Our Land, Our Rent, Our Jobs: Uncovering the Explosive Potential for Growth Via Resource Rentals

Our Land, Our Rent, Our Jobs: Uncovering the Explosive Potential for Growth Via Resource Rentals


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South Africa, like many countries in Africa, is resource rich but the benefits are not shared by the whole population. High levels of unemployment are leading to increasing conflict and violence, undermining the brighter future hoped for when apartheid was abolished. The authors set out a proposal to unleash their country’s potential for growth in a way that benefits investors and the poorest by reforming taxation—a blueprint for other developing countries. The rapid development of Taiwan and South Korea in the 1950s and 1960s owed much to a similar, business-friendly tax reform. Governments today tax social ills like tobacco and alcohol to discourage use, but do we want to discourage work and investment? The authors reveal that it is to make half the country economically unviable. Instead, the government needs to collect the value it creates and stop taxing the value created by labor and capital. To achieve this, they propose replacing most taxes with land value rentals, similar in effect to the tried and tested gold mine tax formula. This reveals a potentially rich source of government revenue that would allow the burden of taxation to be shifted off investment and labor, thereby encouraging more development and creating more jobs. Such a regime would encourage the owner of land to put it to its best use or sell it for someone else to use. It would also make viable public investment in new infrastructure projects. These would become self-financing, because the uplift in land values due to the improved amenities would automatically be captured in higher rentals payable to the government, a kind of virtuous circle.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780856835049
Publisher: Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers, Limited
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Stephen Meintjes graduated from Stellenbosch University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and has spent most of his career in investment research and management. He is currently head of research for Imara S. P. Reid. Michael Jacques was a chartered accountant and then lecturer at the faculty of commerce of the University of the Witwatersrand. He worked with Stephen Meintjes on natural resources rental collection and the submission to the treasury of various proposals on windfall taxes, royalties, and general tax reform. Nobantu Mbeki is a lecturer in the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand.

Table of Contents

List of Figures viii

List of Tables ix

Acknowledgements xi

Foreword Nobantu Mbeki xiii

Preface: Collecting the resource rentals that belong to the people of South Africa xv

1 Taxes, Please, or Else! 1

2 Adam Smith, Godfather of Modern Taxation 12

3 The Magic of Rental Collection and Tyranny of Taxation 25

4 Problems and Precedents 40

5 The Tangled Tentacles of Tyranny Revealed: Unpacking the Tax Burden 54

6 Rental Collection: General 69

7 Rental Collection: Special Cases 81

8 Rental Collection: Mineral Resources 97

9 Mining 107

10 Legacy Rentiers, Luxuries and Polluters 123

11 Commercial Agriculture 134

12 Rural Areas 153

13 Urban Areas 163

14 Resource Rentals Budget for South Africa 171

15 What About Me? 179

16 Our Credit 189

17 Why South Africa? 207

Appendix: Farm Land Values 2005-2006 217

Abbreviations 223

Bibliography 225

Glossary of Terms Used 227

Index 231

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