Real Estate 4 Ransom outlines a genuine alternative to the global property speculation that forced
so many into debt. Doubling the pressure, the tax game has become just that, with tax havens
a favoured option for the wealthy. The result - we are taxing the wrong things, causing more
problems whilst bankrupting once proud economies. A systemic change is essential if we are to avoid these damaging boom-bust-bailouts.
The Silver Bullet Part I
The Human Right: "Economists say there is no 'Silver Bullet'
but with such wealth in the world, why are so many still so poor?"Fred Harrison
Introduction to the book, 'Ricardo's Law ~ House Prices and the Great Tax Clawback Scam'
by Fred Harrison. Ricardo's Law points lawmakers, policy analysts and social reformers toward
a model of public finances that is fair and would deliver prosperity to everyone.
Tom Johnson: Progressive Reform for the Common Man
2009 National History Day Documentary on Tom L. Johnson, the mayor of Cleveland from
1901 to 1909.
In a just world, the idea of wealth--be it money derived from the work of human hands, the resources and natural splendor of the planet itself--and the knowledge handed down through generations belongs to all of us. But in our decidedly unjust and imperfect world, our collective wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. There is be a better way--the notion of the commons--common land, resources, knowledge--is a common-sense way to share our natural, cultural, intellectual riches. In this innovative animation, filmmaker Laura Hanna, writer Gavin Browning and video artists/animators Dana Schechter and Molly Schwartz examine the concept of "The Commons" as a means to achieve a society of justice and equality.
Land Value Taxation and the Built Environment
The main benefits of LVT (revenue-neutral municipal tax sifting off buildings onto the land below the buildings) are:
1. LVT doesn't punish businesses, landlords or home owners for fixing up, expanding, renovating, or re-purposing their buildings;
2. LVT encourages land owners to put vacant and underused land to more productive use or sell it to someone who will. This reduces downtown blight by freeing up existing urban-zoned land to productive use, (which also reduces greenfield sprawl pressure);
3. LVT makes municipally-built infrastructure self-financing by capturing more of the land value rise resulting from new infrastructure.
4. LVT increases accuracy and reduces cost of property assessment, since assessing buildings is complex, expensive and inexact.
5. Farm buildings will no longer pay tax, so under LVT pre- and post-harvest facilities on farms will not be taxed, encouraging value-added, land efficient production.
6. LVT encourages construction of affordable housing, since multi-unit construction, which is generally land-efficient, will receive tax relief.
7. LVT raises the carrying cost of holding land which lowers the upfont cost of land, reducing the size of mortgages and corresponding interest payments. Instead of payments to banks, payments go to government in lieu of other taxes making land more affordable.
8. LVT is nature-friendly as it raises the cost of holding land. This will encourage land owners to return land back to nature if they hold more than they have a use for.
LVT should be phased in over a number of years. If a senior or fixed income person is adversely affected by LVT, the municipality may defer their municipal fees till time of sale.