Commons-based taxation

‘Commons-based taxation’ is taxation which applies to activities that make use of common pool resources. The idea is to ensure that such resources are used carefully and fairly, while also promoting economic balance, for example by discouraging speculation on property and instead encouraging investment in the real economy. Examples of commons-based taxation include land value tax and financial transactions tax. Feasta’s CapGlobalCarbon initiative also treats the atmosphere as a commons. Feasta members have been influenced in their thinking about the commons by the research and writing of Thomas Paine, Elinor Ostrom, David Bollier, Peter Barnes, Silvia Federici and many others. Feasta’s Smart Taxes project, which ran from 2009 to 2012, focussed on developing fiscal and monetary policy options to foster sustainability in Ireland. Below are Feasta resources on this subject:

Thomas Paine’s 1797 call for a Basic Income: a new paper tells the full story

"With the Covid-19 crisis, calls for a basic income are gaining new momentum. The U.S., and other countries too, could enjoy the immense society-wide benefit of a Basic Income if they are willing to set aside the sour grapes argument...of not providing a social safety net to out-groups," writes Brent Ranalli.

Reclaiming Commons through Land Value Tax, or a Wing and a Prayer

Patrick Noble suggests some ways in which "ordinary people may steer a course back into history and with luck – a course towards a newly egalitarian and convivial culture." In particular he focusses on basic income combined with a land value tax, as he believes these two initiatives could together "provide the simplest, most elegant regenerative tool for social justice."