Land Value Tax for Baden-Wurtemberg, Germany with Dr. Dirk Loehr
On November 5th 2020, the parliament of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the second largest state in Germany, voted to implement land value tax. In this webinar co-sponsored by the Henry George School and the International Union for Land Value Taxation, tax reform campaigner and professor Dirk Loehr discusses the political process, achievements and the implementation challenges of this tax policy breakthrough. Dr. Dirk Loehr, is a Professor of Taxation and Ecological Economics at the Trier University of Applied Sciences (Environment-Campus Birkenfeld), Germany. Dr. Loehr worked as tax adviser and lecturer for a private real estate academy (Sprengnetter Immobilienbewertung). He was also a consultant for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) / German International Cooperation (GIZ) in developing countries.
We should also consider an easier alternative.
A MORE STEALTHY GEORGIST CAT
The Georgist cat is small and lean
And often doesn’t get to be seen.
It hides in the branches of an economic’s-tree
So it takes a long while for you or for me,
To appreciate its cute and original form
That the landlords are so ready to scorn.
The economic’s-tree has many fine branches
(On which we contend, there are no free-lunches).
Whilst the land-owning rich in the city all claim
As bloated capitalists, that they’re not to blame
For the gap that lays ‘twixt the poor and the wealthy,
But oppose any tax to make our nation healthy.
Have you heard the tale of a committee, that
Thought to bell and get warning of a fat cat?
But could not find a soul to apply this device,
Because typically all were a council of mice!
Our Georgist cat has a bell ready-fitted,
(Which makes this analogy more to be pitted).
This warning sound makes our ideals unwanted,
For a new tax is how politicians get doubted.
So the Georgist cat fails to catch any mice
That pose as landlords, along with their vice.
But how shall we silence the bell’s warning sound
And quieten the news that our pussy’s around?
Our Georgist feline is in serious error,
‘Cause its bell draws attention not only to whether
Valuable sites can be ethically shared,
But also the rent from a site is declared
As the means to replace other kinds of taxation,
Which obviously causes the landlords vexation.
In the economic’s tree many other beasts lurk
But are missed, after learning of Henry G’s quirk
Through the cat-finder’s recently brilliant discovery.
This writer seeks a new means for recovery
From our politi-unacceptable claim,
And stealthily project LVT once again.
If we would but examine some more of the tree
Alternatives are waiting there for us to see.
Among them is hiding a far better way
For an equivalent LVT effect, to stay
In essence, without causing such evil offences
To the landlords and their partitioning fences.
When a property-owner decides to sell–quick
The gov’ment buys its land, and not the public!
Its occupant then leases it for a similar fee
To the One-Tax of Henry George’s decree.
Any buildings on-site should be sold as previously
But without the land, on which the price grievously
Had risen, with huge speculation in its advance
That stopped entrepreneurs from having a chance.
The cost of this land must be raised through new bonds
Which the government sells and the public responds,
‘Though their interest-rate’s a bit lower than rent,
Their returns are more stable than the average tenant!
This process will take many years to complete–
So its financial support is no great money feat.
After the lease-fees begin to collect,
Gov’ments can tax less, and firmly expect
To pursue this policy without change, until
All the lease-fees are site-rents in the Gov’ment’s till.
With the land properly shared, the government sees
That site development stays with the current leasees.
Other taxes that cause so much trouble and hate
Are scrapped, with great pleasure to all in the state,
Except for some bankers and the tax collectors
Whose actions no longer apply in these sectors.
Land-rights will be shared through this simple device,
By a fast-growing country that takes our advice.