Protecting Our Environment
Taxing land and other natural resources prioritises the earth in our economic system. Instead of hoarding resources such as land, water and minerals, there will be an imperative to minimise resource use. This can help us take care of the planet, invest in communities and assist real action on climate change.
At Prosper, we believe our tax system can be harnessed to protect and improve our environment.
The price we pay for some things is sometimes much less than their actual cost. There are numerous examples of such “external costs” or “externalities.” Pollution of a river by a paper- making company, eg – that is a cost to the community and environment. Or nutrient runoff from agriculture that ruins the Barrier Reef. These costs are not borne by the company that creates the problem, but are imposed on society. We all pay.
Land is finite, and private property owners should contribute to government for its upkeep. Channeling land payments away from banks and towards government will allow our public purse to invest in public transport and other vital infrastructure. It also encourages the private housing sector to prioritise urban infill over sprawl (leaving more land in its natural state).
Mining leases are a super valuable government granted privilege, and mining companies should be taxed for the fossil fuels and minerals they extract. Non-renewable resources are our common inheritance and can only be extracted once. We need to ensure that the proceeds are shared fairly across the generations. Without adequate taxation, our mining wealth has been disproportionately funnelled into the private fortunes of company shareholders.
Our atmosphere, our climate and the air we breathe is also a natural monopoly. Charges on pollution and carbon emissions are crucial to accelerate and incentivise society towards behaviours and technologies that assist the environment. A carbon tax encourages better (cleaner) technology, creates new jobs in these industries, as well as discouraging the use of fossil fuels and other products that cause climate chaos.
A progressive land tax system will see the wealthiest in society contributing more to funding what our society, and environment, need.
Want to help us use the tax system to heal the planet? Become a member today!
Find out more about our History.
Some of this content was taken from Leo Foley’s 120th Henry George Address