Debate Magazine

Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (396)

Posted on the 23 May 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

BenJamin' did a bit of goading at the FT, and earned this hysterical response:
I take it you are happy to ghettoise the income rich from the income poor, to bankrupt every pension and insurance fund, and put millions into negative equity.
We have expensive and cheap areas already, largely populated by wealthy and poor people respectively. LVT merely speeds this up a bit. The part about bankrupting pension and insurance funds is completely baseless. Negative equity is a transitional issue that could be solved by the brute force of mortgage write-downs, in any event, the people with the largest mortgages will save the most tax.
Here's where the real fun starts - he manages to completely contradict himself:
The finest houses will be all owned by the income rich.
True - for high value locations.
Great gardens which are now open to the public like Kifsgate [sic] and Arley will be sealed off by their new kleptocrat owners.
These 'gardens' are not 'open to the public' like parks, they are privately owned and operated and charge admission.
The value of these gardens is not so much about location as the sheer cost of maintaining them. The LVT on remote country houses would be negligible and certainly no more than their current Business Rates bill (or is there an exemption for them?). I don't know what sort of profit or loss the NT makes on their stately homes, but I am quite sure that maintenance swallows most of the ticket price. It's like saying "Some wealthy person will buy up LEGOLAND and hog all the rides for himself".
Clearly, some wealthy people want flash gardens, and if they do, they can start pay for their own teams of gardeners if they wish - but they can do that anyway.
They will love the tax as they would pay less than if a progressive income tax were the primary tax source.
True - high income, internationally mobile people will be attracted to the UK by the low rate of income tax. Easily observable in practice.
As domestic houses have higher site values than commercial buildings the tax burden will be shifted to the domestic owner unless there is a fudge as is typical in the US.
Yes, residential land is under-taxed, but dude WTF? Industrial buildings on the outskirts have negligible location values, suburban housing land is clearly worth much more, but the most expensive locations by a factor of ten are city centres, which is mainly shops and offices etc.
Then when the crooks and corrupt of the world stop investing in Britain the land value will vanish and you have no plan B.
Wahey! So now he says that high income, internationally mobile people will stop coming to the UK! Thus completely contradicting his original line of bullshit.


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