Monday, January 21, 2013

Direct Battle Between Rentiers vs Citizens Resurfaces

commentary by Roger Erickson

Nebraska farm groups questioning Gov. Heineman's plan to eliminate sales-tax

Some of Nebraska's powerful farm interests are skeptical about Gov. Dave
Heineman's proposed income-tax overhaul, arguing that the state should
focus instead on reducing property taxes.

Too bad this topic hasn't come up in citizen propositions yet, especially in California.

Who is Gov. Heineman and where did he get even his minimal idea? It's a pity he doesn't just propose doing away with state income taxes altogether while markedly raising taxes on a variety of "properties." A very vocal brawl would allow the public could see the full range of arguments, propaganda and special interests revealed. A visible rentier/citizen war of words could be very revealing if handled properly.

Anyone have information on the historic battles over "aggregate-demand" vs "property" or rentier taxes in various states, or even in other countries?


David said...

I don't know, Roger, it looks exactly like the perennial whine you'd read in the Oregon farm papers. The only thing missing is the bitching about having to pay the minimum wage. The problem is that farmers are so used to low land taxes and generous subsidies from the government that they don't see that they've been substituting land and capital for labor for a long time. It's no accident that their publication is called "Capital Press." A higher land tax would tend to weed out the "gentlemen farmers" and the low intensity ranchers, promote a more intensive style of farming which would employ more people and provide more revenue for the schools and such. The fact is many of them could afford to pay more taxes even with the present ag practices. The fact is, they're just greedy. Owning land is already a serious privilege in itself, but they never see it that way and always insist that privilege be piled on privilege.

Dan Lynch said...

In most states, large landowners get an agricultural exemption, making the property tax highly regressive. Of course the farmers still complain that they are overtaxed, boo hoo hoo.

The property tax is a good thing, but it needs to be made progressive, and gazillionaire farmers and ranchers need to pay their fair share.

Farmers and ranchers are rentiers. More so today when many large ranches are owned by out-of-state gazillionaires who just use the ranch as a tax deductable 2nd home.

Roger Erickson said...

Let's trick the rentiers into supporting a proposition. Just put some bleachers out in the sun, and let them rent them out on Highway 61! :)

Betcha some of 'em couln't resist. Tempt 'em with their own medicine.