there was a short-lived switch of some taxation to LVT, land prices actually rose because of LVT's positive effect on the economy as a whole.
However if you are dead set on bank reform, then the best one would be to switch to 100% reserve banking but give the banks the facility to borrow any money (required for loans but that can't be covered by their own reserves) from the government at some interest rate dependent on how "risky" the government judged the bank to be (or how "overheated" the economy was, or how high inflation might be, or whatever). -- Derek Ross | Talk 07:07, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
The above arguments don't make any sense. The LVT is charged only on the land value, not the value of the house or whatever is built on it (the mortgage relates to all the property including a house). The mortgagor does not own the land and would not be subject to LVT, the mortgagor merely has a charge over the asset. The mortgagee is the 'land owner' and would have to pay the LVT. Even if mortgagors had to pay tax, that would simply mean they would have to charge greater fees/interest in order for their business model to continue working. One huge problem with LVT, is what happens to people who are unable to pay the tax, such as those who become unemployed or retired? Land may be immovable, but land does not have an income of its own. The advantage of income tax, collected at the point of payroll, is that the money is there to be taxed. FreeFlow99 (talk) 16:02, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Is this about property tax? Or is it something different?[edit]

The article has a critical deficiency: it does not distinguish between property tax and land value tax. Is there a distinction? Or is this article just a piece lobbying for another variety of tax? I read the article and couldn't find where any distinction was made. Property taxes have a long history in many countries, not just those cited, and they historically have been imposed primarily on land.

I think this article should be downrated to C class at best. It has major failings in coverage, is jargon ridden, opinionated, and scattershot. Also, what do the theoretical supply/demand charts add? They seem almost unrelated to the article, other than in the way that supply/demand charts relate to everything in the world.

If the article is not about anything like a property tax, is it notable?

This article needs a lot of work. 173.54.187.121 (talk) 03:39, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

...which I take it, you will not be participating in. The article distinguishes between standard property tax and the special type of property tax known as LVT in the very first paragraph. The supply/demand charts are there to illustrate why LVT has no effect on rent levels until it rises above the 100% rate. As for notability, attempts to implement this tax led to a constitutional crisis in Britain in 1909-1910, were credited for the astoundingly rapid recovery of San Francisco after its near destruction by the earthquake and fire of 1906 and were used to finance the Australian Capital city, Canberra. So it's notable alright. Finally with regard to your general accusations of coverage failings, jargon, opinions, etc. that's all very well but it would be nice if you would share specifics so that we could actually address the points which you see so clearly but we do not. Derek Ross | Talk 04:43, 29 March 2011 (UTC)


The article states at the top of the page:

"A land value tax (or site valuation tax) is a levy on the unimproved value of land. It is an ad valorem tax on land that disregards the value of buildings, personal property and other improvements. A land value tax (LVT) is different from other property taxes, because these are taxes on the whole value of real estate: the combination of land, buildings, and improvements to the site." This may be a little too obtuse but it does answers the question, To be more concise:

The property tax is a two-rate tax, i.e., on both land and buildings whereas LVT would gradually reduce and eliminate the tax on buildings and other capital improvements to the property. Land is property not made by man.

DAB (talk) 18:28, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

LVT is an extremely controversial subject. I have followed this article I guess since it was first started over ten years ago. Edit wars have been frequent so that everyone is exausted as I am. It may be a forlorn hope to ever have an article that someone will not strongly disagree with. The idea originated with the French Physiocrats Quesnay and Turgot about 1770 using the term laissez faire which inspired Adam Smith writing his Wealth of Nations. Now the article list the Communist Nations at the top among the principle users with out giving any citations to explain. That is an attempt to sabotage it. All mention of the very important effects on the founders of the United States was moved to another page some time ago:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax_in_the_United_States

Physiocrat influence in the United States came by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson as Ambassadors to France,[1] and Jefferson brought his friend Pierre du Pont to the United States to promote the idea.[2] A statement in the 36th Federalist Paper reflects that influence, "A small land tax will answer the purpose of the States, and will be their most simple and most fit resource."[3]

The strong opposition would make the idea seem socialistic even though it is the very origin of free enterprise, free market economics that was once the basis of American capitalism. DAB (talk) 17:07, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit of 05-17-11[edit]

The removed statement about land value being added by the community is from Georges's Progress and Poverty. This was part of the course material taught at the Fairhope single tax colony. -- (said Phmoreno who forgot to sign with ~~~~)

The editor who removed it was too hasty. He should not have deleted it. What he should have done was to add citation needed tags to the sections which he believed were a matter of opinion. The best thing to do is to replace the material but rephrase it to make it clear that this what Georgists say -- not Wikipedia -- and include a citation to the page in Progress and Poverty which makes the claim. That way the POV material magically becomes NPOV. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:27, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
As I recall the value created by the community was a lengthy discussion, perhaps a whole chapter in Progress and Poverty. In it George goes through the building of a community from a collection of house to building streets, schools, churches and establishing businesses. George's stated opinion was that the increase in land value as a byproduct of development of the community therefore should belong to the community.Phmoreno (talk) 12:35, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
A stated opinion with which I am in full agreement. However other people aren't. That's why we need to cite it and make it clear who originally said it. Then there should be no problem with including it in the article. -- Derek Ross | Talk 16:06, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Need to Explain What Land Value Is and Its Causes[edit]

