Debate Magazine

Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (478)

Posted on the 17 January 2020 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth
KLN: "Valuations and collection will be a very complicated."
Well, firstly, no they won't. We can get 90% of the way to Land Value Tax by tweaking Council Tax (and Business Rates) valuations to reflect relative values and use the existing collection mechanism, which will be easier because owners will be primarily liable, not occupants/tenants.
And complicated compared to what, exactly?
LVT would be a good replacement tax for Council TaxCapital Gains Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax and Inheritance Tax, just to get the ball rolling. 
If you want to see "complicated", click the above links to the relevant legislation. Council Tax (Local Government Finance Act 1992) is a model of clarity and brevity compared the other three acts. 
Council Tax raises more revenue than the other three taxes combined with about one-tenth as much legislation. And it's not just legislation. Those three minor taxes require endless further guidance and an intrusive bureaucracy - and generate high fees for lawyers and accountants.
There are whole books written on these three taxes - how many books are there on Council Tax? Pretty much none. Your land and buildings are assessed and you just pay it. Don't want to pay so much? Then move somewhere cheaper. 
And a proper Land Value Tax Act would be a about half the length of already brief Council Tax and Business Rates legislation put together. Instead of all the discounts and exemptions, there'd only be the roll-up option for pensioners. And I suppose a clause to say that local councils can introduce as many discounts and exemptions they like, provided they bear the full cost (either by spending less or imposing a precept on "everybody else").-------------------------------------------------------------------(Stamp Duty on share sales is another dreadful tax, but it would seem appropriate to make up the shortfall from scrapping it by increasing the corporation tax rate so that costs and benefits cancel out).

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