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Re: reality report

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  • roy_langston1
    ... Maybe it depends on what you call a victory, or what your definition of worked is. To me, just getting a lower property tax on improvements but
    Message 1 of 21 , May 15, 2010
      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Dan Sullivan"
      <pimann@...> wrote:

      > Others, who in most cases have never won an LVT
      > victory, will pontificate on what *will* work.
      > I can only tell you what *has* worked in
      > Pennsylvania.

      Maybe it depends on what you call a victory, or what
      your definition of "worked" is. To me, just getting a
      lower property tax on improvements but recovering less
      than a quarter of land rent for public purposes, and
      getting no farther with land rent recovery even after
      decades, is not a real victory, and whatever was done
      to get that far didn't really "work." It just gave an
      appearance of victory without the substance.

      > In any event, all of the Pennsylvania officials were
      > unimpressed with arguments about Truth, Justice, and
      > the Georgist Way.

      Impressing officials is perhaps one idea of victory...

      > Don't fool around with exemptions or dividends or
      > anything else unless there is a clear demand for it.

      What worthwhile goal can be achieved without them?
      Getting the property tax rate on improvements reduced?
      IMO NH and NJ with their high property tax rates on
      both land and improvements are better examples of
      victory for land rent recovery -- and yes, for liberty
      and justice, too -- than a few towns in PA with their
      modest tax rates on land and derisory ones on
      improvements. Who is recovering more land rent?

      > Those who tell you there is a magic formula for
      > implementing LVT have never actually implemented LVT,

      While those who dismiss liberty, justice and truth as
      a "magic formula" may not have the best appreciation
      of what "implementing LVT" means to those of us who
      care about more than just reducing the property tax
      rate on improvements.

      > Our experience has been that people do not analyze it
      > that deeply. If it costs them less than the tax it
      > replaces, they will prefer it.

      On this I agree. Show them how they will be better
      off, how they will pay less total tax, how they will
      have more disposable income, and they will not think
      much about the loss of their prospective capital gains.

      > Work around the likes of Cameron and confront him only
      > when you have a majority of officials on your side.

      In many cases officials are completely in landowners'
      pockets. You cannot get them on your side no matter what
      you do. You have to go directly to the people.

      -- Roy Langston
    • Jason
      John: One thing that is clear is that the owner/occupier will not entertain it. They think they have the almighty right to keep the windfall gains in the value
      Message 2 of 21 , May 16, 2010

        John: One thing that is clear is that the owner/occupier will not entertain it. They think they have the almighty right to keep the windfall gains in the value of their land.

        Dan: Our experience has been that people do not analyze it that deeply. If it costs them less than the tax it replaces, they will prefer it.

        Jason: When I talk to people about LVT, I try to frame it in a simple, concrete way. What I'll usually say is that when a government taxes buildings and improvements, then what happens is that if the property owner improves their property, the market value for the property goes up, and thus the property tax goes up. Thus, the property owner is effectively punished for being productive. But if a government only taxed the land based on its size and location, then this would not be an issue.

        People get that. It's just common sense. And the response is usually positive. (Though I often get the all-to-predictable sarcastic response like, "Well that'll never happen because politicians would actually have to have some common sense in order to do that!"...or something to that effect.) I'll even hear anecdotes from time-to-time. For example, one woman told me how her grandfather refuses to fix his barn that's tipping sideways just so he can keep his property taxes low.

      • Dan Sullivan
        ... Getting real and substantive increases in the amount of land rent collected is a victory. Having substantial increases in construction and substantial
        Message 3 of 21 , May 16, 2010
          On 16 May 2010 at 6:38, roy_langston1 wrote:

          > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Dan Sullivan"
          > <pimann@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Others, who in most cases have never won an LVT
          > > victory, will pontificate on what *will* work.
          > > I can only tell you what *has* worked in
          > > Pennsylvania.
          >
          > Maybe it depends on what you call a victory, or what
          > your definition of "worked" is.

          Getting real and substantive increases in the amount of land rent
          collected is a victory. Having substantial increases in construction and
          substantial decreases in real estate speculation is a good indication
          that those increases worked.

          > To me, just getting a lower property tax on improvements but recovering
          > less than a quarter of land rent for public purposes, and getting no
          > farther with land rent recovery even after decades, is not a real
          > victory, and whatever was done to get that far didn't really "work."
          > It just gave an appearance of victory without the substance.

          Among those who have accomplished nothing there will always be
          some who carp that others have accomplished too little. Contrary to
          your misinformation above, Pennsylvania's victories were not about
          "just getting a lower property tax on improvements"; in every case, they
          were about getting higher property taxes on land, and, in many cases,
          improvement taxes were not lowered. (In one case, wage taxes were
          lowered, and in several cases, no taxes were lowered.) I don't know
          why collecting a quarter of the land rent is a magic threshold, but
          Clairton and Aliquippa collect far more than that, and so did Pittsburgh
          before the county screwed up Pittsburgh's land assessments.

