Re: Flat Tax. (now land tax)

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 14 Jun 1999 09:42:30 -0400

Timothy Bates wrote:

> The argument is that without the government your one-time payment for the
> land would be worthless as the land would be stolen from you by other people
> and network values (roads, cable etc.) could not be established. The tax is
> therefore a recurrent payment for
> a. Defence
> b. "Lease hold" on the latent network service value.
> c. Neighbourhood Maintenance

For the amount paid, I should get driveway/walkway plowing, lawnmowing & landscaping maintenance, pest control, a gated security system on my neighborhood. What we get is day later snow removal, do it yourself landscaping and pest control, and 'security' that might come in reply to your 911 if they aren't busy doing something else and they aren't liable for a failure to respond, otherwise, defend yourself.

> Mike then listed things that his land tax pays for right now.
> > Education (K-12 and some college support)
> > police departments
> > fire departments
> > zoning departments
> > maintenance of community property (mostly recreational or green belt)
> > some road maintenance
> <devils-advocacy on>
> I think that all of these can be justified. Even education (compare crime
> and social progress rates in countries that eliminate education function).

I'm not saying its not justified, but do we get what we pay for? I want the monopoly broken, so I can contract the services myself.

> > The largest use of these taxes is education. Should people who are
> > sterile or lifelong bacholors/bachelorettes be forced to pay for the
> > education of the fertile members of the community?
> Nope. I agree. However - Doesn't your argument require that you have
> fertility control over your neighbours? i.e., if they are unwilling to
> educate their children, and you, rightfully, don't want to pay for their
> kids to go to school - what gives? Unless you have fertility control, you
> are stuck paying for them one way or the other.

No it doesn't require it. However the dirty little secret is that the amount you pay cumulatively over your life for public education is WAY more than it costs you to send your kids to private education. I want the monopoly broken.

> The notion is therefore that you agree that compulsory sterilisation on
> request of your neighbours is a bad thing, and that compulsory education is
> less bad. Therefore, the optimal response is education. Of course you can
> control the content of this education. Mike's extropian local 101 :-)
> >That is definitely confiscatory.
> yep.
> > Police departments: That and fire departments are iffy. The idea that
> > you should pay higher insurance if you don't have such 'protection' is
> > dubious, since the risk of such in areas where there is no protection
> > tends to be lesser than in more developed communities...Also the idea
> > that you should submit to one monopoly service is also iffy.
> I think all of this (and other stuff that i snipped) resolves to the
> monopoly service notion.
> How about this...
> 1. Network values and security are created by government.
> 2. This justifies a tax on land.
> 3. You must pay this tax, but the government must disperse
> this money entirely through private entities via contestable bidding?

Why can't I disperse my money myself?

> > unless specific exemptions are
> > written in for farmland and wilderness property A farmer will
> > subdivide his land and sell it off to developers
> So now you want to confiscate the farmer's right to do this?

Not at all. What I was saying was that if you have a flat tax rate on property, it becomes prohibitive to remain a farmer or wilderness owner, and you are forced to sell the land to developers.

> > Now, should property taxes be applied at the federal level?
> Good question. What is federal? How does the structure of government flwo
> out off a land-based tax system? If we can identify tiers of land-value then
> we should have tiers of government. If not, then we should have a flat
> government. The borders of a nation define at least one super-set of your
> own personal land. This suggests two levels of government. One to defend and
> network your land, the other to defend/network all land in the superset.

Looking at the states as regions that have selected a specific shopping cart of services to be supplied by a monopoly state level government, as a result of increased delegation from the people of their rights, while the federal government has the same delegated rights from people in all states. This is your tiered system.

Now given that we were discussing a flat tax on real estate property, what about other types of property? Real estate is the only asset that a government really controls and that it can constitutionally tax, except for trade based taxes (commerce clause) on interstate transactions.

> Of course this might also evolve quite naturally, like Athenian democracy.
> This was built on a system of 10s. 10 landowners elect a rep and perform
> local functions amongst themselves. 10 of these leaders form a new level, et
> etc. until you get to the top (in their case <50,000 people).

Sounds like it was quite a representative system. I thought it collapsed because it was too direct of a system?


Michael S. Lorrey
Owner, Lorrey Systems
Director, Grafton County Fish & Game Assoc.
Member, Extropy Institute
Member, National Rifle Association
"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
                  - General John Stark