You'll find more on this topic on the page about California's Proposition
Many states have regulations which cap assessment increases or cap property
tax rates. These are generally promoted as tax relief for the "little guy"
(or the poor widow) but end up providing even larger benefits for those
who own the best-located properties (usually commercial or waterfront locations)
which tend to have the fastest appreciation.
The result is that either the
bear a disproportionate share of the property tax, or the municipality
state must turn to more damaging taxes like sales taxes or taxes on work,
both of which damage the economy.
But property tax caps sound so appealing
that people vote for them, without considering the kinds of effects
they will have in just a few years.
4. Local, state,
and national applications
Georgist policy can be applied at any level: local, state, or
national. To some extent it is even applied at a world level,
through the U.N., with its concept of "common heritage" applied to
oceanic resources of the deep seabeds.
Georgist tax policy can also be applied
at any tax rate, low or
high. A low rate does a little good; a high rate does a lot of
In this Century, strenuous efforts
have been made to box the
property tax into the local level, where local particularism tends to
cap the rate. In England, this policy is identified with the
half-brothers, Austen and Neville Chamberlain. Neville was so
successful that in 1938 he was forced to face Adolf Hitler without
any armed support, with the disaster at Munich. In America the
Federal government last taxed land in the Georgist manner during the
Civil War. After 1913 it taxed the income from land, but in recent
years the income tax has degenerated into a payroll tax primarily. In
tandem with the other payroll tax it has become a primary cause of
our depressed labor market.
In 1920, about half of all state revenues (not counting
local) came from state property taxes. These tended to focus on
land, rather than capital, much more than now. Both the state and
Federal governments could tax land again, any time the voters send
that message. .... read the whole article