Useful and Benevolent Pro-Social Taxes
Unstuffy Ideas from Oz
Real tax reforms that are needed:
These taxes can include:
1. IMPLEMENTING SOME MAJOR PRINCIPLES FOR TAXATION IN SPECIFIC WAYS - eg wealth redistribution to prevent the common wealth pouring off into sinks.
Benevolence-Tax is a tax on great wealth in which the
payer can stipulate the benevolent use to be made of it, from a
published list of organizations and purposes and organizations which
would like to receive Benevolences (new meaning for an old word.)
Honor and glory for Benevolent Taxpayers
Every year the Tax Office will provide newspapers with a list to publish on their front pages of the particular Benevolence Taxes paid by those with incomes over say $ OAP 15 (15 times the income of an old-age pensioner) in order to reduce them to that maximum income.
Plaques are put on whatever his/her money pays for, and their name is immortalised - eg:
Some plaques could even be inset in the entrance hall of a national Hall of Fame linked to the Museum, eg. "Packer's Benevolence Tax reduced the National Debt to near zilch."
Another version of a Benevolence Tax, levied like a super-tax, to give rich people more opportunity for worth-while fame, glory, honor, and community usefulness could work like this perhaps:-
Everyone whose taxable income in any one year is over $100,000
pays a graduated Benevolence Tax and they can specify on their tax
forms the Benevolent Use they would wish made of it. If the sum of
the Benevolent Tax is over $50,000 the Benevolent Taxpayer gets a
payoff in honor and glory. Annually the Taxation Office provides the
press with a list to publish on their front pages of the particular
Benevolence Taxes paid by those with incomes over
Some of the Commonwealth Bank's Benevolence Tax could go to paying
the bank charges levied on the poor and children's savings
To become a benefactor rather than a mulctor could become a motivation for enterprise.
HIGH DEPARTURE TAXES on sales of property and businesses to overseas owners. If we ourselves did more of our own investing instead of wasting our cash on gambling and imports, we could tax more highly remits of profits to overseas owners.
GREEN OMISSION TAXES on all new building and renovations that does not include energy-saving provisions with capacity for further improvement. Most of the get-rich- quick building being erected at present by 'greedy developers' barely meets the minimum standards, let alone leaving leeway for later updating with reformed sewerage, solar/windpower, re-use of consumables and water saving. Good Design Guides are at present not good enough.
NON-ESSENTIAL IMPORTS TAX
taking up W. C. Wentworth's idea. If possible, this tax
should be related to labor costs in country of manufacture, compared
to Australian wages. This tax could therefore help to raise overseas
wages, and keep Australian wages from being dragged down to match
them. It is possible to assess this for some products,even if
invidious for others.
LAND-DEAL PROFITS TAXES Higher taxes on profits in land deals, above the price paid and invoiced costs of improvements. Land values come from public need and infrastructure, not from private effort.
MEMORIAL TAXES Inheritance taxes help to ensure that people who have not earned money do not become excessively rich. Certainly it is an incentive to work to be able to leave an inheritance to the family - but a medium inheritance is fairer than millionaire heirs and heiresses. Inheritance up to say $1 million in assets could be allowed tax- free to any individual. All assets after charitable bequests and these limited legacies would go to a Memorial Tax in honor of the deceased. Its use for public benefit or simply public revenue could be specified in the will or by heirs. An inexpensive plaque and publication in an annual listing could commemorate the memorial. The tax could go to a capital establishment that includes provision for maintenance, or to maintenance - even if it just paves the street to a family residence or cleans up his local drains. Family trusts and family corporations would not be eligible for legacies.
2. SOME SOCIALLY USEFUL TAXES
3. TAXES THAT ARE HARMFUL
Now see Part 2. Some socially helpful taxes - that can be helpful even to think about, and taxes that are socially harmful.