[diggers350] Tax the rich - keeping it simple

Jock Coats jock.coats at oxfordshirecommunitylandtrusts.org.uk
Sat Sep 3 13:41:00 BST 2005

On 2 Sep 2005, at 13:07, Mark wrote:

> I wholeheartedly agree with Tony. LVT advocates all talk from the same,
> unwavering, set script.

Such a sweeping generalisation about someone you barely know except 
through very occasional postings to an e-list really doesn't help.

> However, I happen to think there is a case for a
> development tax over a certain level, say £500,000, at the point of 
> sale
> of a property. Like income tax, this could be progressive, with further
> levels of tax at a few other further thresholds, say £1 million, then 
> £2
> million ..etc. This would affect some areas such as the city of London,
> Kensington & Chelsea, Hampstead, St. George's Hill ...more than others,
> where the market value of property goes way beyond what would be
> considered a high value in other areas of modest income differential, 
> say
> Glasgow

You see, I just don't believe the two of you understand land economics 
based on your theories about the effects of LVT (or the planning system 
it would appear except in a very basic "campaigning" way).

LVT (and this is one of the reasons for some people looking for a 
different name for it as Tony noted) doesn't "impose" anything on 
anyone that they do not already pay to someone different.

You are collecting all of or a portion of the economic rent that every 
piece of land already attracts.  The difference is that at the moment 
people pay for this in the capital value of the property they buy to 
the previous owner.  Where did that previous owner get the right to 
collect that rent?  I'll tell you where - from the very people that 
Gerard Winstanley was railing against - those who enclosed the commons 
and the successor "owners" of our common wealth since.

Now, if you all believe that you can physically "unenclose" the commons 
and dole it out to people without their own homes and smallholdings 
without a violent revolution, good luck to you.  I don't believe you 

However, what you can do, by changing the tax system, is begin to 
recover that economic rental value that the community creates through 
LVT or the "community collection of rent".

Now I perhaps don't understand what your solutions are.  Whilst morally 
and emotionally uplifting, helping a guy to keep his earth sheltered 
house on the Pembrokeshire coast ain't going to go anywhere near 
solving the land crisis as affects millions in the south east, south 
west, or anywhere else.

However something that imposes a significant enough penalty on the 
owners of 650,000 empty homes across England and Wales such that they 
bring those properties into use again to house people, or something 
that will, on a national scale, create significant incentives for 
employers to relocate to places where workers and their housing are 
affordable and their taxes will fall and so take the overheating out of 
parts of the country, or something that properly values the cost to the 
community of some fat-cat sitting on an ancestral pile in the heart of 
north Oxford when all around are people crying out for a piece of land 
just so they can minimise their trek to the daily toil, will.


> Mark
>> Jock, Yours is a quasi-evangelical misnomer - LVT won't redistribute 
>> land

I'm not sure who is doing the preaching though.  None of what you say 
below is verifiable or economically coherent IMHO.

>> -
>> but take it away from the not-for-profit landowners. Its the next 
>> step of
>> universal enslavement to money after the buying and selling of land 
>> which
>> Winstanley and the Diggers rightly condemned.
>> Like all other forms of wealth, land under LVT will go to the super 
>> rich
>> and to the corporations.
>> Land Tax is the most frightening thing to hit the UK - as I said - 
>> since
>> Domesday. And will force even the humblest smallholder or subsistence
>> farmer to 'go industrial' or sell up.
>> Just like the council tax replacing the rates it will shift the tax 
>> burden
>> from the wealthy to the poor, forcing them to work their land to 
>> death, be
>> serfs, or starve.
>> Just like all other forms of slavery and the original development tax 
>> in
>> the Town and Country Planning Act in the 1940's it will be sold to the
>> public as a B&Q 'fix-all' but will gradually be used to divest 
>> 'let-it-be'
>> minimal management landowners of their estates. To be snapped up by 
>> rich
>> investors.
>> At the risk of upsetting Winstanley  - ;-)  -There's not a lot wrong 
>> with
>> individual ownership of land these days so long as
>> 1. its not too much and
>> 2. others have rights to pass over it etc.
>> If we want a just society we must only tax luxuries, the wealthy and 
>> the
>> wealth they create - NEVER bread, water and the things we all need to
>> live.
>> The basic essentials of life are sacrosanct and to tax them is to tax
>> poverty.
>> Tony
Jock Coats
Corporate Information Systems, Computer Services,
AG17, Gipsy Lane Campus, Oxford Brookes University,
Work: +44 1865 483353
and at:
Wardens' Lodgings, Flat 1e, Block J Morrell Hall,
John Garne Way, OXFORD, OX3 0FF.
Home: +44 1865 485019 Mobile: +44 7769 695767
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/enriched
Size: 5211 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/mailman/private/diggers350/attachments/20050903/fe2a673b/attachment.bin>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list