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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 14, 1911, Image 5

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1911-12-14/ed-1/seq-5/

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. V
THE SINGLE TAX WHAT IS IT?
t Article Number 2 By. Edmund Norton.
i
lis
If we carefully study the Sin
gle Tax we will learn that it ip
claimed to be:
First A fiscal
reform, or a way
for the govern
ment to get money
when-it wants it.
Second A so
cial reform, or a
way to so change
social conditions
that we mav have
Edm: Norton a better state of so
' ciety:
Third It is a matter of practi
cal politics, involving the making
of parties, platforms ; the formu
lating of principles and getting
possession of legislative bodies so
that:
Fourth It becomes a subject
of constructive statesmanship
where its principles may be for
mulated into concrete laws that
will be carried out by the execu
tive branches of government.
Now suppose we just -examine
it as a fiscal reform, or a way to
get money for the government.
The 'question of whether it is
right or wrong morally we will
'take up later.
The Single Tax proposed to
abolish every kind of tax in ex
istence except one tax on the
. value of land. What does this
mean? It means that -we would
wipe out every form of tax in ex
istence tariff, ' taxes, license
, taxes,' personal property taxes,
improvement taxes, poll taxest
etc, and so forth. This sounds
shocking and you might just as
well be shocked enough to wake
up and take a look at it, for it is
coming beyond a doubt.
If all these taxes were put out
of commission you can readily see
that there would be nothing left
to tax but land. So we might
have a land tax, or a land value
tax. What is the difference?
A land tax might betaken
equally from units of land say
an acre; just as we take a poll tax
from a man just because he is a.
man. If he has but two dollars
we take it. If he has eight hun
dred million dollars, we take only
two of them from him. Some peo
ple think this is all right. We
don't. Say we had a land tax of
two dollars per acre. That would,
on land worth two dollars per
acre, take the total value of the
land every year, like the poll tax
on the podr man. On the $16,500-,
000 acre on the corner of Broad
way and Wall street,. New York
City, it would take only the same
amount $2.00. That looks about
as square as the poll tax law, does
it not?
Now, the Georgian Single Tax
on the value of land alone, exclu
sive of improvements, would take,
if the tax was one cent on the dol
lar it would take two cents from
the two dollar land and 16,500,000
cents from the Wall street land.
That is the difference between a
land tax and a land , value. It
seems enough of a difference for
even a farmer to notice.
So, the Single Tax is not a tax
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