Taxing only land would increase the cost of buying land, discouraging those with low earnings from purchasing land. Rich corporations and folks tend to hold their prosperity in property apart from land nowadays. Shifting the tax burden to land would only dissuade them more from holding land, thus the tax would not be progressive but simply tax those that needed a lot of land to use their business, such as farms.
Both ‘poor’ and ‘wealthy’ people would own less land? Do these folks even consider what they write? Sounds good theoretically however in practice you will find that places with higher land taxes tend to have higher percentages of landowners because land taxes have a tendency to lower the purchase price of land.
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Thus people don’t need such large mortgages to buy it. In addition they find that the increased fees are well balanced by lower interest obligations on those home loans. So the ongoing cost is no different. Cheaper land motivates people that have lower incomes to get. And if the wealthy are dissuaded from buying land which means that there surely is more for the poor to buy. In the end someone must buy it.
Land Value Tax is more intensifying than many people think. Nonetheless it is also voluntary taxes in that no one forces anyone to buy land. People can rent land instead and pay no fees always. However they still choose to buy. Because ownership of land is a status symbol. Clearly, Derek’s point about conspicuous intake is correct. However the point is that basically rich people don’t own land because they’re rich; these are wealthy because they own land/collect rents.
It is easily explained and easily observable that if land is greatly subsidized and lightly taxed, possession will tend to be more and more focused in fewer and fewer hands over time. Whoever starts with the most land (measured by rental value), even if that is only more than what everyone else has got slightly, can get richer and the expense of those who’ve less or no land (i.e. tenants). So it is then easier for him to buy more land than it is for tenants, who’ve little in the true way of cost savings as they are paying everything in lease.
That’s the whole point of the game of Monopoly (created by a Georgist to demonstrate the idea). So reducing the subsidies and increasing the fees on land leads to wider and more equal ownership. Nobody wants to own/occupy more than he actually needs (and the necessity to show off is a real human need), just like every other consumer good. LVT is not the only path of experiencing a wider spread of ownership.