Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (446)

Several years later, I have realised that rebutting arguments against LVT is easiest if you work backwards from them to derive your opening argument *for* LVT, i.e. here.

Let's take the category A to C arguments against from here, i.e. the whole Poor Widow Bogey, land doesn't generate income stuff. Rebutting them is now easy.

A. Poor Widows in Mansions can roll up and defer anyway, that means their heirs will inherit less, but so what? Why should they expect other taxpayers to subsidise the value of their inheritance? That's *upwards* redistribution, the very worst kind. Better alternatives are downwards, universal or none at all.

B. The Diagonal Comparison answers itself. A semi-mythical Poor Widow in a Mansion will have a higher LVT bill than the entirely mythical millionaire in the flat next door, but so what? The government i.e. the taxpayer is spending a lot of money on maintaining the value of her mansion. A little old lady who smokes and drinks pays more fags and booze duty than a teetotal millionaire. And of course, the millionaire will be paying far more income tax than the Poor Widow (or her heirs) are expected to pay in LVT.

C. Land doesn't generate income, (it clearly can, ask a landlord and what about the moaning heirs from above? Owner-occupiers are receiving non-cash benefits etc, but let's just accept the premise). So what? Maintaining the value of any plot of land costs the government i.e. taxpayers a lot of money. Why shouldn't landowners bear the cost directly by paying in proportion to the benefits i.e. the land value? By analogy, my cars don't generate income for me, but I don't expect the government to pay for petrol and repairs.


Lola said...

I am memorising that...

Physiocrat said...

Not to mention the millionaire who is making a fortune from a business run from his laptop in a back room in a council house on the outskirts of Middlesborough.