Public Revenue Education Council

Collection Overview

Title: The Public Revenue Education Council

Predominant dates: 1952-1985

Arrangement: Arranged in three series: 1) Correspondence and Publications by PERC President Noah Alper; 2) Other Officer Correspondence and Publications; 3) Council Brochures and Publications.

Biographical Note

The Public Revenue Education Council (PREC) was established in the winter 1950-1951 during a series of meetings held in St. Louis by those concerned about the problems which arise from an improper source of public revenue. The PREC was incorporated as a non-profit educational institution by the State of Missouri on January 31, 1952.

Over the past 65 years, the PREC has largely followed a three-fold mission that includes disseminating information about: 1) the collection and expenditure of public revenue; 2) the elimination of artificial barriers to the production and distribution of wealth and services; and, 3) the removal of the barriers to the natural incentives which encourage maximum productivity.

According to an early brochure, the PREC recognizes two essential economic facts:

The first is that government has a source of revenue as naturally its own as do workers and owners of capital. This revenue arises from its activities in providing services and aiding private interests to produce their own amazing flow of services to the public…This general, community-generated value is measured in the market place as RENT-of-land. Therefore, RENT-of-land is the Natural Public Revenue of the community.

The second truth is that a tax is not a source of public revenue…a tax is like a pump—it draws from a source.

The PREC derives its operating income from contributions, grants, membership fees, and the sale of literature. Among the groups and organizations the PREC has distributed literature to include Missouri State representatives, area colleges and universities, and county and municipal tax and assessment departments.

Noah Alper of the Henry George School of Social Science-St. Louis Extension served as President of the PREC from the early 1950s through the 1970s. Alpers’ correspondence and other writings are found in Series One of this collection. Stanley Frederickson, whose correspondence and writings are found in Series Two, was Executive Director of the PREC throughout the 1980s. Series Three of this collection contains material published or reproduced by the PREC including annual reports and brochures.

Collection Content

Series One: Correspondence and Publications of PREC President Noah Alper

A Proposal to the Mayor’s Advisory Finance Committee, November 6, 1952
Dear Friend, February 25, 1956
“A Man of Medicine and Economics,” News and Views, June 1959 (reprint)
“The “All American” Anti-Communist Missile,” March 1960
Letter to His Holiness, Pope John XXIII, February 13, 1961
“Antidote to Communism – On and Off the Campus,” November 1961
“Does the Cold War of Freedom vs. Communism Concern You?” November 1961
Excerpts of a KMCX – TV “Close Up” Segment, November 10, 1962
“The Sharing of Increased Productivity,” March 1963
“The American Tax Heritage and the Better Way,” October 1, 1966 [published]
“The American Tax Heritage and the Better Way,” October 1, 1966 [unpublished]
Dear Friend, June 5, 1965
Dear Friend, December 17, 1966
“On Soap Box Program” KPLR-TV, January 30, 1972
“The Foundation of Economic Freedom,” November 1978
Comments on Murray N. Rothbard’s, Power and Market: Government and the Economy [1982]

Undated

Note accompanying reproduction of Richard L. Strout, “Property Tax Tied to Blight”
Remarks to the Missouri State Tax Study Commission
Dear Friend
Dear Friend_2
Dear Friend_3
Dear Friend_4
“Economic Problems – Whose Responsibility?”
“Hope for Our Slum-Rotted Cities and Our Tax-Absurd Free Enterprise Economy”
(with William M. Hissey) “The Destroyer of Free Enterprise”
“Patrick Dove on Taxation”
Remarks to the Missouri State Tax Study Commission
“The Great American Free Enterprise Loophole”
“The Story of the Great American Tax Shift”
“The Way Ahead in Jamaica”
“Wrong-Source Public Revenue”

Letters to the Editors

“Viewpoint Economists,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 22, 1956
“We are Suffering from Taxemia,” May 2, 1957
“Free Enterprisers Can “Plan” Us to Death,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 12, 1958
Multiple letters to the Editor of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June-September 1958
“True Free Enterprise,” Christian Science Monitor, December 28, 1959
Multiple letters, June 1961
Multiple letters, April 1972
“The Jobs Issue,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 16, 1972

Series Two: Correspondence and Publications of other PREC Officers

David J. Killoren and Joseph M. Casey, “1981: Comparison Study of St. Louis Real Estate Taxes…”Allan L. Lubin, Dear Fellow Citizen,” March 1982

Stanley Frederickson (Executive Director)