          > > In any event, all of the Pennsylvania officials were
          > > unimpressed with arguments about Truth, Justice, and
          > > the Georgist Way.
          >
          > Impressing officials is perhaps one idea of victory...

          It is if it gets them to increase taxes on land. What do you get out of
          trying to impress people on this list?

          > > Don't fool around with exemptions or dividends or
          > > anything else unless there is a clear demand for it.
          >
          > What worthwhile goal can be achieved without them?
          > Getting the property tax rate on improvements reduced?

          Where do you get this tripe?

          > IMO NH and NJ with their high property tax rates on
          > both land and improvements are better examples of
          > victory for land rent recovery -- and yes, for liberty
          > and justice, too

          New Jersey better for liberty and justice? You're kidding, right? Or do
          you know nothing about New Jersey?

          > -- than a few towns in PA with their modest tax rates on land and
          > derisory ones on improvements. Who is recovering more land rent?

          I suspect that Clairton and Aliquippa collect more of the land rent than
          any city in New Jersey or New Hampshire. (Incidentally, New Jersey
          ranks high in property tax collecti0n because the land *prices* are high,
          not because the rates are high.) Clairton collects 2.8% of the selling
          price of land, the school district collects another 7.5%, and the county
          collects another 0.469%.

          http://www.alleghenycounty.us/treasure/tax.aspx

          That's 10.769% of the selling price per year. By what weird calculation
          is over 10% of the selling price less than one quarter of the rent?

          The question is who is moving in the right direction and why. For
          example, California gets a lower share of revenue from property tax
          than any other state. Would it not be a victory if California became
          merely average? If it no longer had ridiculously high housing prices? If it
          saved itself and its residents from bankruptcies and foreclosures?

          British Columbia, where you live, was a pioneer in land value tax.
          Indeed, Pittsburgh officials consulted with BC officials before adopting
          LVT in 1913. But where are you now? What changes have come most
          recently? Who has recently gotten results in BC and what did they do to
          get those results?

          > > Those who tell you there is a magic formula for
          > > implementing LVT have never actually implemented LVT,
          >
          > While those who dismiss liberty, justice and truth as
          > a "magic formula"

          That's not what I said. You need to improve your reading
          comprehension....

          > may not have the best appreciation of what "implementing LVT" means to
          > those of us who care about more than just reducing the property tax rate
          > on improvements.

          ...or your honesty. We never had one single case where we just
          reduced the property tax rate on improvements.

          > > Our experience has been that people do not analyze it
          > > that deeply. If it costs them less than the tax it
          > > replaces, they will prefer it.
          >
          > On this I agree. Show them how they will be better
          > off, how they will pay less total tax, how they will
          > have more disposable income, and they will not think
          > much about the loss of their prospective capital gains.
          >
          > > Work around the likes of Cameron and confront him only
          > > when you have a majority of officials on your side.
          >
          > In many cases officials are completely in landowners' pockets. You
          > cannot get them on your side no matter what you do. You have to go
          > directly to the people.

          Is that what worked for you in BC? In Pennsylvania, we have gone
          directly to the officials, and sometimes directly to the landowners. We
          have gotten landowners who pay substantially more under LVT to
          support it and publicly testify for it. In Philadelphia, we got the Chamber
          of Commerce and the Association of Realtors to publicly support
          shifting from wage tax to land value tax, and the Realtors even ran
          advertisements in the newspapers explaining why it was a good idea.

          Of course, if we had vilified landowners as a class, or vilified politicians
          as being in the landowner's pockets instead of reasoning with them as
          individuals, the landowners would have put serious pressure on the
          officials. We avoided that. Of course, some people would rather fight
          than win, and would rather make themselves right by making others
          wrong than go out and do something useful.

          -ds
        • Dan Sullivan
          ... That is absolutely an important argument that buttresses the data. However, the data itself is crucial. ... That s when it s useful to cite the record in
          Message 4 of 21 , May 16, 2010
            On 16 May 2010 at 7:43, Jason wrote:

            > Dan: Our experience has been that people do not analyze it that deeply.
            > If it costs them less than the tax it replaces, they will prefer it.
            >
            > Jason: When I talk to people about LVT, I try to frame it in a simple,
            > concrete way. What I'll usually say is that when a government taxes
            > buildings and improvements, then what happens is that if the property
            > owner improves their property, the market value for the property goes
            > up, and thus the property tax goes up. Thus, the property owner is
            > effectively punished for being productive. But if a government only
            > taxed the land based on its size and location, then this would not be an
            > issue.

            That is absolutely an important argument that buttresses the data.
            However, the data itself is crucial.

            > People get that. It's just common sense. And the response is usually
            > positive. (Though I often get the all-to-predictable sarcastic response
            > like, "Well that'll never happen because politicians would actually have
            > to have some common sense in order to do that!"

