Land Taxation and Land Tenure Ethics

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Information about Land Taxation and Land Tenure Ethics
News & Politics

Published on December 16, 2008

Author: JohnAndrewAinsley



A history of the problems associated with land ownership and the "land question" in the modern world. A solution to the injustices will be facilitated by the implementation of Land Value Taxation as proposed by Henry George

Putting the country on the road to economic justice and prosperity: Land Value Taxation Presentation by Dr. J. A. Ainsley

Act I

African society is suffering from a crisis of land ownership

The State is losing popular support due to failure to tackle this issue.

There is a contrast between modern and traditional ideas about land

Land ownership needs to be seen to be equitably distributed

Land Value Taxation will resolve the crisis

Act II, Scene 1

Land ownership has presented problems throughout history

Kenya’s land problem starts from colonial times

In pre-colonial times land ownership was communal

The Colonialists introduced the private ownership system

The Independence Government did not solve the land problem

Land problems started before Christianity and continued with it

Land ownership became concentrated even in ancient times

In Medieval Europe the situation worsened with the Enclosures

Europe’s landless peoples either starved or emigrated to America

The spread of European civilization to America extended the problem

Landlessness is now the normal situation in the world

It is now also an urban problem

The Industrial Revolution coincided with urbanization and the slums

Slums are now mainly a developing world phenomenon

The urban elites contribute to the urban housing problem

Land monopoly leads to misery for the majority

Attitudes are changing so as to give the urban poor security of tenure

Act II, Scene 2

Land ownership is first an ethical matter then an economic one

Religious tradition and Ethics can enlighten us in this matter

The Church Fathers were opposed to concentration of land ownership

Ethics shows that land cannot be “owned”

Common Law contradicts Civil Law on some land ownership issues

Economics and Private Good clash with Ethics and the Common Good

Individualised land tenure has advantages over communal tenure

Private ownership causes a dilemma by harming the common good

It is the community which gives land its value

Act II, Scene 3

Land Value Taxation will solve the problem

Land Taxation has been successful wherever it has been applied

It has several beneficial effects

LVT benefited agriculture in America, Taiwan and Australia

LVT has benefited cities in America and Asia

Land Taxation effectively converts freehold into leasehold

Land Taxation rates will not need to be high

Land Taxation will help to solve several problems specific to Kenya

Land-grabbers will be forced to offload unused land onto the market

LVT will assist the State to enforce regulations for good land usage

There are several obstacles to the implementation of Land Taxation

The greatest obstacle is widespread ignorance of the nature of land tenure

The large landowners have always been opposed to any land tax

Land speculators, banks, the car industry etc. will all oppose LVT


So, is an equitable distribution of land in Kenya possible?

Ignorance and powerful vested interests threaten this distribution

The Government must implement Land Value Taxation

LVT will put the country on the road to economic justice and prosperity

Closing image for end of presentation

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