“Development, not Annexation” Columbia Missourian, June 11, 1980
Letter to CGO Secretary Mark Sullivan, November 26, 1980
Letter to Perry I. Prentice, December 4, 1980
Dear Valued Friend of PREC, December 15, 1980
Dear Valued Friend of PREC, December 15, 1981
Dear Valued Friend of PREC, December 15, 1982
Letter from State Representative Walt Mueller, February 23, 1983
“In Memorium: Noah D. Alper,” August 1, 1983
Dear Valued Friend of PREC, December 15, 1983
Letter from Oliver Starr of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 30, 1984
Letter to Oliver Starr of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 31, 1984
“St. Louis Needs Site Value Charge,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 31, 1984
Memo to PREC Directors and Honorary Directors, September 5, 1984
Memo to Selected Georgists and Georgist Organizations, September 10, 1984
Dear Valued Friend of PREC, December 15, 1984
Letter to the Missouri House Committee on Reassessment and Valuation, February 26, 1985
Letter from State Representative Walt Mueller, February 27, 1985
Memo to PREC Directors and Honorary Directors, March 5, 1985
Letter to State of Missouri Joint Committee on Ad Valorem Taxation, October 9, 1985
Dear Valued Friend of PREC, December 15, 1985
Memo to PREC Directors and Honorary Directors, September 25, 1987
Memo to PREC Directors and Honorary Directors, November 4, 1987
Dear Valued Friend of PREC, December 15, 1987

Series Three: PREC Brochures and Publications

Truth About Taxes: The Story of the Great American Tax Shift (1951)
Briefs and questions from a presentation by John H. Poelker” (February 17, 1966)
Twenty-Fourth Annual PREC Report (1974)
Twenty-Fifth Annual PREC Report (1975)
Twenty-Sixth Annual PREC Report (1976)
Members of Missouri House Committee on Equalization and Classification (February 28, 1983)
“Meet the Board” Cocktail and Hors d’oeuvre Reception (December 10, 1987)
Dr. Robert V. Andelson, Henry George and the Reconstruction of Capitalism (1994)

Undated

“How to Raise Wages without Raising Prices”
“How to Reduce Spending, Costs and Taxes”
“If You Really Want a Magnificent Free Enterprise Economy…”
“Information concerning the…Public Revenue Education Council”
“Is it Time to Reform the Property Tax?”
“Let’s Abolish Taxes and Use Natural Public Revenue”
“Property Tax Tied to Blight”
Public Revenue Education Council Brochure
“The Manufacturer vs. The College Professor on Taxation”
“The Future of our Country Depends on Ending the Universal Confusion About Taxes Now”

Reprinted by the PREC

Margaret Sheppard, “Noah Alper Never Stops Arguing for Tax Reform,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 26, 1952
Roy Wenzlick, “The Fundamental Differences Between Real Estate and Other Commodities,” The Real Estate Analyst, March 19, 1965
PREC advertisements printed in newspapers, April-May 1965
“Mueller Pushes Plan: Tax Land Not Buildings,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 8, 1967
E.S. Evans, “Two Visiting Assessors Would Revise Taxes,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch (October 20, 1968)
“Assessor Group Elects Illinois Man as Head,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 17, 1968
Walter J. Conlon, “Should U.S. Cities Switch to Land Tax?” Human Events, September 6, 1969
Multiple articles and editorials from 1970
Perry Prentice, “A Proposal to Get the City of St. Louis Going Again,” July 22, 1971
“Urges City to Change Tax Method,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 22, 1971
James Floyd, “City is Advised to Tax Land, Not Improvements, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 23, 1971
Perry Prentice, “Is there A Land Shortage Around St. Louis?” House and Home, November 22, 1971
Carl G. Kamp, “A Solution to…The Housing Problem,” April 6, 1972
“Right Remedies for Cities,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 14, 1972
Charles E. Burgess, “George’s single tax theory still alive here,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 30, 1972
“Two Seeking Homeowner Tax Reforms Speak ere,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, undated
“Curtis Advocates Property Tax Reforms,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, undated
Raymond Moley, “Liberals, Conservatives Agree…” Los Angeles Times, undated

Authored by Professor Harry Gunnison Brown (undated)

“Incentive Vacant Lots and Your City”
“Expanded Public Housing: Is Labor Leadership Unwittingly Against Labor?”
Capital, America vs. Russia: An Answer to Communism
Socialized vs. Private Enterprise Housing and the War Against Poverty
“Contemporary Interest Theory with Relevant Comments on Keynesism, Communism and Property Rights”
“Housing, Industry and the Cold War: The “Liberal” Policy that Hurts us in all Three”
(with Elizabeth R. Brown) “Taxing Land Values and Exempting Improvements”
“Are Our “Liberals” Really Liberal?”
(with Elizabeth R. Brown) “Can We Avoid Communized Housing”