Simple case for taxing land and property
Sir, Taxing land is one of the fairest and least complex of taxes (report, July 24). Ideally, taxation should not burden creators of wealth in the way of income tax and VAT. What land tax captures is some of the wealth created by the whole society beyond the level of the individual. This is a fair source of funds for those benefits that society needs.
Payment difficulties could be addressed by the reduction of other taxes, the introduction of thresholds, the rollover of land tax debt to the next sale of the property or a citizen’s income which shares some of the property gains between everyone, including renters who are left out of the current property bonanza.
Sir, We may tax productivity, which will always be passed on in prices, or levy charges against community-generated land values, which economists agree cannot be passed on in prices. That the Bow Group’s proposed 1 per cent tax on land values would also replace several other taxes is suggestive of real tax reform.
The only possible objections will come from flawed reasoning, or from those who will claim that councils won’t be able to lift their game sufficiently to produce regularly updated and accurate land valuations. If we can produce accurate two-yearly site revaluations in the Antipodean colonies, it should not be beyond the talents of the UK.
Director, Land Values Research Group