Cap and dividend could break logjam
Taiwan land tax revenues up
Some people on this planet are actually recovering natural rent. Plus, some media are giving good press coverage to thoughtful proposals for society to recover more of its socially-generated values for sites and resources. We trim, blend, and append six 2009 articles from: (1) CAN, Dec 10, on Taiwan by Fanny Liu; (2) Tampa Tribune, Dec 15, on the port district by Ted Jackovics; (3) Daily Courier, Dec 16, on Fayette’s airport by Mark Hofmann; (4) Korea Times Business, Oct 28, on annual intake by Yoon Ja-young; (5) Vermont Press Bureau, Dec 9, on tax shiftingby Peter Hirschfeld; and (6) Breakingviews.com, Dec 17, on a carbon dividend by James Pethokoukis.
by F. Liu, by T. Jackovics, by M. Hofmann, by Yoon J-y, by P. Hirschfeld, and by J. Pethokoukis
Taiwan Net tax revenues up 9% in November
Taiwan’s central the government garnered NT$1.43 trillion in tax revenue for the first 11 months of 20098. Hit by the global economic downturn, Taiwan's net tax revenue in the period posted the largest annual decrease in the country's history. While just a fraction of the size of the nation’s income tax, its land-value tax reached NT$36 billion, up 17.9% year-on-year.
JJS: Much smaller than a nation, the jurisdiction below is having a much harder time but still recovering some site rent.
Port dispute with Channelside Bay Plaza appears headed to court
A longstanding dispute between the management of Channelside Bay Plaza and its landlord, the Tampa Port Authority, appears headed to court.
The issues range from whether Channelside is operating a "first-class retail center" to as much as $301,000 in unpaid bills the port says it is owed.
The port’s annual revenue is $250,000 in parking fees and $250,000 from land rent.
JJS: A smaller venue recovers even less ground rent, but even a little is better than what most public jurisdictions get.
Fayette County Airport Authority OKs Connellsville airport budget
Total anticipated income is $472,700, including $130,000 from hangar rentals, $245,000 in fuel sales and $40,500 in land rent.
JJS: Usually, more site rent is available for public recovery.
Korea Development Institute Says Land Value Tax Needed
The government-run Korean Development Institute recommends cutting taxes on income and hiking taxation on real property to accomplish two goals: let young families and workers save to buy real estate, and to stem the building binge that has plagued most market economies for the past decade.
The article confirms that substituting taxation of work and investment with a tax on the community-created value of land is rapidly gaining support in the Republic of Korea.
The report's author, Song Eui-young, is the latest in a long line of scholars and practical policy makers who have inserted LVT more firmly into the South Korean tax system.
JJS: Along with land rent, a government, on behalf of society, could collect the rent that people spend for all natural resources.
UVM Institute suggests radical overhaul of taxes
Proposals from the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics would replace a property-and-income-based tax structure with new assessments on things like gasoline, land use, water, and waste.
Gary Flomenhoft, a research fellow at UVM, said, "And you can't expect to get different results using the same system."
Instead of targeting companies and individuals for creating wealth and jobs, proponents of the new system argue, the state should encourage the good by taxing the bad. Payroll taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income, Flomenhoft said, discourage or impede the kind of economic activity policy makers presumably want to encourage.
But "green taxes" –- on things like energy usage, air pollution, resource extraction, and waste -– could generate revenue streams while encouraging economic activity and dissuading environmental degradation.
Germany, according to Flomenhoft, increased fuel taxes by 55% and used the revenue increase to reduce payroll taxes. The reforms, he said, served to decrease fuel consumption and lay the groundwork for what he called the largest renewable energy economy in the world.
The state could generate additional revenue by taxing "common assets," such as water, the Internet and broadcast spectrum.
Flomenhoft delivered his remarks to the Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission. Bill Schubart, chairman of the commission, said, "You make a strong case for tax code setting good behavior and dissuading bad behavior."
He asked Flomenhoft to return to the commission with suggestions to get at some of the "low-hanging fruit" the plan has to offer.
JJS: Before one state levies a green tax, the whole United States might.
Cap and dividend could break logjam
In the current economic climate, any kind of obvious energy "tax" is political poison. A new bipartisan bill promoting a "cap-and-dividend" plan could break the logjam on Capitol Hill.
Since polls show Americans want to deal with climate change -- but not if it costs them -- the cap-and-dividend plan sponsored by Democrat Maria Cantwell and Republican Susan Collins may square the circle. Their proposal would immediately distribute to taxpayers 75% of the revenue generated by carbon permit auctions.
According to a 2007 University of Massachusetts study, a cap-and-dividend plan would more than offset higher energy costs for the bottom 60% of households. In fact, their incomes would rise.
JJS: Sounds like a winning way to pass any legislation to recover natural values -- just make sure to disburse a fair share of this socially-generated value to the members of society. Sharing Earth by sharing her worth -- that’s the essence of geonomics.
Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
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