Government land ownership vs. community collection of land rent

Bloomberg’s report on land taken for the new Shanghai Disneyland tells us something about how people may fare under government ownership of land. One retailer, whose land was taken last year for an unspecified project, still hasn’t gotten compensation:

“All I care now is how much compensation we will end up getting after layers and layers of government officials get their share,”

I don’t see why Disney should get government help in assembling land for their project– it’s not infrastructure–, tho such assistance is routinely provided in the US too. Under a geoist system, where the community collects the land rent and uses it to fund governmental services, landowners would have strong incentive to sell and little incentive to hold out.  Disney could buy land cheaply but would pay substantial rent (in the form of land tax) to retain it. Those relocating could buy land cheaply elsewhere, and if in a less desirable location would find their land tax reduced.  Folks would also, of course, have no other taxes to pay and would receive a share of the rent collected in excess of governmental needs.

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