: My question is how will value be assessed? I read Georgist articles
: about public infrastructure creating value but what about
: private businesses. Is it fair to collect for the public what
: value private businesses create. I understand the merit or
: reasoning behind a land value tax but don't quite understand how
: it could be fairly implemented.
Good questions, Brian.
First, the rental value of locations will be determined just the same way it is now, by appraisers and assessors looking at how much people are willing to pay to own or use a location. They look at sales (as long as any selling price remains), they look leases (as long as any middle man remains), and the local gov't would sometimes auction off its own parcels and use the winning bids as a baseline for those neighborhoods.
Second, I agree that the old Georgist argument is flawed. You did reach a logical conclusion. Hence, I say the reason people owe "land dues" is not because somebody else built some infrastructure -- bonds and user fees can pay off that -- but because (a) one person's occupation of a site necessarily displaces everyone else while all of us enjoy an equal right to Earth and (b) all of us as a community or market -- our demand -- is what generates the value for parcels, not infrastructure. Look at those bridges to nowhere; they don't raise land value.
Third, the only thing that makes land taxes or land dues fair is getting back a rent share or Citizen's Dividend. It's the people that an owner displaces who need to be compensated, not government, not politicians and bureaucrats. They might take a slim percentage for performing the work of recovering the socially-generated site values and for keeping the land in fine shape and for defending people's legitimate claims, but the bulk of the revenue they'd disburse to residents, just like a good steward would do for an absentee landowner.
I do hope these answers help.