Bentham and J. S. Mill on Tax Reform

Utilitas 11 (3):320 (1999)
Bentham and J. S. Mill can be regarded as utilitarian tax-reformers distinguished from political economists who were simply averse to taxation. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the difference between Bentham's and Mill's tax reform programmes. Bentham proposed the law of escheat and a tax on bankers' and stock dealers' profits, subject to the principle of least sacrifice of enjoyment. He also planned to correct the inequality of the land tax by extending it into a general income tax. Mill proposed an income tax on the basis of the principle of equal sacrifice of enjoyment. He also proposed a progressive inheritance tax and a variable land tax, regarding unearned income as a fit subject for a special tax. Consequently, Mill used Bentham's ideas and tools to take a step towards a more egalitarian programme
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800002533
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