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Replace income tax with land value tax. Then it's not redistribution of income. The argument for a land value tax is Georgist: land is not property because it is not the product of one's own labor. Therefore land 'owners' should pay rent to society in the form of the land value tax (though not on the property built on the land). That rent is then paid to society as a universal basic income.

(And to preempt those who might question why anyone would both owning land: because like any investment there is a cost that can be exceeded by profit.)

How does a lands tax comport with the fact that some acres are hugely more productive (or extractive) than others?

It's not in the US, but the First Oil Well in Bahrain, which has been providing oil since June 2, 1932. For much of its life at 70,000 bbl/day, more recently at about half that rate, 35,000 bbl/day.

That's roughly $3.5 million per day in productivity.

There was a time, and Henry George came well after it, when the agricultural productivity of land was in fact the basis of virtually all wealth (some contributions from the sea, as well as water and wind power). Since the large-scale exploitation of coal, oil, and gas, starting in the mid 18th century, that hasn't been the case.

It eventually likely will be again, but I've not read enough of the Georgist view to see how the huge variances in land productivity would be addressed. Even if mere ag output is considered.

If it's not a "lands tax" but a "land value" tax, if some acres are hugely more productive they are also hugely more valuable, and at best they are taxed accordingly.

Thanks. I've heard a bit about Georgism but haven't looked into it in depth.

I didn't know it was called that. I was actually thinking along the same lines. Make that the only tax. Everything else could be optional fees for services or premiums for insurance products.

but then if you choose not to interact with the market economy you cannot subsist off your own land, especially if everyone is buying up land and making it private so that there is no public access to nature

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