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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 71

Chapter X. — The Change, and why it is Desired, Stated Briefly

Chapter X.

The Change, and why it is Desired, Stated Briefly.

The change desired is the transfer from landowners to the community of the receipt, or enjoyment, of ground rent; a process which may be described as the "nationalisation of ground rent." It is believed that this fund would provide all necessary colonial and local revenue, and that all existing taxes and rates might, as a consequence, be abolished.

The reasons for desiring this change are two in number: 1st. That the use of land, by every owner, should be annually paid for to the community. This is in order to remove land from the category of income-producing investments, so that the owner could derive no other income from it than that which arose from his personal use of it. 2nd. That the selling value of land should be destroyed. This is for the purpose of protecting intending owners from having to pay any premium before they commence a useful occupation of land. The purchase of an unimproved section would cost them nothing; an improved one would cost them the price for which they could bargain to buy the improvements from the existing owner. It is also intended by this means to free land from the domination of owners who don't use it. This would allow settlement to proceed along natural lines, and would largely prevent the existing frequent obstruction of public improvements which are desired by the community.

Single Taxers believe that the realisation of these objects would settle the whole difficulty usually referred to as "The Land Question."