The Instigator
linate
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
distraff
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

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

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
linate
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/5/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 432 times Debate No: 60030
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

linate

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.

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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
distraff

Con

Thanks to my opponent for beginning this debate. Personally I don"t like property taxes. They disproportionately hurt the middle class and they make people pay the government even when they are not earning money. I want to see property taxes removed rather than prioritized above income taxes. If they are prioritized then property taxes with be higher relative to other taxes such as income tax.

The income tax is fair because the amount you pay is based on how much you earn. If the income tax is prioritized people with assets focused on land rather than the stock market are not hurt, and people who need to spend a large amount of their income on expenses are not hurt either. To me it is common sense. But lets start with more detailed argument.

Taxes when broke

Unemployment is a huge problem in this country and it is upsetting that still have to pay taxes when they are out of a job and really in financial bad straits because they have to pay thousands in property taxes every year to the government.

Income inequality

I will be basing future arguments on the fact that income inequality is high, rising, and a big problem.

Income inequality is high. The top 1% earn 22.5% of our nation"s income while the bottom 90% earn 49.6% less than half (1).

Income inequality is rising. Between 1979 and 2007 the incomes of the bottom 90% grew by 18.9% while those of the top 1% grew by 200.5% (2).

Income inequality is a problem. Between 1979 and 2007 53.9% of economic growth has gone to the top 1%. No wonder incomes for the rest of us have risen so slowly (2).

Houses as Assets for Rich and Poor

For the middle 60% of Americans houses make up 60% of people"s financial assets. For the next 19% they only make up 30.1% of assets, and for the top 1% they only make for 9.4% (3). So taxing land disproportionately hurts the middle class which is already in big trouble and many have already slipped into poverty.

Even if you are not in favor of progressive taxes, it still is not fair to disproportionately tax the middle class. At the very least, rich and poor should pay equal shares of their incomes.

1: http://www.pewresearch.org...
2: http://www.epi.org...
3: http://www.theatlantic.com...
Debate Round No. 1
linate

Pro

'For the middle 60% of Americans houses make up 60% of people"s financial assets. For the next 19% they only make up 30.1% of assets, and for the top 1% they only make for 9.4% (3). So taxing land disproportionately hurts the middle class which is already in big trouble and many have already slipped into poverty.

this is a decent point. but, the top one percent is likely to own much property. that means when it's all said and done, they will be taxed more. they will at least want to live nice and have an expensive home, which means higher taxes. when it's all said and done, property will be distributed much more justly.

i would suppose for that reason, it won't be regressive. richer people will still tend to own more of the property and for that reason pay more of the taxes. given the homestead exemption won't tax your home if it's smaller in value, it wouldn't even affect most people.
if in the end it ends up being a regressive tax, we can have supplemental income taxes. i'm not against income taxes, just think they are prioritized below property taxes. if not for any other reason than it helps better distribute something as basic as owning a home. perhaps i can see if it is regressive putting a higher emphasis on income tax, but at that point, i could at worst go either way which is better. they each serve a role.
distraff

Con

Pro: given the homestead exemption won't tax your home if it's smaller in value, it wouldn't even affect most people.

Some of what you said in the last round indicates that. Other things you said indicate the opposite.

Pro Round 1: the primary source of income should come from property tax in excess of one's own personal property.

From this statement I gather that only property in excess of personal property will be taxed. This will be accomplished by having a homestead exemption. This is an exemption on people's houses.

Pro round 1: and the homestead examption should be nothing for cheaper land,

This statement indicates that for cheaper lands the homestead exemption would not exist, so for the middle class, they would not have a homestead exemption on their home properties.

Pro round 1: but for excessively large properties, it should only be a reduction.

This indicates that for large lands, there would be a small exemption for home property.

Pro: but, the top one percent is likely to own much property. that means when it's all said and done, they will be taxed more.

Sure, the rich will be paying more money than the poor but the rich have far more money to pay with. It is not fair for someone with $1,000,000 to pay $40,000 in tax while someone with $20,000 has to give all his $20,000 in taxes. This tax will hit the poor person hard taking all his money while only taking 4% from the rich guy, barely scratching him. This illustrates the point that at the very least, fair taxes tax at the same proportion of income, not the same dollar value.

Since property taxes take a higher proportion of the middle class income than rich income it is unfair to the middle class. In fact the definition of "regressive tax" illustrates my point in this definition of regressive tax:

Investopedia: A tax that takes a larger percentage from low-income people than from high-income people. A regressive tax is generally a tax that is applied uniformly. This means that it hits lower-income individuals harder(1).

