Fairhope Single Tax Corporation
336 Fairhope Ave
Fairhope, AL 36532

(251) 928-8162 voice

(251) 928-8203 fax

Transfers@FairhopeSingleTax.Com

Please use this email for all communications. 

Photo Credit:

Jennifer Evans Sanford

Photo Credit:

Jennifer Evans Sanford

 

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Only friends you haven't yet met."

- William Butler Yeats

 

Fairhope: A Single Tax Colony

Fairhope, Alabama, is one of two single tax colonies remaining in the United States (the other is in Arden, Delaware). The community, also known as the Colony, was established in 1894 by a group from Des Moines, Iowa, headed by Ernest B. Gaston, who wanted to establish a colony based on the single tax theories of economist, journalist, and social reformer Henry George. These theories were presented in his great book Progress and Poverty, published in 1879.

 

The people who founded Fairhope were not able to create a true single tax community as defined by Henry George, but they attempted to come as close as they could. They acquired land in the name of the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation (it was called the Fairhope Industrial Association until 1904), then leased the land to those who wanted to use or live on the land. Lessees receive a 99 year renewable lease on the land, but have ownership of improvements on the land.

The Town of Fairhope, now the City of Fairhope, was incorporated in 1908. The City is governed by an elected Mayor and five elected City Council Members. It is located on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, a short distance from Mobile. Although the infrastructure of Fairhope was built by the Colony, it was deeded to the City of Fairhope when it was incorporated. Today, the City of Fairhope operates just like any other municipality. 

Today, the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation is a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit corporation located within the City of Fairhope. The Fairhope Single Tax Corporation, also known as the Colony, still owns about 4,500 acres of land in and around Fairhope, both inside and outside the city limits, which is only about 20% of Fairhope. The majority of Colony land is located in the downtown area and moving East in proximity to Fairhope Avenue.

Photo Credit:

Jennifer Evans Sanford