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Free Trade Party Property Tax Proposal

 

The main premise behind the property tax proposal is that the government is delivering property security services to property owners in direct proportion to the market value of their property.  These services consist of the police, armed forces, courts, and legislatures.  With a constitutionally limited government, no other government services are required.  The second premise is that people should have the right to police protection of their person only without paying a fee.  That means that an orphan or destitute person would be protected.

 

Thus the "best" taxes are the ones that are the best proxy for market value of the taxpayer's property. So the simple taxation hierarchy from best to worst is:

 

1- Voluntary "tax" on market value of property

2- Property Tax (Rates) based on government’s value

3- Progressive Income Tax

4- Flat Income Tax

5- Universal taxes on trade (eg. GST)

6- Arbitrary taxes (eg. sin taxes, stamp duties)

7- Head Tax

 

The economic argument for a property tax is that it is the most efficient tax.  It does this by discouraging hoarding without significant disincentives to trade or wealth enhancement.

 

So how would it work?

 

Property owners would declare a market value for their property.  This would be public knowledge.  Anyone could make an offer to buy the property for more than the owner's declared value.  Owners would have the choice of selling their property for more than they declared it to be worth, or paying the flat rate of tax (say, 1%) on the higher value.  It would be up to owners to price their own costs of re-location into their declared value.  The tax would pay for all property protection services provided by the government.  People without property would only pay indirectly through their rent.

 

The system would ultimately be voluntary.  Property owners would have the right to opt out and pay for their own property protection, but this would only protect them from formal government action against them by the police or armed forces.  Anybody else, including for example off-duty police, would have the legal right to use force against them to take over their property.  In practice this would rarely happen because the private security agencies would keep the peace.