            That's when it's useful to cite the record in Pennsylvania. I don't think
            there is much of an argument that officials in Pennsylvania have more
            common sense than in other states. It's hard to break in a new
            continent, though. Like I said, we had a tough time when we had to
            refer to Australia for evidence. Steve Cord once touted South Africa's
            LVT and alienated at least one black city councilwoman, who vocally
            denounced him for it.

            Like I said, there's no magic formula. The key to knowing what to say is
            in listening to the people you are talking to, and even researching what
            their thinking styles are, their hot buttons, etc.

            This is how things went in 1984, the only year that Pittsburgh shifted
            from building tax to land tax. (In 1989, it raised the building tax by as
            much as it had lowered in in 1984, and raised the land tax another 33
            mils, which at 100% assessments would have been another 0.825%.)

            The crucial member in 1984 was that of the council President. He liked
            LVT already and was the first on board, but I found out too late that he
            absolutely hated a local activist organization that had a habit of vilifying
            its opponents and using pressure tactics instead of reason. When I
            called him and told him that they were on board and would testify for
            the tax, he shot back, "If [that group's] in, I'm out."

            I replied, "I'll can tell them you don't want their support, but I can't stop
            them from testifying."

            He barked, "You do what you want," and slammed the phone down on
            the receiver. I realized that I would not only need to discourage that
            group's participation, but would now need to get other council members
            to propose it. I realized that he would still support it if we didn't
            antagonize him further, but that he would not champion it.

            It was after that that I started learning about the other council members.

            I was particularly lucky that an assistant to one of the council members
            gave me a complete run-down on each council member's proclivities.

            The finance chairman, who was almost as important as the council
            president, was a party organization man, so we looked up the
            assessments of all the committee people in his ward. Four were
            renters, 19 paid less under LVT, and one paid more. The one who paid
            more was the councilman himself. He never missed an opportunity to
            say, "I pay more, but most home owners pay less." He was the finance
            chairman, so his support was crucial.

            Another council member responded best to concrete examples, so I
            asked him for a list of properties he thought were the kind we needed to
            encourage and the kind we needed to discourage. I was a little
            chagrined when he gave me a list of properties that he and his relatives
            owned, and even more chagrined when most of the properties he
            personally owned paid more. However, when we sat down to discuss
            the results, he noted that the properties that paid more were the ones
            he purchased and had not yet remodelled. He saw that this was how it
            should be, and supported the tax.

            Another was addicted to publicity, so we gave him sound bites that he
            repeated on camera. Nobody picked it up, though, because his
            reputation as a media whore had made him less interesting to the
            media, but we still had his vote.

            Another, who talked incessently during council meetings, had difficulty
            processing the spoken word, and therefore liked to talk more than
            listen. However, she was extremely intelligent and a good reader, so
            one key was to give her everything in writing. She was also flighty and
            prone to change her mind, so the other key was to give her the actual
            proposal within 48 hours of the first vote.

            The council assistant's own boss was an obsessive vote counter. He
            even consulted actuarial tables to figure out how many old people in his
            district would still be alive by the next election. Fortunately, voters in his
            district saved with LVT.

            One was big on unions, so we focused on job creation and fed him
            endorsements from famous union leaders, plus a few pro-labor quotes
            from Henry George, and we got the head of the local teacher's union to
            endorse the shift.

            There are some I don't remember, since it's 25 years later, but I do
            remember that only one of the nine council members was responsive to
            starting out with the question of what was actually right. (That was
            fortunate, because her district was the richest district, and paid more
            under LVT.)

            In any case, council voted overwhelmingly to increase the land tax that
            year and reduce the building tax.

            > ...or something to that effect.) I'll even hear anecdotes from
            > time-to-time. For example, one woman told me how her grandfather
            > refuses to fix his barn that's tipping sideways just so he can keep his
            > property taxes low.

            That's sad for two reasons. One is that it's very easy to fix a slightly
            leaning barn, but progressively more difficult and expensive the longer
            the barn sits that way and the further it leans. (Basically, you run heavy
            cables diagonally against the lean, connected with big turnbuckles, and
            give the turnbuckles a little twist every week or so until the barn is
            upright again.) The other is that the assessors are unlikely to keep
            records of the barn's leaning, and unlikely to reassess the barn if it
            seems to lean less than it used to.

            Still, I don't doubt that the barn owner thinks that way. When I was a
            kid, I lived in a new suburb near an old mining town called "the patch,"
            which was where all the blacks in our area lived. I crossed the color
            barrier and hung out with one of the black kids, although I felt shy and
            awkward about it around other white kids. Anyhow, the outsides of their
            houses looked terrible, but the insides were wonderfully maintained. My
            dad, who did plumbing work for many of them, when the county forced
            them to replace outhouses with indoor toilets, told me it was partly
            because they didn't like to file building permits, and partly because they
            didn't want their assessments to be increased.

            -ds
          • John
            ... deeply. ... an ... Jason, a good approach indeed. In the UK many people build conservatories (sunspaces in the USA) on the rear of their houses and are
            Message 5 of 21 , May 17, 2010
              --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Jason" <nysa71@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              John: One thing that is clear is that the owner/occupier will not
              > entertain it. They think they have the almighty right to keep the
              > windfall gains in the value of their land.
              >
              >
              Dan: Our experience has been that people do not analyze it that deeply.
              > If it costs them less than the tax it replaces, they will prefer it.
              >
              >
              Jason: When I talk to people about LVT, I try to frame it in a simple,
              > concrete way. What I'll usually say is that when a government taxes
              > buildings and improvements, then what happens is that if the property
              > owner improves their property, the market value for the property goes
              > up, and thus the property tax goes up. Thus, the property owner is
              > effectively punished for being productive. But if a government only
              > taxed the land based on its size and location, then this would not be an
              > issue.

              Jason, a good approach indeed.  In the UK many people build conservatories (sunspaces in the USA) on the rear of their houses and are irritated when they have to pay more Council Tax.  Council Tax is a mixture land and the bricks - the total value. 

              The thought of paying more Council Tax installing a two floor sunspace on the rear of my sister's house has put brother-in-law off.  Their quality of life would have been greatly improved building this large conservatory and it would have acted as a layer of insulation in winter, and a solar gain generator as well, keeping energy bills down.

              Taxing the bricks in any way is a daft as the window tax.  Using the silly old Window Tax as an analogy is one way to emphasis a point here. 
               
              > People get that. It's just common sense. And the response is usually
              > positive. (Though I often get the all-to-predictable sarcastic response
              > like, "Well that'll never happen because politicians would actually have
              > to have some common sense in order to do that!"...or something to that
              > effect.) 

              That is usually my experience.  It is when they have bought the idea but the sceptical side of them comes out.  No faith in common sense or system.  When going into LVT in more depth many think it is some form on Communism as you taking from rich people - Cold War propaganda has etched this into people's minds that the rich must remain rich. I even explain all would actually benefit as there is no income tax and that it is a more capitalist system than what we have now. :)

              > I'll even hear anecdotes from time-to-time. For example, one
              > woman told me how her grandfather refuses to fix his barn that's tipping
              > sideways just so he can keep his property taxes low.

              Which is even a good case of, tax values of land only.  

              This is a good thread.  It is no good having a superb system if you can't sell to those who would benefit most.  It is the approach and counter-responses that matter.  Dan's contribution is priceless. He has been there and got the T shirts.

              There are two approaches:
              1. To the politicians.
              2. To the grass routes people on the ground.
              Both are equally as important. Many politicos just do not understand LVT in all its versions.

              I try and make matters easy. Talking in high-brow ways,and using big words, turns people off.  Most people see the world simply.  I look at it from the angle of how land affects them directly - most think it doesn't affect them.  I wrote this page from that angle and put in LVT in one of the solutions, which is heavily weighted to LVT.  I will rewrite part of now. 


            • roy_langston1
              ... I m not sure why Dan feels it is necessary to engage in these thinly veiled personal attacks and insults, and to contemptuously dismiss whatever I do as
              Message 6 of 21 , May 17, 2010
                --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Dan Sullivan"
                <pimann@...> wrote:

                > Others, who in most cases have never won an LVT
                > victory, will pontificate on what *will* work.

                > In any event, all of the Pennsylvania officials
                > were unimpressed with arguments about Truth,
                > Justice, and the Georgist Way.

                > Those who tell you there is a magic formula for
                > implementing LVT have never actually implemented
                > LVT,

                > Among those who have accomplished nothing there will
                > always be some who carp that others have accomplished
                > too little.

                > What do you get out of
                > trying to impress people on this list?

                > Where do you get this tripe?

                > You need to improve your reading
                > comprehension...or your honesty.

                > Of course, some people would rather fight than win,
                > and would rather make themselves right by making
                > others wrong than go out and do something useful.

                I'm not sure why Dan feels it is necessary to engage
                in these thinly veiled personal attacks and insults,
                and to contemptuously dismiss whatever I do as
                "accomplishing nothing" and "doing nothing useful."
                Why is a tax shift of a few million dollars a year
                considered a shining victory that confers perpetual
                bragging rights and unquestionable authority on all
                strategic and political questions, while recovering
                hundreds of millions of dollars in publicly created
                land value to help pay for transport infrastructure
                is dismissed as, "accomplishing nothing useful"?
                Nor do I understand what such personal attacks
                contribute to the list, or why they are tolerated.
                I do apologize to the list for having allowed Dan
                to bait me into responding to them.

                -- Roy Langston
              • Dan Sullivan
                ... Let me be completely unveiled. What you said about Pennsylvania s tax shifts was a pack of lies. When you said we just got reductions in building taxes,
                Message 7 of 21 , May 17, 2010
                  On 17 May 2010 at 20:16, roy_langston1 wrote:

                  > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Dan Sullivan"
                  > <pimann@...> wrote:

                  > I'm not sure why Dan feels it is necessary to engage
                  > in these thinly veiled personal attacks and insults,

                  Let me be completely unveiled. What you said about Pennsylvania's tax
                  shifts was a pack of lies. When you said we "just got reductions in
                  building taxes," that was a lie. When you said Pennsylvania cities
                  captured less than a quarter of the land rent, that was a lie. When you
                  said we were getting no farther after decades, that was a lie. (We get
                  additional shifts almost every year.) When you said what that the shifts
                  we won didn't "work," that was a lie. When you said what we did gave
                  the appearance of victory without substance, that was a concluding lie
                  based on all the other lies. That's five malicious lies in a single
                  paragraph, and you talk about thinly veiled personal attacks?

                  > and to contemptuously dismiss whatever I do as "accomplishing nothing"
                  > and "doing nothing useful."

                  Whatever you do? What ever *do* you do? When have you described
                  your actual contributions to the effort, other than getting yourself thrown
                  off other lists for (you suppose) being more truthful than they could
                  bear?

                  > Why is a tax shift of a few million dollars a year considered a shining
                  > victory that confers perpetual bragging rights and unquestionable
                  > authority on all strategic and political questions,

                  Oh, look. Another lie, plus hyperbole. Way back in 1990, we had
                  already shifted over a half *billion* in taxes in 12 years. That's not "a
                  few million dollars a year." It's over 80 million dollars a year. We had,
                  basically, two people working hard on the issue at that time, Steve Cord
                  and me, plus a few people we had recruited.

                  > while recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in publicly created
                  > land value to help pay for transport infrastructure is dismissed as,
                  > "accomplishing nothing useful"?

                  You did that? I don't remember you ever speaking of it before. Just
                  what did you do and how did you do it? Is there a newspaper or
                  magazine article online that we could look at? Indeed, you must have
                  had instructive experiences talking to public officials in winning this
                  victory of yours. Why don't you share these experiences with us?

                  Did you go directly to the people as you say must be done? Did you get
                  these politicians to adopt your proposal by telling the voters that their
                  politicians were in the pockets of landowners, as you told us?
                  "Whatever you do" might contain some very helpful information, if you
                  actually do it.

                  > Nor do I understand what such personal attacks contribute to the list,
                  > or why they are tolerated. I do apologize to the list for having
                  > allowed Dan to bait me into responding to them.

                  No, it is I who should apologize for being baited. I'm not very
                  accommodating to people who maliciously lie about our work in
                  Pennsylvania. But if you have something constructive to say based on
                  your work in British Columbia, by all means, say it.

                  -ds
                • DavidH
                  ... That Pennsylvania ad campaign is scary. RIght now I am listening to a similar ad, which is based on a talking car which tells the driver he d better put
                  Message 8 of 21 , May 18, 2010
                    --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, bruno moser <bruno.moser@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > what if georgists wake up and share their wisdom with the folks who are at
                    > the grassroots of liberty (instead of all those in-fights)?


                    That Pennsylvania ad campaign is scary.

                    RIght now I am listening to a similar ad, which is based on a talking car which tells the driver he'd better put his seat belt on or he will get a ticket. (This is based on David Hasselhoff's car "Kit" in the old TV show "Knight Rider.")

                    I notice that a lot of the advertising on talk radio nowadays (nearly ALL on some programs) is from the government, telling us to eat healthy, to exercise, to not use drugs, to stay in school, to buckle our seatbelts, to pay our taxes, to fill out all the census questions (even though many are overly intrusive and not legally mandated), etc. They are STILL telling us everyone needs to get the swine flu vaccine.....

                    Georgists should of course be working with anti-income tax people. In the U.S., the major income/payroll taxes are at the national level. The number of Congressmen or candidates who have spoken about abolishing the income tax is small, but the mood in the country is more and more favorable. People are "Taxed Enough Already" and ready for a change. The privileged are advertising alternative tax schemes (VAT, national sales tax). Where are the single taxers?

                    --david harrell
                  • DavidH
                    Dan -- Fascinating to see how you tailored the message to each individual. With these local accomplishments, do you guys advocate a statewide Single Tax as an
                    Message 9 of 21 , May 19, 2010
                      Dan --

                      Fascinating to see how you tailored the message to each individual.

                      With these local accomplishments, do you guys advocate a statewide Single Tax as an eventual goal? And if so, is there a plan for how to get there?


                      david harrell
                    • John
                      Dave Wetzel has a video on this site explaining Ricados Law easily.http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html
                      Message 10 of 21 , May 19, 2010
                        Dave Wetzel has a video on this site explaining Ricados Law easily.

                        It goes something like this

                        A man goes to an estate agent in a town wanting to build a factory.  The agent says "I have the ideal plot". She takes him out of town, 30 minutes along a fast highway, down a small road, 10 minutes across track and points to the land. "There it is £5,000". He said there is nothing here. No electricity, road, buildings, nothing. She says "I have another the size you want."

                        It is in town with top class services adjacent:: is next to rail station, fast road, bus routes, a housing estate near with great schools, a world renowned hospital, crime is low because of the high police levels, all electricity, gas, water and sewerage is available, skills base of the people is high, etc.
                        • She says, "it has all the top class services you need here".
                        • He says "ideal, who do I make the £5,000 out to?".
                        • She says, "it is £1,005,000, as it has all the top class services".
                        • He said "well OK, I'll pay that, as it is ideal, who do I send the cheques to of the people who provide the services?".
                        • She says, "no you have to pay the £1,005,000 to a man who lives in the South of France".
                        • He says, "well its the same size as the out of town £5,000 plot, so I will send him £5,000 and cheques to those who provide the services, who are they?".
                        • She says, "no all has to go to the landowner in the South of France".
                        • He says, "how do these people pay to provide all these services then?"
                        • She says, "well you pay Council Tax, Corporation tax, income tax, VAT on the goods you sell, to the council and government and they provide the services".
                        • He replies, "well I pay for these services twice then, that doesn't sound fair at all".
                        • She says, "well yes, once to the landowning man in the South of France and again to the authorities".

                      • walto
                        ... That s excellent! W
                        Message 11 of 21 , May 19, 2010
                          --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" <burns-john@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Dave Wetzel has a video on this site explaining Ricados Law
                          > easily.http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html
                          > <http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html>
                          > <http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html> It goes something
                          > like this
                          >
                          > A man goes to an estate agent in a town wanting to build a factory.
                          > The agent says "I have the ideal plot". She takes him out of town, 30
                          > minutes along a fast highway, down a small road, 10 minutes across
                          > track and points to the land. "There it is £5,000". He said there is
                          > nothing here. No electricity, road, buildings, nothing. She says "I
                          > have another the size you want."
                          >
                          > It is in town with top class services adjacent:: is next to rail
                          > station, fast road, bus routes, a housing estate near with great
                          > schools, a world renowned hospital, crime is low because of the high
                          > police levels, all electricity, gas, water and sewerage is available,
                          > skills base of the people is high, etc.
                          > * She says, "it has all the top class services you need here".
                          > * He says "ideal, who do I make the £5,000 out to?".
                          > * She says, "it is £1,005,000, as it has all the top class
                          > services".
                          > * He said "well OK, I'll pay that, as it is ideal, who do I send the
                          > cheques to of the people who provide the services?".
                          > * She says, "no you have to pay the £1,005,000 to a man who lives
                          > in the South of France".
                          > * He says, "well its the same size as the out of town £5,000
                          > plot, so I will send him £5,000 and cheques to those who provide the
                          > services, who are they?".
                          > * She says, "no all has to go to the landowner in the South of
                          > France".
                          > * He says, "how do these people pay to provide all these services
                          > then?"
                          > * She says, "well you pay Council Tax, Corporation tax, income tax,
                          > VAT on the goods you sell, to the council and government and they
                          > provide the services".
                          > * He replies, "well I pay for these services twice then, that
                          > doesn't sound fair at all".
                          > * She says, "well yes, once to the landowning man in the South of
                          > France and again to the authorities".
                          >


                          That's excellent!

                          W
                        • Wyn Achenbaum
                          I am delighted to be reminded that Dave Wetzel has made a video of this. He told the story equally well at the CGO meeting in Philadelphia in 2005 or so, and
                          Message 12 of 21 , May 19, 2010
                            I am delighted to be reminded that Dave Wetzel has made a video of this.  He told the story equally well at the CGO meeting in Philadelphia in 2005 or so, and I've accumulated a collection of these, which some of you might enjoy.  See http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Gross_Rent.html.    The earliest version I've got is from 1894, in one of Louis Post's books. 

                            Wyn

                            On 5/19/2010 12:55 PM, walto wrote:  

                            --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" <burns-john@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Dave Wetzel has a video on this site explaining Ricados Law
                            > easily.http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html
                            > <http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html>
                            > <http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html> It goes something
                            > like this
                            >
                            > A man goes to an estate agent in a town wanting to build a factory.
                            > The agent says "I have the ideal plot". She takes him out of town, 30
                            > minutes along a fast highway, down a small road, 10 minutes across
                            > track and points to the land. "There it is £5,000". He said there is
                            > nothing here. No electricity, road, buildings, nothing. She says "I
                            > have another the size you want."
                            >
                            > It is in town with top class services adjacent:: is next to rail
                            > station, fast road, bus routes, a housing estate near with great
                            > schools, a world renowned hospital, crime is low because of the high
                            > police levels, all electricity, gas, water and sewerage is available,
                            > skills base of the people is high, etc.
                            > * She says, "it has all the top class services you need here".
                            > * He says "ideal, who do I make the £5,000 out to?".
                            > * She says, "it is £1,005,000, as it has all the top class
                            > services".
                            > * He said "well OK, I'll pay that, as it is ideal, who do I send the
                            > cheques to of the people who provide the services?".
                            > * She says, "no you have to pay the £1,005,000 to a man who lives
                            > in the South of France".
                            > * He says, "well its the same size as the out of town £5,000
                            > plot, so I will send him £5,000 and cheques to those who provide the
                            > services, who are they?".
                            > * She says, "no all has to go to the landowner in the South of
                            > France".
                            > * He says, "how do these people pay to provide all these services
                            > then?"
                            > * She says, "well you pay Council Tax, Corporation tax, income tax,
                            > VAT on the goods you sell, to the council and government and they
                            > provide the services".
                            > * He replies, "well I pay for these services twice then, that
                            > doesn't sound fair at all".
                            > * She says, "well yes, once to the landowning man in the South of
                            > France and again to the authorities".
                            >

                            That's excellent!

                            W

                          • Dave Wetzel
                            Thanks to John, Walt and Wyn for drawing attention to this story. Its origin goes back to the CGO Conference in London in 2002 (London, Ontario, Canada) when
                            Message 13 of 21 , May 27, 2010
                              Thanks to John, Walt and Wyn for drawing attention to this story.
                              Its origin goes back to the CGO Conference in London in 2002 (London, Ontario, Canada) when during the open-mike session someone got up (Bill Batt from NY?) and stated that he teaches Ricardo's Theory of Rent to economic students but needed ideas on how to put the ideas across to non-academics.
                              The late Everett Gross rose to the platform and told the story of a factory-owner wanting to build a factory. I embellished his story to create 2 sites, one not well-connected and the other with the marvellous services that Everett described in his original. (I think I added the touch that the fire department are so good that their fire rescue truck arrives even before the fire has started!).
                               
                               
                               
                               
                              Explaining Rent (was Re: [LandCafe] Re: reality report)

                              I am delighted to be reminded that Dave Wetzel has made a video of this.  He told the story equally well at the CGO meeting in Philadelphia in 2005 or so, and I've accumulated a collection of these, which some of you might enjoy.  See http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Gross_Rent.html.    The earliest version I've got is from 1894, in one of Louis Post's books. 

                              Wyn

                              On 5/19/2010 12:55 PM, walto wrote:  

                              --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" <burns-john@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dave Wetzel has a video on this site explaining Ricados Law
                              > easily.http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html
                              > <http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html>
                              > <http://www.theiu.org/films/ricardo-distilled.html> It goes something
                              > like this
                              >
                              > A man goes to an estate agent in a town wanting to build a factory.
                              > The agent says "I have the ideal plot". She takes him out of town, 30
                              > minutes along a fast highway, down a small road, 10 minutes across
                              > track and points to the land. "There it is £5,000". He said there is
                              > nothing here. No electricity, road, buildings, nothing. She says "I
                              > have another the size you want."
                              >
                              > It is in town with top class services adjacent:: is next to rail
                              > station, fast road, bus routes, a housing estate near with great
                              > schools, a world renowned hospital, crime is low because of the high
                              > police levels, all electricity, gas, water and sewerage is available,
                              > skills base of the people is high, etc.
                              > * She says, "it has all the top class services you need here".
                              > * He says "ideal, who do I make the £5,000 out to?".
                              > * She says, "it is £1,005,000, as it has all the top class
                              > services".
                              > * He said "well OK, I'll pay that, as it is ideal, who do I send the
                              > cheques to of the people who provide the services?".
                              > * She says, "no you have to pay the £1,005,000 to a man who lives
                              > in the South of France".
                              > * He says, "well its the same size as the out of town £5,000
                              > plot, so I will send him £5,000 and cheques to those who provide the
                              > services, who are they?".
                              > * She says, "no all has to go to the landowner in the South of
                              > France".
                              > * He says, "how do these people pay to provide all these services
                              > then?"
                              > * She says, "well you pay Council Tax, Corporation tax, income tax,
                              > VAT on the goods you sell, to the council and government and they
                              > provide the services".
                              > * He replies, "well I pay for these services twice then, that
                              > doesn't sound fair at all".
                              > * She says, "well yes, once to the landowning man in the South of
                              > France and again to the authorities".
                              >

                              That's excellent!

                              W


                              --
                              Best Wishes,

                              Dave

                              Dave Wetzel
                              "Transforming Communities".
                              Sustainable Transport Policies ▪ Public Finance with Social Inclusion ▪ Affordable Housing ▪ Economic Land Policies with Justice.

                              Tel: 0208 568 9004  
                              Intl:+44 208 568 9004

                              Mobile/Cellphone: 07715 32 29 26  
                              Intl: +44 7715 32 29 26

                              e-mail: davewetzel42@...

                              40 Adelaide Terrace. Great West Road.
                              Brentford. LONDON. TW8 9PQ. UK
                              Web:
                              www.LabourLand.org
                              www.TheIU.org

                            • John
                              ... Dave, Not such a fantasy as you think. 25 years ago I worked on a control system in King Khalid Military City in Saudi Arabia. All homes had smoke
                              Message 14 of 21 , May 28, 2010
                                --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Dave Wetzel <davewetzel42@...> wrote:
                                > I think I added the touch that the
                                > fire department are so good that their
                                > fire rescue truck arrives
                                > even before the fire has started!.

