At the request of those on both sides of the isle here in P&R, I'm starting this thread to debate the merits of the land tax. This thread is meant as one in which participants will check their ideologue biases at the door in pursuit of an honest debate. Both sides should be well represented and well argued. If any participant argues against the person rather than the idea as supported by logic and empirical evidence, it is to the detriment of the thread, and those of us in pursuit of honest debate will cease participation. The basis for the debate is the idea of scrapping the entire tax code as it stands currently in the US, and replacing it with a "land value tax". That is, a tax on the unimproved value of land without regard to the value of improvements. The reason for this topic selection is as follows. 1) This tax has arguably the best pedigree of any single tax presented. It has been supported most famously by Henry George, but before him Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Milton Friedman, and many of the other highly regarded economists. Keynes himself was seemingly silent on the topic during the land tax debate in Great Britain, but mainly because he thought the land situation would resolve itself, and therefore rendered the debate pointless. But lest my left leaning friends feel under-represented, the idea of the land tax was supported by John Stuart Mill, John Kenneth Galbraith, David Loyyd George, and others. 2) This tax is considered by most economists to be the most fair and efficient tax idea ever presented. Easy to calculate, easy to collect and regulate, results in the least amount of dead weight loss, and most incentivizes efficient land use. 3) By incentivizing efficient land use, it reduces urban sprawl and environmentally expensive development like using open greenspace for parking lots. Ideas like this are very appealing to the Left. It also reduces the propensity for individuals to get rich off simple speculation resulting from the efforts of the community around them. 4) By incentivizing efficient use of land it allows free markets to operate more efficiently and eliminate the tax on labor and innovation that the Right hates so much. Despite the broad support in theory, it remains one of the most avoided tax solutions available.