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Collecting land-based revenue should be terribly simple, and is only otherwise if thinking makes it so.
All that’s needed is a fisc determined to do its duty, and a public informed enough to know that what delinquents withhold will fall on the rest of the public’s backs. Turgot, aware of this business, favored using part of the tax revenues to support public education in this matter.
Post any land whose owner is delinquent – it’s the owner’s duty to oversee her land and pay. Take back any land with unpaid taxes outstanding. “Rights of redemption” have been terribly gamed and abused in the past, and should be minimized, so new owners can have clear title, and put the land to best use right away.
Most tax-delinquents are speculators playing hard-ball with the fisc. To prevail, the fisc must be firm.
- Mason Gaffney, 29 June 2013
Callam Pickering delivers a solid review –> Go to Google News Australia and search “Australia’s housing policy is a total con-job”.
“LVTs would impose concentrated costs on today’s landowners, who face a new tax bill and a reduced sale price. The benefit, by contrast, is spread equally over today’s population and future generations. This problem is unlikely to be overcome. Economists will continue to advocate LVTs, and politicians will continue to ignore them.”
Cashmore-Fitzgerald vacancies report for Prosper Australia.
Housing power shift
Thank heaven for the ACT housing market (not). Its highly inflated level, created when a couple of high-profile real estate agents discovered the gap between early 1990s ACT house prices and the earnings of Canberrans, is such a river of gold for so many.
And the deprivation of so many. The leasehold system, designed to enable good affordable housing, leaving a reasonable amount of disposable income for cultural and recreational pursuits, has been trashed. Now the ACT government can make excessive multiple profits on raw land sales. So can planners, engineers, surveyors, valuers, civil engineering contractors, spec builders, project builders, realtors, banks, etc.
They do so in an overbearing process that leaves new-home buyer/occupiers struggling with massive debts, stranded on micro plots of land in shape-and-design-predetermined unextendable dwellings, with no room for even a kids’ trampoline or a shed, while being told to enjoy the uselessly broad, genteel ”public realm” strip outside their tiny front yards – that realm and the associated excessive land-gobbling estate infrastructure being the conduits for those huge profits, all bludged off the inflated house-price market.
It’s time to reform this ”industry”, and empower owner-occupiers.
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
Rail versus roads
When I am in Canberra I always use my car, when I am in Sydney, I almost always use public transport or my bicycle. I don’t think there is much unique in my decisions: expediency, efficiency of getting from one place to another, and concern for my environment – particularly avoiding stuffed smoky roads in Sydney that frustrate, raise blood pressure, and smoke the lungs with exhaust fumes and particulates.
Unless the ACT government builds a rail system that can compete with Canberra’s ample, efficient roads and parking space then it is wasting its time and the economy’s resources. But maybe the determination for the environment might drive the ACT government in a different direction: developing a ”vibrant” Canberra in a way that makes it cluttered and frustrating for motorists (much like Sydney), defying the wishes of many of its residents, destroying its character and the light rail might be part of the ”solution”.
George Papadopoulos, Yass, NSW
(Comment: Of course, Walter Burleigh Griffin designed a rail system into Canberra. However, the bureaucrats knew better: no rail was necessary. The car had been invented and it was beginning to do very well!)