LVT is cheap and simple to collect
- Once all land has been registered and the administrative structure for valuing land has been established, the collection of LVT is cheap compared with other types of tax, since the process of assessment is more or less automatic.
- Practical experience in the United States and elsewhere shows that the valuation of land is easier, less costly and more accurate than valuing buildings or other developments on the land.
- Valuing buildings, for instance, is complicated by their uniqueness in terms of architectural features, state of repair, what the buildings are being used for, how old they are, and so on. Land value, on the other hand, is determined almost entirely by its location relative to various amenities and by planning regulations.
- There are a number of methods for valuing land. Today, computer-aided mass assessment techniques and geographical information systems can be employed to make the process efficient. It is possible to construct maps, or ‘land-value-scapes’, which, instead of showing contour lines depicting topography, would connect areas with similar land values. Thus, knowing the area of a site, one would immediately be able to calculate its value by referring to its position on the map. Once such a system for valuing land had been established, it would be easy to update valuations more or less continuously as new data on transactions and other developments became available.
- Meanwhile, as noted before, it is impossible to hide land in the same way that income from earnings and trade can be hidden. All owners of land would have to pay LVT irrespective of their place of domicile or company status. Therefore, there would be none of the costly measures that other taxes require to ensure compliance and to prevent evasion through the various loopholes that so-called ‘tax accountants’ are so skilful at finding.
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