                                Dave,

                                Not such a fantasy as you think. 25 years ago I worked on a control system in King Khalid Military City in Saudi Arabia. All homes had smoke detectors inside and these went back to the fire house. They could turn up in the night if downstairs was smoldering and you would still be in bed.
                              • Harry Pollard
                                John, A student of mine in Toronto, Art Adamthwaite, came to class livid. He was home when the assessor called and they went into the basement. The assessor
                                Message 15 of 21 , May 31, 2010

                                  John,

                                   

                                  A student of mine in Toronto, Art Adamthwaite, came to class livid.

                                   

                                  He was home when the assessor called and they went into the basement. The assessor made a notation. Art asked him why. “You have two faucets down here,” said the assessor. The extra faucet increases your property tax.

                                   

                                  Such nonsense passeth all understanding.

                                   

                                  Harry

                                   

                                  From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John
                                  Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 8:13 AM
                                  To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [LandCafe] Re: reality report

                                   

                                   

                                  --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Jason" <nysa71@...> wrote:

                                  >
                                  >
                                  > John: One thing that is clear is that the owner/occupier will not
                                  > entertain it. They think they have the almighty right to keep the
                                  > windfall gains in the value of their land.
                                  >
                                  > Dan: Our experience has been that people do not analyze it that deeply.
                                  > If it costs them less than the tax it replaces, they will prefer it.
                                  >
                                  > Jason: When I talk to people about LVT, I try to frame it in a simple,
                                  > concrete way. What I'll usually say is that when a government taxes
                                  > buildings and improvements, then what happens is that if the property
                                  > owner improves their property, the market value for the property goes
                                  > up, and thus the property tax goes up. Thus, the property owner is
                                  > effectively punished for being productive. But if a government only
                                  > taxed the land based on its size and location, then this would not be an
                                  > issue.

                                  Jason, a good approach indeed.  In the UK many people build conservatories (sunspaces in the USA) on the rear of their houses and are irritated when they have to pay more Council Tax.  Council Tax is a mixture land and the bricks - the total value. 

                                   

                                  The thought of paying more Council Tax installing a two floor sunspace on the rear of my sister's house has put brother-in-law off.  Their quality of life would have been greatly improved building this large conservatory and it would have acted as a layer of insulation in winter, and a solar gain generator as well, keeping energy bills down.

                                   

                                  Taxing the bricks in any way is a daft as the window tax.  Using the silly old Window Tax as an analogy is one way to emphasis a point here. 

                                   

                                  > People get that. It's just common sense. And the response is usually
                                  > positive. (Though I often get the all-to-predictable sarcastic response
                                  > like, "Well that'll never happen because politicians would actually have
                                  > to have some common sense in order to do that!"...or something to that
                                  > effect.) 

                                   

                                  That is usually my experience.  It is when they have bought the idea but the sceptical side of them comes out.  No faith in common sense or system.  When going into LVT in more depth many think it is some form on Communism as you taking from rich people - Cold War propaganda has etched this into people's minds that the rich must remain rich. I even explain all would actually benefit as there is no income tax and that it is a more capitalist system than what we have now. :)

                                   

                                  > I'll even hear anecdotes from time-to-time. For example, one
                                  > woman told me how her grandfather refuses to fix his barn that's tipping
                                  > sideways just so he can keep his property taxes low.

                                   

                                  Which is even a good case of, tax values of land only.  

                                  This is a good thread.  It is no good having a superb system if you can't sell to those who would benefit most.  It is the approach and counter-responses that matter.  Dan's contribution is priceless. He has been there and got the T shirts.

                                   

                                  There are two approaches:

                                  1. To the politicians.
                                  2. To the grass routes people on the ground.

                                  Both are equally as important. Many politicos just do not understand LVT in all its versions.

                                   

                                  I try and make matters easy. Talking in high-brow ways,and using big words, turns people off.  Most people see the world simply.  I look at it from the angle of how land affects them directly - most think it doesn't affect them.  I wrote this page from that angle and put in LVT in one of the solutions, which is heavily weighted to LVT.  I will rewrite part of now. 

                                   

                                   

                                • John
                                  ... The ... down ... tax. ... Harry, it make it much easier eliminating this garbage in a tax system with LVT. That opens their eyes then. Elimination of this
                                  Message 16 of 21 , May 31, 2010
                                    --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Pollard" <henrygeorgeschool@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > John,
                                    >
                                    > A student of mine in Toronto, Art Adamthwaite, came to class livid.
                                    >
                                    > He was home when the assessor called and they went into the basement. The
                                    > assessor made a notation. Art asked him why. "You have two faucets down
                                    > here," said the assessor. The extra faucet increases your property tax.
                                    >
                                    > Such nonsense passeth all understanding.
                                     
                                    Harry, it make it much easier eliminating this garbage in a tax system with LVT. That opens their eyes then.  Elimination of this garbage promotes LVT - but it has to be presented properly. In a way they can understand, grasp and go with.

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