Carrot as well as stick
Adding to the concept of a home as shelter rather than an investment, the concept of family and personal security needs to be considered. If a taxation system removes or reduces security of tenure, then we have a problem. Without some concrete examples of how the TOP tax reform would work to confirm otherwise, I just see a loss of family security (why own a house when you're paying tax on asset value over which you have no control and which will continue regardless of real income?). That loss of security does not occur when a tax system is based on that real income (which includes taxes on consumption). I'd be more supportive of capital gains taxes on residential land and property (surely this would operate to solve a large chunk of the tax loophole described), with the balance of government income gained via, largely, consumption taxes (potentially selective) and a flat income tax rate. Surely there is a lot of valuable community stability to be gained by encouraging home ownership, controlling property speculation, while encouraging fair opportunities for people to rent as required (which requires property investment by the owners of capital who are relying on rental income and not property speculation). I note that Berlin house prices are used as an example of housing price control - but the Germans have a property sales tax and a 25% capital gains tax. Why aren't these considered as TOP tax options if they appear to have the desired effect?
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