I have introduced some short paragraphs almost at the beginning of this article in order to provide an explanation about the way land value is created and determined. Without this the reader is left wondering what is really being discussed. Unfortunately or otherwise, in macroeconomics the definition of many quantities like this are necessarily in more than one form and this adds to the complications (and confusion?). The term "Marginal Land" deserves mention here with its originator David Ricardo.Macrocompassion (talk) 12:31, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

We actually have an article on Land valuation which discusses all this. It might be worth linking to it a little earlier. -- Derek Ross | Talk 18:05, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Objections[edit]

There are some objections which are raised so often that they (and their rebuttals) should form part of this article. I'm thinking of "The Poor Widow" and her pals, the "Loss of Value/deflation associated with implementation" objection, and the "Land has no monetary value except at the moment of sale" objection. Comments ? -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:46, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree they need to be included. The rest of this post is my offering of a resolution rather than referenced material for the article. These are implementation issues due to starting from where we find ourselves. Although in time they can become a thing of the past, at implementation they need to be dealt with in an equitable and reasonable way.

The widow's mansion has typically appreciated in value due to the community around her rather than anything she or her former husband had done. One possible solution is to defer payment until her estate is settled on death. There is also the possibility of doing something with death duties to assist the short-term situation until the effects of LVT have taken hold.

The loss of value is only a loss of capital value. The underlying land value is more realistically expressed as economic rent and is unaffected by the introduction of LVT. The capital value arises from the capitalisation of the private appropriation of this rent. If the rent goes to the community as LVT it cannot be capitalised. As capital values of land are the foundation on which so much banking leverage is resting, this may well have to be introduced gently to allow banking time to take a different foothold.

Land always has monetary value if someone is prepared to pay rent for its exclusive occupation. This can be on a month-to-month basis if necessary, but annual may be better.wikirpg (talk) 20:21, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Bare URL references[edit]

Noticing the banner, I've located the editor who added the, now dead and unarchived, bare URL supporting Australian LVT comment - User:211.30.173.23. -- John (Daytona2 · Talk · Contribs) 14:00, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Observed incidence[edit]

Are there any reliable sources which include the observed tax incidence of the LVT in a jurisdiction where it was enacted? EllenCT (talk) 01:50, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Why no Critical Section?[edit]

Why is there no Critical Section in the article? Outlining the attack of Frank Fetter (and others) upon the Ricardian economics of Henry George? As far as this article is concerned critics of the Land Value Tax, such as Frank Fetter and Murray Rothbard, never existed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 176.249.235.31 (talk) 15:09, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

It is a matter of whether the criticism stands up. Being critical for critical sake is not the way. 94.192.105.51 (talk) 10:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
There has been some critical content in the past, but it was removed. I think we could restore that balance. Would you like to help? bobrayner (talk) 20:54, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Bobrayner all you do is insert your POV. 94.192.105.51 (talk) 10:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Various problems[edit]

Why have these problems been added back into the article? [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
It's synthesis and cherrypicking; the sources generally aren't about LVT; it seems like an attempt to promote Georgism and LVTs rather than an encyclopædic description.. bobrayner (talk) 23:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Stop it. [9] Neither you, nor Georgism, are exempt from wikipedia's neutrality and sourcing policies. For instance, this edit - either through malice or incompetence - misrepresents the source. Let me clarify, just in case there is any confusion: When a source says that Namibia implemented LVT "with the primary aim of encouraging efficient utilization of agricultural land", you don't get to say that the primary intention was "reducing speculation". bobrayner (talk) 00:04, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your edits. Some of it was good, but I came to somewhat distrust your judgement in the past. You have a point about my 'reducing speculation' comment. I should have found other sources that elaborated about Namibia before writing that. I appreciate your ongoing effort to enforce high standards and to educate about Wikipedia policy.71.237.193.148 (talk) 08:33, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Commonly created wealth[edit]

Values of land are commonly created and this commonly created wealth is reclaimed to use for common purposes. This is the root of LVT, what we create we use for our services. This must be emphasised and explained simply to aid the readers understanding. 94.192.105.51 (talk) 12:35, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

German link[edit]

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grundsteuer General, property tax. Unfortunately, there is no link to any German article at all, maybe because German countries tax not only acquisition of property (stamp duty) but owning property (land value tax), though the latter tends to be at a fixed rate rather than based on the rental value. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.105.160.157 (talk) 14:57, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

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Not necessarily progressive[edit]

In a society where land is distributed fairly evenly, but other capital is more heavily distributed to the rich, then replacing taxes on other capital with a single land tax can be regressive. 144.138.35.48 (talk) 02:31, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

That may be true, but that is not the world we live in. If you can find some sources which say this then maybe we could add a note somewhere. Absolutelypuremilk (talk) 09:33, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
Exactly. In most societies, land is not distributed fairly evenly. It is more likely to be distributed very unevenly. -- Derek Ross | Talk 12:51, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

A progressive tax is one by where the rate goes up as the value of what being taxed goes up. Therefore a LVT is not a progressive tax, even though its effects may reduce inequality.

BTW, the whole article needs re-writing by an economist with intimate knowledge of this subject. For a start, one cannot have a discussion of LVT without first defining Land in its economic sense. If not all confusion breaks out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.67.217 (talk) 14:46, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ http://www.landvaluetax.org/what-is-lvt/