The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit MONDAY, MAY 12, 1890. A MISCONCEPTION.
In view of the fact that the question of Property tax versus Income and Land tax is certain to be debated next session, and that either on that occasion, or more" probably at the first session of the new Parliament, the question as to whether the former is tb be abolished, and the latter to take its place, will have to be decided, it is very remarkable indeed that so experienced and prominent a politician as Sir John Hall should have fallen into so gross an error as, if the report of his speech at Leeston be a correct one, he evidently has done. According to that report he is made to say,- "Many favoured a Land and Income tax, by which they meant the taxing in the first place of a man's income, however derived, and in the next the taxing of the land; -or, in other words, the, taxing of the land twice over. It was most unfair that, while personal pro-' perty should be only liable to one tax, both the land.and. the income derived from the land should be taxed." Newit is absolutely astounding that Sir John'should^have^made such a statement, and should be laboring under such- a manifest, misconception. We have read lots of speeches delivered in the House and on the platform, but we never met with a single instance of the double taxing above alluded to being advocated, On.'the cv".tmry. th^" who are the champions
■ f " s !'.■■ ■!"■■ •;:.! land-tax in substitution of the present property-tax, are always careful to. make it absolutely clear that both the land and the income derived therefrom .are in no case proposed to be levied upon. The incometax would •be levied upon all income derived frpin every source except from landed property, and the latter—that is landed property—would be taxed separately. The income-tax paper would specifically call upon the taxpayer to fill in the amount of income derived by him from all sources other than from landed estate, and upon the income so returned only would the tax be levied; the capital value of landed property would be returned either in a separate column or upon a separate paper altogether, and there would be
absolutely no difficulty whatever in keeping the two things distinct and separate. Sir John Hall may be, and no doubt i 3 strongly in favor of the Property-tax (that is to say as; in his opinion a preferable alternative to a land and income-tax), but he ought not ignorantly to misstate the case of those. who advocate the opposite view. 'Of course he would not make a wilful misstatement, and it follows that he has erred from ignorance, but that he should have fallen into so egregious a mistake in face of the repeated declarations by the supporters of an income and land-tax as to what they mean by it is absolutely astounding.