Land value tax will have beneficial effect

Sir, Roger J. Southam is quite right to draw readers’ attention to “the devastating effects of development land tax in the 1970s” (Letters,September 20). This was tried three times by previous Labour governments – with equally disastrous effects, not just for the property industry but for the economy as a whole. To avoid the tax, the provision of development land dried up and the cost of accommodation for jobs and homes escalated. It is, to say the least, unfortunate that yet another development tax (in the shape of a planning gain supplement) has raised its ugly head in the Barker Report on Housing Supply. However, the land value tax advocated by Henry Law (Letters, September 9) is not a development land tax but an annual tax on site value payable by all owners. This tax will have a beneficial effect on developers like Mr Southam’s company, not only by bringing to market unused land for development and reducing capital land values but by replacing those property taxes that have negative effects, such as council tax and business rates on buildings and stamp duty on property transactions.

Carol Wilcox
Labour Land Campaign