RE: [ozgeo] Your article in On Line Opinion
If a full SR system came in next 30 June, or even a partial system, there would have to be legislative provisions that it be deemed NOT to constitute a tax or charge payable by the tenant (under the usual current lease terms).
Regarding “passing on”: yes, tenants do pay the land rent because it’s usually there in their gross rent. But if the landlord receives the gross rental from the tenant and pays the land rent to the government, he can’t then expect the tenant to refund him the land rent. If the lease specifies the tenant must pay the land rent to the government, it obviously becomes a deduction from the landlord’s gross rental – and any valuer assessing a market rental of the whole property would look at the terms of the lease and also make this adjustment. [ Tenants should take great care about signing, say, a 5 year lease with the requirement for automatic percentage rent increases, or, for paying “all increases in rates and land tax” without a reference such as the rental to be “no greater than gross market rental levels” at each annual review, lest the terms of the lease take the rental beyond market levels.
Yes, the tenant will pay the land rent, one way or the other, but the landlord can’t recoup it. “I’ll just pass it on” is often simply bravado, having no reference to market conditions. I remember a case in Swanston Street in the city the 1980s, where the landlord of a fish shop publicly bemoaned his land tax increases in the press, saying he’ll just be forced to pass it onto the tenant. Presumably he tried to do so, because I noticed the shop vacant shortly thereafter.
The difficulty persuading about SR is the extent of the concept & its ramifications (most minds
can't wrap around it), and the loss of "private" land price.
It is not accurate that SR won't be passed on to tenants. It will, and so it should be, as it is
they who enjoy the location. Rent would equal SR + a fair return (say 5%) on the improvements. It
should be noted, however, that in an SR society landlords could not abuse (screw, exploit) tenants
or they will easily walk.
As for changes of employment pattern when some bureaucracies & jobs (eg accountants) wither: let
the market sort it out as government meddling just makes more mess.
> Here seems to lie the whole problem.Â If the cost of government is covered by all taxes collected
> no matter what they are and governments don't make a profit and if a land based tax would raise
> the equivalent revenue necessary to run all the government structures, why is it so difficult to
> prove that our philosophy would put more cash in the hands of the general populace and would thus
> lead to a fairer share of the pie?
> If the change means massive losses of government jobs because we don't needÂ all the bureaucracies
> etc, then there needs to be other means for these folks to earn a living and buy land, etc.Â Â Â
> How do we prove it to folks?Â Clearly the land value has to include the natural resource
> numbers.Â Is this the case with your quoted numbers?
> I guess my question is not the same as Albert Stuckey but rather it is to prove that it is worth
> while to even bother to own land.Â Renting a dwelling and paying zero tax appears to be a cheaper
> option and hence frees up maximum cash to squander on a life of debauchery if you live in a less
> developed area of our metropolis and enjoyment is your thing..
> Thanks, James.
> From: Bryan Kavanagh <bryan@...>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Sunday, 29 April 2012 10:21 PM
> Subject: RE: [ozgeo] Your article in On Line Opinion
> Yes, other natural resource rents (mineral, fishing, forestry, spectra, and aircraft slot
> licences) and any retained â€˜sinâ€™ taxes would further reduce the rate in the dollar on surface
> land prices, Karl.Â But when Albert Stuckey (in the past), and in this instance, James, have put
> this question to me, itâ€™s been couched in terms of the simple question â€œWhat is the current
> cost of government, and what is our total land values?â€ which is always more than a bit awkward.
> Â When I mentioned these other rents to Albert, he actually said, â€œNo, forget those for the
> moment, because we havenâ€™t an accurate estimate of themâ€. Â So, your reminder of these
> additions is both welcome and correct.
> So, as you can see, James, some of these imponderables, such as the extent of deadweight and other
> natural resource rents makes the article you originally sought difficult to produce accurately at
> this point. Thatâ€™s the point Gavin keeps making, and with his help we may get nearer to the
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â BK
> From:email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Karl Williams
> Sent: Sunday, 29 April 2012 9:52 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [ozgeo] Your article in On Line Opinion
> But it's not just the rent from the locational value of land that should be collected - it's all
> the other natural resource charges plus sin taxes.
> â€œTo have a great aim and a cause, is this not happiness?Â Â Is there not a joy that colder tamer
> spirits never know?â€
> - John MitchelÂ (1815â€“75),Â Irish patriot
> On 29/04/2012, at 11:43 AM, Bryan Kavanagh wrote:
> Thatâ€™s pretty easily done, James: taxation at all levels of government in 2010 was
> $332,602,000,000; divided by 2010 totalÂ site values $3,963,700,000,000 = 0.0839, or 8.4 cents in
> the dollar.
> However, that level of rate in the dollar would give ANBODY conniptions - even if all other taxes
> WERE to be abolished. Â So, letâ€™s remember why weâ€™re doing this. Â Itâ€™s because of all the
> deadweight in the current tax regime which reflects at least in 50% higher prices of goods and
> services throughout the economy, including inefficient costly ATO admin, etc. That would
> disappear, because youâ€™re putting the revenue base back where (John Locke and many others have
> said) it ought to have been in the first instance. Â So, thereâ€™s no cascading effect of taxes
> being passed on in prices throughout the economy. By eliminating this arbitrarily applied damaging
> taxation, youâ€™d be freeing up at least 30% of the economy lost to all this deadweight.Â So,
> youâ€™d only need to apply a rate of, say, 70% of 8.4 cents in the dollar - Â 5.88 cents â€“ at
> most.Â (Even that amount will strike some people as too high, but in the case of households with
> than one wage earner, they need to remember thatâ€™s the total shared by each wage earner in the
> And, of course, youâ€™d rapidly start getting the required effect at a lesser rate, as the charge
> begins to be applied in progressive increments.
