Misunderstandings of Land Value Taxation
When words are used imprecisely, or words or phrases change in meaning over
time, misunderstandings may result. One of the goals of this website is to
help the reader make the important distinctions precisely!
Louis Post: Outlines of Louis F. Post's
with Illustrative Notes and Charts (1894) — Appendix: FAQ
Q7. If a man owns a city lot with a $5000 building on it, what, under the
single tax, would hinder another man, perhaps with hostile intent, from bidding
a higher tax than the first man was able to pay, and thus ousting him from
A. The question rests upon a misapprehension of method. The single tax is
not a method of nationalizing land and renting it out to the highest bidder.
is a method of taxation. And it would not only hinder, it would prevent
the unjust ousting of another from his building. The single tax falls upon
in proportion to the unimproved value of their land; and this value is
determined by the real estate market — by the demands of the whole community — and
not by arbitrary bids. No one could oust a man from his building by bidding
more for the land on which it stood than the occupier was paying; the single
tax would not be increased in any case unless the land upon which it fell
was in so much greater demand that the owner could let it for a higher
rent. ... read
Charles B. Fillebrown: A Catechism
of Natural Taxation, from Principles of
Natural Taxation (1917)
Q9. Does not the single tax mean the nationalization of land?
A. No; as Henry George has said, "the primary error of the advocates
of land nationalization is in their confusion of equal rights with joint
rights. ... In truth, the right to the use of land is not a joint or common
right, but an equal right; a joint or common right is to rent."* It
means rather the socialization of economic rent. It simply proposes gradually
to divert an increasing share of ground rent into the public treasury.
*A Perplexed Philosopher,
Part III, Chapter XI: Compensation ... read the whole article