Great Article About the Land Tax in the Kansas City Star
This weekend, KC Star columnist E. Thomas McClanahan had a terrific article about the benefits of replacing earnings taxes with a land tax, as proposed for St. Louis and Kansas City by Show-Me Institute executive vice president and University of Missouri–Columbia economics professor Dr. Joseph Haslag. This is the second major KC-area piece that really demonstrates an understanding of how a land tax creates a better incentive structure relative to other types of taxation. The Pitch had an excellent story on the issue in 2008.
As if the article was not great enough, I also want to share the remarks of commentor number 3, “jayhawk6”, who said:
Good explanation for just how the land tax works. The spiteful aspect of property taxes […] is that a homeowner can be discouraged from improving his/her home because it will raise its value and thus the tax burden.
We thank both McClanahan and “jayhawk6” for the attention and focus on this important issue. McClanahan is absolutely right when he says that a land tax should be adopted as an eventual replacement for the current property tax system even if the earnings tax is maintained. (But it should NOT be maintained.) Although, as the article explains, this would entail amending the state constitution, counties in Missouri could move in that direction simply by applying more of the current value of property to the land, and less to the improvement. Then, as the property might be improved, the taxes would rise less because the portion determined by land value would hold steady.