TAXING AGRICULTURAL LAND

Desirable features of a tax on agricultural land are that it is not a disincentive to effort, it does not distort resource allocation, it does not increase food prices and evasion is not possible. A land tax on these grounds is superior to an income tax. The tax, however, must be acceptable to the community. The administration of a land tax is costly as all properties need to be appraised individually and regularly. The rise in expenses and function of government has made such a tax inadequate to finance national government expenditure and land taxes are usually used to finance local government expenditure. Currently agriculture is heavily subsidised in developed countries which means that tax money is rechannelled into agriculture, after a portion of it is wasted (lost) in the administration of tax and subsidy schemes. More attention needs to be given to eliminating subsidies that do not meet efficiency and equity goals rather than embarking on new forms of taxation. In this context a subsidy on labour qualifies, whereas a subsidy on the purchase of land is an economic waste, as the subsidy becomes capitalised in higher land values.


Issue Date:
1987-06
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/267149
ISSN:
0303-1853
Language:
English
Published in:
Agrekon, Volume 26, Issue 2
Page range:
10-14




 Record created 2018-01-24, last modified 2018-04-02

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