The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
ThouArtGod
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

homestead exemptions should exist, but property taxes should be our primary focus on tax revenue

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
dairygirl4u2c
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 493 times Debate No: 58422
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

while homestead exemptions should exist, property taxes should be our primary focus on tax revenue

the primary source of income should come from property tax in excess of one's own personal property.

and the homestead examption should be nothing for cheaper land, but for excessively large properties, it should only be a reduction. if you can't afford to own an excessively large property, tough luck. and of course again propety outside one's own, should be taxed largely.
this all creates disincentives to own excessive property, when property should be promoted to be freely distributed as much as possible.

a person shouldn't be required to have a roomate, but when it starts to get excessive, you need to start figuring somehting else out if you can't afford it.

bottom line though is we should not get rid of the property tax, it should be our main focus, aside from possible homestead exemptions.

(next in line is income tax. this way we can get a firm revenue,,,, if people want to make money, they are going to have to pay income tax. last in line, so as to encourage commercial activity, sales tax. which would have to focus on those with more income, perhaps. see pros and cons of 'fair tax', but also note the disadvantags that would entail needing to keep poor people from having to pay, and ensuring enough revenue.
ThouArtGod

Con

hey dairygirl,
i disagree.
were property taxes our primary source of federal revenue (impossible) it might give some elbow room for income tax reform. it would not, however, balance the scales between the wealthy and the impoverished in regards to taxation rates. property taxes, as well as sales tax, are applied at a municipal level at varying percentages, not at the federal level.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

it wouldn't have to be done at the federal level. it could just replace state and local income taxes. but even if it were federal, and regardless of where its done, why couldn't it balance the scales between the wealthy and non wealthy just as much as income tax? there's no difference where the revenue comes from, just a matter of preference. doing it with property instead of income would cause property to be distributed more justly given the disincentives to owning it.

so as a matter of monetary distribution, it balances the scales as much as any revenue source. and as a matter of practical effects, it balances the scales of property distribution.
ThouArtGod

Con

"this creates disincentives to own excessive property, when property should be promoted to be freely distributed as much as possible."
- You're correct, placing a heavier tax burden on individuals with 'excessive' property would be a disincentive to owning large amounts of land. I don't think, however, that this disincentive would help to freely distribute property. The people with the money will still buy land because they can afford it. And the people that do not have money will still not be able to afford it.

"we should not get rid of property tax..."
- I agree.
"it should be our main focus..."
- I disagree. A major part of our nations wealth is collected at the top:

"The top 1% took heavy hits from the dot-com crash and the Great Recession but recovered fairly quickly: Saez"s preliminary estimates for 2012 (which will be updated next month) have that group receiving nearly 22.5% of all pretax income, while the bottom 90%"s share is below 50% for the first time ever (49.6%, to be precise)."
http://www.pewresearch.org...

Land distribution favoring the wealthy is not a result of having low tax rates on property, it is an effect of wealth distribution itself. Why focus on taxing land (at the state level) which has be purchased, when taxing income (state and federal) targets the source? That's like collecting water from a leak into a bucket instead of patching the leak, it may somewhat work but it doesn't fix the actual problem.

"last in line, so as to encourage commercial activity, sales tax. which would have to focus on those with more income, perhaps."
- What?! A hirer sales tax rate (again, municipal and not federal) for those with more income? Uhhhhh, income tax? Which is my argument altogether, that property taxes as well as sales taxes are and should remain secondary to income taxes. Property taxes are a result of income and therefore cannot be our nations primary focus on tax revenue. What would happen if we did tax much more heavily the individuals with massive amounts of land? Perhaps they would parcel it out and sell it and retain their wealth, thus creating many more "small" landowners relying on government incentives and homestead exemptions, thus lowering the amount of overall revenue collected through property taxes. The wealthy would remain wealthy and our government would lose money.

"why couldn't it balance the scales between the wealthy and non wealthy just as much as income tax? there is no difference where the revenue comes from..."
- Wrong. There is a major difference where the revenue is generated. It's the difference between being taxed on income or property, one of which is purchased with the other.

Heavily tax the top on their incomes, redistribute to the impoverished, and push for regulations and reform that keep those at the top from manipulating the system and finding loopholes to unfairly maintain their wealth, such as putting it in land.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

your water and bucket analogy has a good point, in that we could be focusing on the most direct source of the revenue, the income of the tax payers. but taxing income doesn't have the added advantage of not disincentivising productivity by taxing labor. and, if a rich person doesn't want to own a lot of land, they don't have to. it is more equitabe in that regard too. people can have more control over their sitautions, with more equitable outcomes to boot.

on the sales tax point, you misinterpet me, but i was sloppy. i don't think we should tax sales, but if we do, it should be last. this priority is so that we don't disincentiveize commercial activity.

if it was every the case, in the theretical scenario that con suggests, where everyone owns land, so there's nto enough revenue given the homeowners exemptions, then perhaps we should look to the income tax. but this would be assumeing that the more equitable distribution of land occurred to begin with which was one of the highest things we were seeking.

