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My Presentation to the New York Trilevel Task Force on Jobs

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Common Ground's "Tax and the City"

The Map of Land Values from the NY Federal Reserve

Professor Steven Cord's Top 23 LVT studies, and his larger 238-Study Document.

Since I am also an active member of the 177-member online Public Banking Group open by invitation only - this was in addition, an opportunity to talk about creating a State Bank for New York, as North Dakota has had since 1919, and to leave them with statements from the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and an article showing their current billion dollar surplus and <5% unemployment, numbers that New York can only dream of. I pointed out to them that there is ample money in the state's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report to set up a reserve that would never be loaned out to fund a State Bank (over $110 Billion). Senator Bill Perkins in particular seemed interested in that, and I intend to follow up with him by mail and phone on both the LVT and State Bank ideas. My last point to him was that if the 2008 $155 Billion State Pension fund had been invested in a State Bank, making in-state, non-securitized, on-the-books loans to small businesses and individuals, the fund would not have lost $40 Billion from 2008-2009 over 4 times what the so-called budget deficit for New York State was that fiscal year. This seemed to both impress and to scare him and the other panel members. I further reminded them that while agency money cannot be spent, it can be invested differently, and in this case, more prudently.

I am now following up with them with written letters and some additional info to further answer their concerns. Hopefully, this is an opportunity to finally move the needle in our direction.

Here is the text of my 4-minute speech, which I also left with them.

Common Ground NYC - Scott Baker, President

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Rights to the Products of Earth for All, and Rights to the Products of Labor for Each.

Tax what you Burn, not what you Earn.

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Presentation to the Trilevel Joint Legislative Task Force

Greetings, members of the distinguished Trilevel Task Force. As president of the local chapter of the north American Geoist organization, Common Ground-NYC, I would like to speak to you today about the job-stimulating effects of the Land Value Tax (LVT).

The LVT would shift taxes from wages, sales, and capital, onto natural resources (referred to as Land in classical economics). While taxes on wages, sales, and capital (real capital, like factories, buildings and cars etc.) discourages the production of all of these, taxes on Land actually encourages the use of new Land because they force landowners to either develop the land or to sell it to someone who can, in order to pay the LVT. According to Common Ground's research, there are over 22 square miles of vacant land citywide. This land isn't being used for affordable housing or for new businesses that can boost the city's revenues. By simplifying the tax system to the LVT, you also reduce company overhead and remove the incentive for lobbyists to inundate politicians looking for tax breaks and subsidies. More production and less corruption: a winning combination anywhere.

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is former President of Common Ground-NYC (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written (more...)

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