What is Land Value Taxation

Most of the things we see around us were made by man. The buildings we live in, the vehicles we use, the clothes we wear and even most of the food we eat are set in their present form by human effort.

Land is completely different.

No human being has made land, and the value of a piece of land derives from such things as natural fertility, mineral deposits and its position in relation to public utilities, natural harbours, communications and population. Different pieces of land vary enormously in their value. An acre of land in the middle of a town, for example, may be worth many thousands of times as much as an acre of remote moorland. Therefore, a tax on land values is a fair tax, because the person who owns land derives benefit from something which he or she has not made.

The big idea

First off, the value of every piece of land in this country should be assessed. By 'land' we mean the site alone, not counting any improvements on the site. Thus, the value of any buildings, crops, drainage or anything else which people have put on, or done to, the site would be ignored.

Then, after the land has been valued, a tax should be fixed on the basis of that value. Of course this wouldn't mean any more overall taxation, because the introduction of Land Value Taxation would permit other taxes to be reduced or, in some cases, to be abolished altogether.

Want to know more?

Economist Jerry Jones has updated and extended his pamphlet on land value tax and its implementation.

Download it here (PDF : 282 KB)

Chapter list:

[Available to download as separate PDF files]

  1. How land acquires value - and who benefits
  2. Reclaiming land value for public benefit - the case for a land value tax
  3. How Harrisburg in the US was transformed through a land value tax
  4. Valuing the land - how to measure land values
  5. Differences between a land value tax and other land and property taxes
  6. The case for replacing the council tax with a land value tax
  7. Land value tax and overall tax policy
  8. A strategy for introducing a system of land value tax in Britain