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Monday, April 7, 2008

Calculating Geo-Rent / Land Value

Foldvary points out that various kinds of markets -- insurance, mortgage, condominiums, real estate -- routinely assess the unimproved value of land, and that this is a quite workable proxy for geo-rent.  The practical question for this policy is: would it be more fair to value every acre in jurisdictions equally, or to value them according to the sort of valuations that local governments in America already compute?  My experience as a landowner and a user of is that these valuations have a margin of error of maybe 25%, but I could live with a per-jurisdiction flat per-area land tax.  I can also imagine a market-based institution for appraising property, that allows the appraiser to be challenged to set aside in interest-bearing escrow a purchase amount, that must be exchanged for the property whenever the landholder decides to put it on the market.  I'd love to see Robin Hanson take a whack at this problem.
I agree with your comments about resource extraction fees.
I'm not at all disingenuous about how I think the LP should oppose aggression.  I don't think political libertarianism is exclusively about reducing the power of the state.  I think it should instead be about using political mechanisms -- elections, etc. -- to reduce the aggregate amount of aggression, the majority of which is indeed currently committed or enabled by the state.  If you disagree, I'd like you to seriously explain why you don't think our party should be called the Anarchist Party, and why calling it Libertarian isn't "disingenuous" bait-and-switch.  I wouldn't have joined the LP if I thought I was endorsing anarchism as a goal, and I suspect the perception that this is our goal is one of the reasons we are so small.