Also, it has been shown that income inequality is high, growing, and a big problem. This point was not refuted. So emphasizing regressive taxes is going to make this problem worse at a faster pace than now.

Pro: if in the end it ends up being a regressive tax, we can have supplemental income taxes. i'm not against income taxes, just think they are prioritized below property taxes. if not for any other reason than it helps better distribute something as basic as owning a home.

So my opponent admits that private property such as houses are taxed. Instead of trying to counterbalance the deleterious effects of increased property tax with income taxes, why not just emphasize income taxes more and de-emphasize property taxes since property taxes are regressive?

Even if middle class houses are not affected by these new taxes, small and large farms are going to be hit hard with hundreds of thousands of acres of taxable land. Apartments are going to be hit hard. This will result in higher food prices and higher rent. Since the poor spend twice the proportion of their incomes on food (4) and more on rent than the middle class and the rich, they will be hurt badly.

Food prices have already risen by 40% since 2000 (3) and we don"t need them rising at a higher rate. The percent of renters spending more than 30% of their incomes on rent has gone from 23% in 1960 to 38% in 1990 to 50% in 2010. In 2010 28% of renters pay more than 50% of their incomes on rent. Rent is quickly becoming unaffordable on its own (5). Property taxes than hurt renters need to be de-emphasized not emphasized.

And why is excessive property is such a problem? America has plenty of open land. Just try driving around a few miles outside your city. There is a lot of country.

Emphasizing property taxes disproportionately hurts people who spend a high proportion of their incomes on paying for their house, rent, and food. This tax affects different groups of Americans unequally in all the wrong ways.

Income taxes can be made flat to affect everyone equally or progressive to affect rich more because their incomes are growing so quickly. Income taxes are far better to emphasize. Plus they don"t tax people who are earning no income and yet hold taxable property.

1: http://www.investopedia.com...
2: http://www.businessinsider.com...
3: http://www.businessinsider.com...
4: http://www.npr.org...
5: http://theweek.com...
Debate Round No. 2
linate

Pro

"This statement indicates that for cheaper lands the homestead exemption would not exist, so for the middle class, they would not have a homestead exemption on their home properties.

it doesn't have to be that way. we can protect middle class with the homestead exemption too. that would make most of your arguments moot given your focus is on protecting the middle class and lower.

that you try to say i would want to tax the middle class that way, then is more a straw man argument than anything

"It is not fair for someone with $1,000,000 to pay $40,000 in tax while someone with $20,000 has to give all his $20,000 in taxes.

no one said it would work that way. i have no idea where you got those number. that you even draw that argument is more a straw man, again, than anything. the only way they would have to pay something like this, is if the person with small income had a ton of land compared to what he owned. in reality any schmee i would support wouldn't tax someone who only makes twenty k all their income, unless they owned way too much land.

if you gave a more realistic view of what id support, it would probably be progressive and not regressive in nature, for those who want to own land. and we'd be functioning government mostly on those who want to own more than their fair share of land.

again, we can have supplemental taxes with income taxes if it wasn't sufficient. in fact, if anything my scheme might work 'too good', and most people would have their own property, and be eligieble for exemptions, and we'd need more sources of revenue.

"
So my opponent admits that private property such as houses are taxed"

i never said that. and in fact, it probably wouldn't be regressive, cause it'd be based only on how much land you have, so if you choose to have a lot, you would be taxed more. and given most rich would own more land, it would tend to be progressive. it would only be an 'out' for people who do not want t oparticipate in the land game. good luck to them. we can still get our revenue from land taxes anyways.

"result in higher food prices and higher rent"

i showed adam smith the legendary free market economist arguing the opposite. people will rent where it's cheaper and it won't be worth it to try to make high rent, cause it won't happen. hte free market will work against that notion. this is con's best argument,,,, the rest is mostly strawman arguments. but i tend ot think he's wrong. and, he hasn't relaly did a very good job arguing how exactly he thinks the free market will cause rents and costs to go up. i'm arguing free market will cause rents to stay down.
distraff

Con

distraff 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 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
linatedistraffTied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: ff, con's only big argument was refuted by pro. And as always, linate has terrible spelling, no offense.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
linatedistraffTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit. As to arguments, both sides had problems. But Con's major objection, that the tax would be disproportionate, is specifically addressed by the homestead exemption. Arguments to Pro. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.