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How Much Revenue Would a Full Land Value Tax Yield? In the United States in 1981, Census and Federal Reserve Data Indicate It Would Nearly Equal All Taxes

Steven Cord
The American Journal of Economics and Sociology
Vol. 44, No. 3 (Jul., 1985), pp. 279-293
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3486038
Page Count: 15
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How Much Revenue Would a Full Land Value Tax Yield? In the United States in 1981, Census and Federal Reserve Data Indicate It Would Nearly Equal All Taxes
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Abstract

Most urban economists and particularly specialists in urban public finance consider the land value tax, because of its economic effects and its influence toward rational development, the tax of choice. But could it replace, in whole or in large part, taxes which now burden labor and capital and distort efficient allocation of resources? How important would a full land rent tax's yield be? The U.S. Bureau of the Census provides data which, adjusted for errors and omissions, indicates that the annual land rent for 1981 was $721 billion. Federal Reserve Board data, similarly adjusted, indicates annual land rent for that year was $590.38 billion. Hence we may say that a full land rent tax would yield something around $658 billion in 1981, or 28 percent of the 1981 national income. This is nearly two-thirds of all taxes levied by all levels of government in 1981, and, with user charges and similar fees continued, it is probably equal or nearly equal to burdensome taxes.

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