The Piketty Issue
The IU View July 2014
In the UK a Land Value Tax Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on 11 June. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill’s journey through the Lords. The Second reading – the general debate on all aspects of the Bill – is yet to be scheduled. Here I a Summary of the Land Value Tax Bill [HL] 2014-15:
A Bill to require the Secre- tary of State to commission a programme of research into the merits of replacing the council tax and non-domestic rates in England with an annual levy on the unimproved value of all land, including transitional arrangements; to report to Parliament within 12 months of completion of the research; and for connected purposes.
For updates on status of the bill: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2014-15/landvaluetax.html
From AUSTRALIA Karl Fitzgerald, Project Director, Earthsharing Australia informs us that the latest report by the Australian Bureau of States on the System of Environmental Economic Accounting was recently released and it is of great interest…. land of course is king in valuation terms at 80% of environ- mental assets. The productive value of the economy was up 67% but waste more than doubled that at 147%. Over a decade iron ore up $359bn, black coal up 936% but brown coal down 65% (good news regarding carbon intensity). Their mineral and energy resource rents were similar to my findings.
However, we are both in pursuit of the value of water licenses… I have been in regular contact with the report leader Dr Michael Vardon re the Total Resource Rents of Oz report and hope to interview him soon on the Renegade Economists to learn more about valuing the earth so the public can understand how much there is to share.
IU Vice President Jane McNab in Australia reports: This (link below) interview with Paul Abbey, the head of tax at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Melbourne, aired on the Business show on ABC TV. (ABC is a government run TV station.)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2 014-04-28/in-the-studio-with- paul-abbey/5416880
“I hadn’t before realised that Paul Abbey was so supportive of the Henry Review and land tax reform,” says Jane. “It is good that he cites the ACT case, but it actually doesn’t come into play until June this year.”
Stuart Dunstan, Secretary of the Georgist Education Association Inc., of Western Australia writing to John
C. Massam of Perth:
Thanks for being vigilant and observing this very important letter from David Airey, President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Aus- tralia. It’s one of the most significant articles seen in the West Australian for the past seven years that points in the same direction as Georgism. What GEA Members need to realise is the opportunity it gives us to play our own tune, and I hope that we will stop and consider that. Seeing the real estate association’s president agree with a land tax gives confidence that we are not out in a wilderness on our own and that the pillars of society are looking for changes that all should embrace.
Prosper Australia posted a commentary on the article with these quotes from Airey:
REIWA calls on the Government to have a serious look at broadening the land tax base to all property owners with a view to abolishing stamp duty altogether.
The benefit to property owners is the simplicity of a modest, annual land tax as opposed to “bill shock”, when hit with a huge stamp duty tax in the tens of thousands when they transact.
Emer O’Siochru IU Vice President for IRELAND received an invitation from The Centre for Economic Empowerment (CEE) to the launch of a research report on a Land Value Tax (LVT).
The invitation states: LVT would be an alternative to Northern Ireland’s existing rating system. It would aim to prevent land speculation, ensure a more stable housing market, and support economic growth. Report authors Andy Wightman and Ronan Lyons will present their research findings and outline proposals for implementing LVT in Northern Ireland to be followed by a roundtable discussion.
Professor Dirk Löhr, IU Vice President for Germany, sent us two papers about the Henry George Theorem written by a group of orthodox German researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.