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â BK
> From:firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of james mathieson
> Sent: Friday, 27 April 2012 8:59 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [ozgeo] FW: Your article in On Line Opinion
> Why don't we follow up this terrific articleÂ article with the simple story and chart showing
> total land value in Australia, total cost of runni ng the current buraecracy and all its
> associated costs and gifts and show that an x percent tax on owned land would cover all operating
> costs of the country put more money disposable income into everyone's pocket.
> Suggestions that our data is not current is not an acceptable excuse.Â Go back to when we do have
> complete and reliable data.Â Your graph could even show that rising land prices reduces
> individual taxes if country operating costs stayed relatively static. That can't happen of course
> because we all want more money each year to cover inflation.Â IÂ suggest weÂ put all that aside,
> produce a chart, weave your wonderful words around it and wait for the "tweets" and bleats,
> applause and praise and all those other accolades which will come for an outstanding solution to
> world hunger.
> If we can't show that, then we don't have anything other than an opinion.
> Best regards, james.
> From:Bryan Kavanagh <bryan@...>
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Friday, 27 April 2012 6:42 AM
> Subject: [ozgeo] FW: Your article in On Line Opinion
> Feel free to "like" or "retweet" the article whose URL is given below,
> - BK
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Graham Young [mailto:editor@...]
> Sent: Friday, 27 April 2012 6:18 AM
> To: Bryan Kavanagh
> Subject: Your article in On Line Opinion
> Dear Bryan,
> Your article has been posted to
> Please let me know if you spot any errors or would like to add any links.
> Can I also suggest you "retweet" and "like" your article using the buttons
> at the top or the bottom to ensure that your circle of friends knows about
> it? Hopefully they will also like and retweet your article giving it even
> wider circulation.
> You should also use the new +1 button at the top of the page. This is a new
> Google feature which will help with your search engine rating.
> Graham Young
> Chief Editor & Founder
> On Line Opinion
> +61 7 3252 1470 W
> +61 7 3252 9818 F
> +61 4 1110 4801 M
> On Line Opinion publishes informed opinions about what's best for
> Australia's future. Our conditions of publication can be downloaded
> Please read these conditions carefully as they create legal rights and
> By submitting articles to us, contributors agree to be bound by the
> Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post | Start a New Topic
> Messages in this topic (4)
> Recent Activity:
> Visit Your Group
Thanks for your effort Bryan. I have the following comments:
1. It is wrong to apply any rate of tax to site values. This keeps politicians in charge, setting the rate. Ideally, the full unearned increment (as assessed by independent valuers) would be collected, and the test for this is that site prices will be nil. Sites will transfer for value of their improvements only.
2. Whilst Bryan is right that there should be no minimums, thresholds or exemptions, the unearned increment at each site must be separately assessed (although there will tend to be similar informing factors across substantial swathes).
3. It is wrong to advocate tinkering with other forms of tax or impost. These are wrong in principle. The entire global economic & financial system is based on theft (by the strong, the ruthless, the first-comers, the lucky etc.) of the Creator’s land & resources. No system based on theft can endure.
4. All forms of tax & impost must be ditched as of next 30 June. We can’t sup with the devil or maintain integrity whilst being chameleons. Sadly, there probably never will be the political will amongst greedy humans to do this. Whilst we can & should debate & refine the Georgist solution, the atmosphere for its adoption will likely be forced upon the globe after disaster, not come from our prior reasoning & politics.
5. Economies of scale (of services, fuel & transportation etc.) within urban conglomerations will reflect in the site values there; tinkering with prices & subsidies is not the answer to achieve decentralization.
6. Development of the hinterland is an available solution to many ills but won’t eventuate until land prices are reduced to nil and until welfare (save perhaps for some aged or sick people) is paid not in cash but rather by credit for survival infrastructure (building materials, irrigation etc.). In the medium term, even aged & sick people should be cared for within their own extended families living co-operatively in a basic self-sufficient environment. The societal brittleness caused by mobility & fragmentation of extended families is what conduces to depression, crime, instability, lack of local self-governance. However, private selfishness and sense of entitlement amongst indulgent voting citizenry will not allow such change without prior disaster.
David Spain, BA; LLB (Hons.); LLM; solicitor
This correspondence is for the named person's use only. It may contain confidential or legally privileged information or both. No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mis-transmission. If you receive this correspondence in error, please immediately delete it from your system and notify the sender. You must not disclose, copy or rely on any part of this correspondence if you are not the intended recipient.
50C Cullen Street
Tel.: (+61) 02 6689 1003
Fax.: (+61) 02 6689 0500
I hope you might 'like' this article on decentralisation folks, in order to
widen its circulation.
From: Graham Young [mailto:editor@...]
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2017 7:29 AM
To: Bryan Kavanagh
Subject: Your article in On Line Opinion
Your article has been posted to
Please let me know if you spot any errors or would like to add any links.
Can I also suggest you "retweet" and "like" your article using the buttons
at the top or the bottom to ensure that your circle of friends knows about
it? Hopefully they will also like and retweet your article giving it even
You should also use the new +1 button at the top of the page. This is a new
Google feature which will help with your search engine rating.
Chief Editor & Founder
On Line Opinion
+61 7 3252 1470 W
+61 7 3252 9818 F
+61 4 1110 4801 M
On Line Opinion publishes informed opinions about what's best for
Australia's future. Our conditions of publication can be downloaded from
Please read these conditions carefully as they create legal rights and
By submitting articles to us, contributors agree to be bound by the