E-mail debate on "Info' re Land Value Tax"

Mark Brown markibrown at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 16 21:01:26 GMT 2004

Mark. S. Brown from the Land is Ours here.

In response to your previous e-mail

I completely disagree with this universal applicability of LVT, however 
attractive the benefits of government meddling in people's personal affairs 
(i.e. shares, savings ...etc). A much more progressive policy would be an 
LVT levy only over landholding over a certain size (minus areas of 
conservation status) wedded together with a new variation of the old 
"Betterment levy" as applied to developments above a certain level. Also, it 
would should not apply to planning permissions that encompassed a 
sustainability criteria which would be agreed at the district/regional 

You said: "Many people here and in the USA who are to the right of George 
Bush want less Govt and less taxation with essential Govt policies paid for 
from the Land Value Tax."

>>>That would appear to me reason enough not to be in favour of such a 
>>>universally applied policy.

LVT applied in such a form could be nothing but extraordinarily dangerous 
and a terrifying prospect, particularly for the still small, but growing 
number of the rural population who are carving out an alternative existence 
living off the land, trading locally produced food and who manage the land 
on a sustainable basis, enhancing local biodiversity. This - what is 
considered marginal - sector of the rural population, though still small, 
would undoubtedly struggle to cope with a tax on their basic right just to 
exist, by virtue of the fact that their existence relies on the opportunity 
cost of forgoing financially rewarding employment to sustainably manage 
land, which, as you know, is not financially rewarding. Such a measure would 
be akin to the final act of extermination of a way of life that has long 
been trodden into the ground by the treadmill of intensive agricultural 
practice and a widely consented disintegration of a rich cultural tradition 
lost in the mists of time to the "white-heat" of economic progress driven by 
the unsustaianable "goldrush" of fossil fuel.
Mark Simon Brown

>From: Wetzel Dave <Davewetzel at tfl.gov.uk>
>To: "'LenChess at aol.com'" <LenChess at aol.com>
>CC: "Don Riley (E-mail)" <info at landpolicy.co.uk>, Jennings Vicky     
><vickyjennings at tfl.gov.uk>
>Subject: RE: FW: Info' re Land Value Tax
>Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 13:02:36 -0000
>Tks for your thoughts.
>Perhaps you and I can meet up?
>I'd also like to introduce you to Don Riley sometime.
>Don is a property restorer and the author of "Taken For A Ride".
>He does not support the Labour Party.
>A land value tax does not imply "more" Govt.
>Many people here and in the USA who are to the right of George Bush want
>less Govt and less taxation with essential Govt policies paid for from the
>Land Value Tax.
>I believe we need to reduce Govt bureaucracy.
>The land tax will not need an army of civil servants to collect.
>Income taxes, capital taxes and vat all try to capture what human endeavour
>creates. They each need an army of civil servants to collect. These civil
>servants all delve into an individual's transactions.
>eg How many shares did you sell last week?
>How much did you get for them?
>When did you buy them?
>How much did you pay for them?
>and by the way........................
>did you play the piano in a pub on Friday nights for a fiver?
>Because if you did you us tax!
>I don't believe any of this is the Government's business.
>Not only is it inefficient - but it is also unfair!
>Two individuals earning the same income - say £40,000 p.a.
>One is a building site worker - working all hours and taking no weekends or
>holidays off, to get this income.
>The other is a consultant, paid  £1k per day and only working 40 days a
>Why should they pay the same tax?
>Far better for the Govt to reclaim what it and the community creates. i.e.
>land values.
>No human endeavour is required to create land - it is a gift of nature.
>This gift belongs to all of us on the planet. Even the little baby being
>born somewhere in the world as you read this.
>Far better if Govts collect a tax on the rental value of this land.
>The landowner would be paying in direct ratio to the benefit they receive.
>A site next to a rail station would be very valuable and pay more tax.
>A site with no local amenities would be very low value and therefore pay
>very little tax.
>We would all pay for the financial benefit we gain from Mother Earth!
>We would not need to employ an army of civil servants - so more of our land
>tax could be spent on providing services than our income tax. So, the Govt
>could collect less tax in total and still provide the same level of 
>as now.
>The Civil Servants released from tax drudgery could flourish as inventors,
>entrepreneurs, engineers, discoverers of new medicines, landscape gardeners
>or artists!
>We may be missing the talents of an Einstein or a Brunel, a Bill Gates or a
>Richard Branson, a Constable or a Turner, a Beethoven or a Bach, a Madam
>Curie or a Mother Theresa, a Capability Brown or a Charlie Dimmock!
>With our present tax system it pays the private sector to employ lawyers,
>accountants and tax experts to minimise their tax liability.
>These experts are paid for in the price of the goods and services you buy.
>They also represent a standing army producing no extra wealth.
>A land tax would release them to use their skills and abilities more
>usefully, and we would all benefit.
>Dave Wetzel
>Transport for London
>42-50 Victoria Street. London.
>SW1H 0TL.  UK
>Tel: 020 7941 4200
>-----Original Message-----
>From: LenChess at aol.com [mailto:LenChess at aol.com]
>Sent: 12 February 2004 21:30
>To: Wetzel Dave
>Subject: Re: FW: Info' re Land Value Tax
>I appreciate you sending me this, but I could not disagree more.
>I am totally opposed to land and wealth taxes.
>In my view we need less government and less taxation.
>From this you will gather that I am still as much a Thatcherite as I was in
>the 70's.
>Len Harris
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