This section of the book is from the "Introduction To Public Finance" book, by Carl Copping Plehn.
The older forms of the land tax often included the building tax, with which it was closely connected in character. At present, this contribution generally forms an independent tax on the revenue from the
site and the building. It is, like the land tax, a tax on a fixed source of income. Its incidence will receive special attention elsewhere.
The buildings taxed may be classified according to value, or according to the uses to which they are put, or according to their location, whether urban or rural. There are two very different forms of the building tax : one is intended to fall on the income derived by the owner from the building ; the other simply taxes the occupier according to the rent, taken as the index of a certain amount of tax faculty on his part. The second is very much like a consumption tax. The first regards the revenue derived as a source from which the tax may be paid. But even this first form, when paid by an owner who is also an occupier, is very much like a consumption tax.
The building tax, wherever in use, is one of a number of other similar taxes ; it never stands alone. In ease of assessment it has many dvantages. The valuation is simple and inexpensive. Alterations affecting the base can be easily and accurately ascertained. Unlike the land tax the building tax is regularly assessed each, year. Hence this tax is more often proportioned than apportioned. The building tax may be extended into a sort of industry tax, as when it is assessed with higher rates upon buildings used for industrial or commercial purposes. An example of this method of assessing the business tax is that of France cited above.