Income tax rates in Australia

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The income tax idea seems reasonable as long as the rates are set for any given financial year in advance. Eg on 1st July you are able to know with certainty what tax rates you’ll be paying. So the system would always need to be a year or two behind unless some arbitrary inflation factor were applied in advance.

As for land taxes etc, that potentially has some unintended consequences depending on how it’s applied. Eg a factory in Australia needs more land than a simple warehouse storing imported goods. But logically we wouldn’t want to tax local production more than imports.

A large wind or solar farm takes up far more land than a fossil fuel power plant. But even those who don’t believe there to be a problem with CO2 emissions generally wouldn’t want to see wind or solar taxed more heavily than gas simply because it takes up a bit of otherwise unused land in the middle of nowhere.

A high rise building takes up far less land than a single level building with the same office space. But do we really want to start building skyscrapers in regional towns in order to have a smaller footprint when there’s plenty of land anyway?

So land tax as a concept worries me to some extent due to the potential distortions it creates. Outside the cities, the fundamental value of land is close to zero and is really only worth what it can produce be it via agriculture, mining or whatever but it’s not worth much just as land. t’s not easy to sensibly tax something that just sits there and which has huge difference in value per unit of area depending on location. So how does one actually calculate the value on which to tax?

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