"""why couldn't it balance the scales between the wealthy and non wealthy just as much as income tax? there is no difference where the revenue comes from..."
- Wrong. There is a major difference where the revenue is generated. It's the difference between being taxed on income or property, one of which is purchased with the other.""

you simply said i was wrong but didn't really say how it effectively is different, getting revenue from propety or income. all you did was point out that land is gotten by income. ok, sure, but that doesn't tell us anything. if we are getting revenue from property instead of income, we can have redistribution programs just the same as if we taxed income directly. there are jst not as many advantages with taxing income directly, and not taxing property instead.

the richest could buy the land if they wanted to, but they would not nearly as much. that is the whole point. you pretty much admit that there's disincentives but then go on to act like it wouldn't change anything. the fact that the richest of the rich might not be impeded doesn't change anything. most people, and most rich people, would be disincentiveized from owning excessive property and thus wouldn't do it.
you even seem to suggest as much when you admitted tht it might be possible for everyone to have homeownes exemptions and then cause concern for raising revenue. but now you backtread. you are being inconsistent.

all your points that the richest make the most money, and recover from recessions faster, doesn't indicate that we should tax income. those things would be true whether or not we tax income. we're just ensuring a more equitably distribtued property, and the means to get the money from the rich would be possible to with property taxes, so as to ensure some straight redistribution.

notable economists have agreed that high property taxes are optimal, of all stipes of economists. milton friedman, and paul krugman and stiglitz and adam smith for instance. when these guys agree on something, we should listen.

Milton Friedman stated: "There's a sense in which all taxes are antagonistic to free enterprise " and yet we need taxes. ...So the question is, which are the least bad taxes? In my opinion the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land

"Keynesian economist Paul Krugman, agree that land value taxation is the best means of raising public revenue"

The Nobelist Joseph Stiglitz writes "Not only was Henry George correct that a tax on land is non-distortionary, but in an equilibrium society ... tax on land raises just enough revenue to finance the (optimally chosen) level of government expenditure."

here is smith talking about it. here he's also talking about the only argument i can think of that con might try to plausibly make ground on, is that higher property values would cause rent to rise for tenants. i know con didn't raise this argument, ut i think con does need some better arguments for his position, so i will take that too.
we see both his supoort for propety tax, but also the fact that it doesn't cause rent to raise.
as far basck as free market began to get really philosophically expanded upon, it was accepted higher property taxes doing a good thing. It was Adam Smith, in his book The Wealth of Nations, who first rigorously analyzed the effects of a land value tax, pointing out how it would not hurt economic activity, and how it would not raise land rents.
"Ground-rents are a still more proper subject of taxation than the rent of houses. A tax upon ground-rents would not raise the rents of houses. It would fall altogether upon the owner of the ground-rent, who acts always as a monopolist, and exacts the greatest rent which can be got for the use of his ground. More or less can be got for it according as the competitors happen to be richer or poorer, or can afford to gratify their fancy for a particular spot of ground at a greater or smaller expense. In every country the greatest number of rich competitors is in the capital, and it is there accordingly that the highest ground-rents are always to be found. As the wealth of those competitors would in no respect be increased by a tax upon ground-rents, they would not probably be disposed to pay more for the use of the ground. Whether the tax was to be advanced by the inhabitant, or by the owner of the ground, would be of little importance. The more the inhabitant was obliged to pay for the tax, the less he would incline to pay for the ground; so that the final payment of the tax would fall altogether upon the owner of the ground-rent.
" Adam Smith , The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter 2, Article I: Taxes upon the Rent of Houses
ThouArtGod

Con

ThouArtGod forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by neutral 2 years ago
neutral
dairygirl4u2cThouArtGodTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Its too bad Con forfeited the last round. There is one serious danger with property taxes: retirement. While we are in our productive years, paying taxes of any kind is ... affordable. You buy your house, you pay your taxes and what happens when you retire and your income falls? When the value of your home goes up but your pension does not? There is a very real risk of property taxes being a eviction tax for elderly and the infirm. We can certainly add taxes on additional household to penalize or discourage institutional investment and to retain stable housing prices (rather than commodity bubbles) but we should be wary of property taxes for the middle and lower classes. We risk devastating them and pushing them into government housing in their later years.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
dairygirl4u2cThouArtGodTied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Pro. Con forfeited the final round. This is rarely acceptable behavior in any debate settings. For this, I award points to Pro. S&G - Con. Pro failed to capitalize any of the words at the beginning of sentences. When S&G is a factor in voting, proper spelling and grammar is vital to maintain. Arguments - Pro. Con failed to present any rebuttals to Pro's final points. Up until that point, Con was providing good counter arguments, but unfortunately, left Pro's arguments and rebuttals standing unchallenged in the final round. For this, Pro takes arguments. Sources - Tie. Both debaters utilized sources in this debate to further validate their points.