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RE: [LandCafe] Re: Legitimate LVT criticism

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  • David Reed
    Matt Bieker raises the issue of legitimate criticisms and Roy Langston leaps in and bangs on about his patent alphabetical hobby horses.Lets be straight about
    Message 1 of 199 , Feb 25, 2013
      Matt Bieker raises the issue of legitimate criticisms and Roy Langston leaps in and bangs on about his patent alphabetical hobby horses.Lets be straight about this: giving a couple the individual exemption means they would not pay any land tax on the average house; given two kids they would not pay any land tax on houses twice the average value. Sellers could put house prices up because ordinary families are released from paying any existing property tax and in effect receive a subsidy depending on the size of their family ( and don't forget Langston has adduced some dodgy border-line fascist [not my words] rhetoric drawn for evolutionary psychology [garbage]to support this ).Result high residential land values.It is time RL shut up.Long overdue,in fact.        

      To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
      From: roy_langston@...
      Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 05:41:03 +0000
      Subject: [LandCafe] Re: Legitimate LVT criticism

      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "mattbieker" wrote:

      > It's somewhat alarming, IMO, that we haven't had a discussion related to legitimate criticisms of the LVT.

      Good point. Some of us have tried to promote discussion of problems like the removal of the major occasion for commercial banks' money creation, but too few LVT advocates seem to understand the monetary system and how intimately it is tied into landowner privilege.

      > The most glaring problem is a form of the old widow problem. Yes, we all know that it's largely a canard. But there still is genuinely some truth to it. There's tons of people who have no ambition whatsoever to profit off land rent, that nevertheless would be put in a bad position by the LVT. This is a genuine problem. Several methods are commonly employed to address it, I think phasing the tax in gradually is the most common. I'm with Roy, though, that something like his RPE is necessary.

      The problem is, the RPE doesn't really address the old widows' issue, because they've typically owned the house so long they wouldn't be eligible for the RPE anyway. There's no getting away from the fact that they're overdue to pay for what they've been taking, but how do you implement that without committing political seppuku? I've suggested a combination of UIE, RPE, paid government land use consultants to help the widows find ways to use their land productively enough to pay the LVT, and as a last resort, compassionate deferrals (which could also apply to people with disabilities, etc.). Deferrals may be more benign than many people would believe: there have been numerous property tax deferral programs, and as long as they aren't overly generous, very few people seem to want to take advantage of them.

      > Politically, you're just not going to pass a tax that will utterly destroy the value of a major asset for millions of regular citizens. There has to be some relief.

      One problem is that in the USA at least, LVT is almost certain to be a local or at best state initiative, and those levels of government lack the jurisdiction to coordinate LVT implementation with appropriate compensatory measures like monetary policy. Otherwise, it would be possible to inflate away a lot of land value without crashing the land market in nominal terms. It's too bad we weren't ready to step in with fully developed solutions when the recent crash happened, but that's the nature of the beast.

      > George didn't propose an individual exemption, and he painted a picture where, freed from our existing policy, evereyone would be so much better off, it'd hardly be worthwhile to do so. But there's several problems with that. The first thing is that, when one tries to make the moral argument in favor of the LVT, skeptics will say "well, you're saying that landowners are charging everyone for use of the land now, but all you're doing is replacing them with the state."

      The difference, of course, is that the state -- government, and the society it represents and serves -- is the source of the value landowners are charging others for.

      > We'll never make any headway until we come up with better responses than "too bad you bought that land then" and "move to cheaper land."

      IMO we have to tread very carefully, and embrace many kinds of measures that ease the harm to "innocent" landowners without resubsidizing their racket. One way I've suggested is to push land values lower BEFORE implementing LVT by prohibiting cities from rezoning privately owned land. That will knock out a big speculative premium right away, and the "blame" (for housing becoming more affordable) can't be put on LVT.

      -- Roy Langston

    • walto
      ... Right. Both almost surely true. ... And the truths find there way in there too! W
      Message 199 of 199 , Mar 5, 2013
        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@...> wrote:
        > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@> wrote:
        > >
        > > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > So you are saying that the existence of the Flat Earth Society DOES make the spheroidal shape of the earth disputable?
        > >
        > > My degree of confidence is roughly the same as that in my above judgment regarding your personality. Put it this way: is it possible I'm wrong about either the shape of the earth or your arrogance? Sure, I could be wrong about pretty much every proposition that seems obvious to me--that is the nature of human fallibility. But it's really, really doubtful in both cases.
        > So you claim the earth's spheroidal shape is not only disputable, but about as disputable as your opinion of my personality?

        Right. Both almost surely true.

        > "A sick man dreams nothing so dreadful that some philosopher isn't saying it." -- Marcus Terentius Varro
        > -- Roy Langston

        And the truths find there way in there too!

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