ABOUT PROSPER AUSTRALIA
We have everything we need. Our earth, and the bold achievements we have attained together through human progress is more than enough to create a fair society where every person can benefit from our shared wealth to live fuller, happier, and safer lives.
All of us aspire to earn a fair living and be optimistic about the future. However, with a slowing economy, rising inequality, and the exploitation of our environment, it can be difficult to see the way forward. Many of us who contribute to our society through hard work struggle to pay our bills. Meanwhile, others who are hold rights over natural resources, including land are allowed to profit from value they did not create.
We firmly believe that taxes on the productive areas of society such as income tax, payroll tax, company tax and stamp duty need to be reduced. Instead, we should be taxing unearned streams of superprofits from exclusive access to our finite natural resources, such as land, groundwater and minerals. A tax shift for Australia will take the pressure off workers and the productive sectors of our society while preserving those things that matter most.
At Prosper, we talk to policymakers, politicians and the public about the tax shift we need for our future. We can use our tax system as a powerful lever towards a stronger, more productive, fairer and more sustainable society.
What is Prosper?
We are an independent, Melbourne-based research institute with a focus on the management of exclusive and essential resource allocation through tax policy.
This includes land and other natural resources, essential services that are most efficiently provided by one supplier, and government-instituted monopolies such as taxi and fishing licences. It is our position that unearned and unproductive streams of private income which derive from these elements of our economy should be more heavily taxed. This will allow taxes on the productive sector to be eased, making for a more equitable and more efficient economy.
Prosper Australia grew out of the appetite for social reform during the progressive era between 1890 and 1920. Inspired by US journalist, economist and politician Henry Geroge, a broad and worldwide movement grew to advocate for shifting taxes from labour to land. In the 1910s and 1920s, our journal, Progress, had a distribution of 20,000. Our work today is largely sustained by the generosity of movement leaders in that era.
During the dislocation of the depression and war years, support tapered off. However, a dedicated cadre remained enthused. Successes of Georgists in Australia include a Federal land tax introduced in 1910, securing a fairer local government ratings base of site value for Victoria in 1920, and the ACT leasehold system which was successful until the 1970s.
With a slowing economy, increasing inequality and an the degradation of our environment all pressing issues for Australians, there has never been a stronger mandate for a tax shift. We conduct research both independently and commissioned, host public lectures and discussions, and conduct advocacy campaigns for the reforms we want to achieve. And over one hundred years later, we still publish our print journal, Progress.