Value of land grows fast or slow…

…as illustrated by this image from the NY Public Library. It’s probably a bit over 100 years old, and shows “a wagon with signs promoting the single tax.” Among other things, the sign claims that an acre of land in downtown Chicago is worth $10 million, whereas an acre of farmland is worth $50.

If that was the relationship around 1900, it’s very different today. Good Illinois farmland today can be worth $5,000/acre, even far far beyond the reach of suburban sprawl. But downtown Chicago land has increased in value much less, perhaps to $50 million/acre.

Of course, most of the farmland in Illinois is farmed by tenants, so the impact on the farmer of the single tax would still be minimal or beneficial.

Thanks to the Georgist Journal for publishing this photo in their Spring 2007 issue (#107).

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