Tax "Reformers" Killing Communities
Thirty Years of Lunacy
Ever since Howard Jarvis and his consortium of land speculators duped Californians into passing Proposition 13, "I'm mad as hell" tax reformers have been prodding their state and local governments to shift away from real estate taxes.
Some governments are relying more on sales taxes, and destroying commerce in the process.
Others are relying more on state and local income taxes that drive higher-income residents away.
Aside from the ill effects of these other taxes, curtailing real estate tax has resulted in rampant real estate speculation, inflated and unstable real estate prices, unaffordable housing, competitive advantages to giant corporations over independent businesses, a general widening of the gap between rich and poor, rapidly increasing public debt, shifts in power from local governments to state governments, and desperate and dangerous money-raising schemes by governments at all levels.
Governments are taking money from ordinary taxpayers and giving it to giant corporations to stimulate economic development that would have occurred naturally under an economy based on real estate tax.
Now governments are literally granting licenses to steal in the form of turnpike leases, and selling off essential pieces of the commons.
Valuable community services are being scaled back, degrading the quality of life in many communities.
All this is in response to fraudulent attacks property tax. We are exposing those attacks to show that real estate tax is not only the least costly to ordinary taxpayers, but is essential to a free-market economy.
The only approach that is better than conventional property tax is the approach advocated by America's founders: a tax on the value of the land itself, with improvements exempt, and a per capita grant from tax revenues to support retirees. We call this The Founders' Plan because it was proposed by many of this country's founders. American ran on a land value tax from 1776 to 1792.
Our top priority is to show government officials how they can achieve genuine reform instead of stampeding their taxing jurisdictions into disaster.
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