Wealth and Want
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8. Why a Land-Value Tax is Better than an Equal Tax on All Property

The ground upon which the equal taxation of all species of property is commonly insisted upon is that it is equally protected by the state. The basis of this idea is evidently that the enjoyment of property is made possible by the state — that there is a value created and maintained by the community, which is justly called upon to meet community expenses. Now, of what values is this true? Only of the value of land. This is a value that does not arise until a community is formed, and that, unlike other values, grows with the growth of the community. It exists only as the community exists. Scatter again the largest community, and land, now so valuable, would have no value at all. With every increase of population the value of land rises; with every decrease it falls. This is true of nothing else save of things which, like the ownership of land, are in their nature monopolies.

The tax upon land values is, therefore, the most just and equal of all taxes.

  • It falls only upon those who receive from society a peculiar and valuable benefit, and upon them in proportion to the benefit they receive.
  • It is the taking by the community, for the use of the community, of that value which is the creation of the community.
  • It is the application of the common property to common uses.

When all rent is taken by taxation for the needs of the community, then will the equality ordained by Nature be attained. No citizen will have an advantage over any other citizen save as is given by his industry, skill, and intelligence; and each will obtain what he fairly earns. Then, but not till then, will labor get its full reward, and capital its natural return.

source: Book VIII: Application of the Remedy — Chapter 3: The proposition tried by the canons of taxation

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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper