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Letter Regarding American Land Taxes (S399: 1887)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Portions of a letter Wallace sent back home while touring North America in 1886-1887. Presented to the sixth annual meeting of the Land Nationalisation Society on 8 June 1887, and printed on page 7 of the Society's annual Report for 1886-7 as part of a "Land Nationalisation Abroad" feature. To link directly to this page connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S399.htm

Under date of February 8th, our President writes from Washington as follows:--

    "The Americans are less advanced on the question than we are, owing partly to the large numbers who have made, or hope to make, money by land speculation, and partly to the confusion occasioned by George's illogical taxation scheme. Land monopoly in towns produces the same effects here as with us, and all land around towns and cities is even dearer than in England. This is very instructive, because here all unoccupied building land is taxed at full selling values, just as the Glasgow Land Restoration Society wants to be done with us, and the result is merely to make land dearer, to throw it into the hands of large capitalists who can afford to pay the tax and wait, and then make it more difficult than with us for a poor man to have a plot of land beyond the 15 or 16 feet wide for a small house. It is an experimental failure of the taxation plan."

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