Not taxing selectively based on who the government wants to reward or punish equals a subsidy or a handout. Yes, it does. If green eyed 45-yr-old men were exempt from income taxes this year, I would get quite a pile of money compared to other people making my same income.
The key to taxation is fairness.
I have a 40 acre plot in So Colorado. Bare ground. My taxes are less than ten bucks a year. For that I get no road maintenance (the land owners do it),no water or sewer and the fire dept is volunteers. If I build the taxes will go up. The services will not.
Yep, I grew up in the most rural and second poorest county in Missouri. So I know what a small tax base is. That said, your argument is a bit spacious. Services meet outlays in small taxing authorities, and are still averaged out. Now let's take those volunteer firefighters who still have to be provided a truck and equipment, you are getting the added service of fire protection (however limited it might be) for a house, vice your bare ground. I presume that if a house was built on every 40 acres, that the community might want to improve emergency services a tad. Or not, up to them.
So a flat milleage rate, determined by the local vote, sounds like as fair a system as you are going to get.
It is not selective. Bare ground is ag, improve it with a house and it is not ag.
I presume that if a house was built on every 40 acres, ...
that the taxes would increase on those 40 acre lots accordingly. No matter your eye color or how many movies you made.