7. (2014 January) Numbers: What’s All the Land in America Worth?

Matthew Yglesias, from Slate.com writes that land, pollution, and congestion pricing provide a large enough tax base to fund a welfare state.

“Add it all up and you get $14.488 trillion in land value…This number is high enough that it tends to confirm that view that taxation of land and other natural resources, supplemented by pollution fees and things like congestion charges could replace all taxes on labor and investment and still fund an ample welfare state and public sector.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/12/20/value_of_all_land_in_the_united_states.html

It’s interesting to note that Mason Gaffney has done a more thorough analysis, revealing that official reports of total land value are far below their actual value. You can find Gaffney’s treatment in his new book, The Mason Gaffney Reader, in a chapter entitled “Revenue Potential of Land.”

The Mason Gaffney Reader is available for purchase on RSF’s website.

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