Former banker Rudolf Elmer, opposed to use of Swiss bank secrecy to aid evasion of taxes by non-Swiss, has provided Wikileaks with two CD’s of (apparently incriminating) data. Who is right here? Customers were assured the data would remain secret, now it will be revealed. But aren’t governments entitled to collect taxes which they impose on their citizens? If not, why should anyone pay? If so, how can anyone’s financial affairs be private?
The answer is, none of this would be an issue under Land Value Taxation. When revenue comes from the land, government does not even need to know who the owner is. Government need only know sales prices and a few readily-observable characteristics. The tax has been paid or it has not been paid, and in the latter case a process starts which eventually will result either in the tax (plus late fees) being paid, or the land being taken by the government. (And remember, the government is necessarily the ultimate custodian of land records, a natural monopoly.)
Only land value taxation permits financial privacy.