ECONOMIC RENT AS A BASIS FOR A SINGLE LAND TAX
Henry George, an American’ economist in his well-known book ‘Progress and Poverty’ (I 9 advocated a single tax on land rent to replace the numerous other taxes which ‘were then being levied. From the social point of view, land is a free gift of nature and as’ such land rent is not necessary to ensure its supply. Hence Henry George argued that taking away rents in,their entirely would not affect the supply of Land or impair the working of the economy. He justified such a tax on the ground that land rents went on rising as a result of social progress and not in no way due to the personal efforts of the land owners. The incidence of tax 0; rent is entirely on the [and owners for whom-this represents unearned income. tax Levied on a completely in elastically supplied good is ab- absorbed entirely by the suppliers of that good. Hence Henry George argued that a single tax on land rent could take the place of numerous other taxes without.producing any ill effects on the economy. Besides, it would not distort the allocation of land usage, because it will leave the supply and demand for land unaffected.However, the proposal had little practical value.
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