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Land Value Tax

Size will matter as Greens plant the seeds of garden tax - Scotsman.com News

A TAX on big gardens is set to be piloted in Scotland as part of a deal to overhaul local government finance, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
The Land Value Tax (LVT), under which homeowners are charged on the size and location of the land they own and not just the building, will be considered as part of a deal to replace Council Tax.
Valuers base their calculations on the assumption that the land is put to its "highest and best use". This means that owners of derelict land and homeowners with gardens which could be developed are charged accordingly.

Mark Wadsworth will be pleased, him and that other greenie Tim Worstall - " Everyone, poor and rich alike, business or individual, farmer and government, should pay a levy on the unimproved value ofthe land they occupy or work. Forit is precisely the society around that land that gives it value, whether it be by the infrastructure of a city or whatever.
This is all old Henry George’s idea (and he wanted it to be the only tax) but the important point is that it is not the structure or the improvements that are taxed, but the land itself."

Comments

Thanks for link. I commended the Scottish Greens' approach here.

BTW, LVT is not a tax on 'big' gardens as such. It is a tax on land values, 99% of which is made up by the value of planning permission.

So if City Gent buys a farmhouse with ten acres of farmland for Jocasta's pony, his entire garden is worth about £40,000. Which is the same as two square yards of prime central London. Or indeed 40 square yards of outer London.

It's all very well introducing another tax, but most people who do own land can't put it to its most efficient use because local councils simply won't countenance any development… full stop. This is because there is a problem in the public administration of this country. Whether they be local government officers, labour party hacks or HMRC employees, they're all rather narrow-minded, spiteful and petty individuals from the same mould, who understand nothing about creating wealth or living with an uncertain income or without a gold-plated pension. Of course they'll tax anything they can to keep their own safe little careers on the tracks. And when they run out of things to tax, they turn to fines in order to keep the dosh coming in. Watch out for a state-sponsored highwayman coming to a road near you!

MarkS,

"It's all very well introducing another tax, but most people who do own land can't put it to its most efficient use because local councils simply won't countenance any development… full stop."

Indeed. LVT doesn't work without liberalising the planning system. Also, it shouldn't be another tax. It should replace income from other means of taxation.

And what do we think the likelihood of a liberalising of the planning system and LVT replacing other forms of taxation? Zilch. In fact, if we ever have a constitution in this country, it should state that no new tax can be introduced without the repeal of another tax that raises a similar amount of money. Don't give these people ideas. Floating LVT to politicians is like offering a junkie more smack. Don't do it!

I'm not sure I like the reference to "garden tax", but LVT is the way forward, taxing not just the value of land, but extending it the the value of minerals beneath it and the fertility of the soil.

I'm tired of hearing that income tax is fairer... I'm going to become self employed so I don;t pay income tax... like the rich. How do rich people become rich or richer? They avoid income tax!

Land value tax is a tax that cannot be avoided. It has many social and environmental benefits. The likes of Tesco and other land speculators who stand to profit from the proposed new "Eco" towns would not be in the powerful position that they are today. Land should be for homes, jobs, providing food and resources and enjoyment and not speculative profits.

Parks and nature reserves get banded at zero. Roads can be taxed too, and parking places charged at reasonable rates. Give me a grass verge and trees over a row of parked cars any day... and a bicycle for transport - and I was once a car addict too...

I am delighted that LVT is on the agenda in Scotland.

I am delighted that Scotland is moving forward as well; LVT has worked where tried in the USA (Where I am from), and has managed to push forward despite fierce opposition from our "landed gentry:" car park owners, vacant land speculators and used car dealers

LVT has served best as a replacement tax. In some smaller industrial towns here (imagine some of the old ship-building towns on the Clyde?), LVT has been used to move tax from buildings, and local income tax (LIT) as well as to either freeze or reduce business rates. Generally, it results in a reduced tax incidence (for local purposes). This is a report we did for a similar suffering city in Pennsylvania:
http://www.urbantools.org/research-and-studies/york-pa

Cheers, Josh Vincent

I am delighted that Scotland is moving forward as well; LVT has worked where tried in the USA (Where I am from), and has managed to push forward despite fierce opposition from our "landed gentry:" car park owners, vacant land speculators and used car dealers

LVT has served best as a replacement tax. In some smaller industrial towns here (imagine some of the old ship-building towns on the Clyde?), LVT has been used to move tax from buildings, and local income tax (LIT) as well as to either freeze or reduce business rates. Generally, it results in a reduced tax incidence (for local purposes). This is a report we did for a similar suffering city in Pennsylvania:
http://www.urbantools.org/research-and-studies/york-pa

Cheers, Josh Vincent

It's great to see so much great response to suggestions of LVT here!

The newly-formed Social Liberalist Party has something similar as one of our main policies.
We want to put in a Land Tax (on area in urban areas) to replace income tax, council tax, business rates, capital gains tax and corporation tax.
The policy is still being constantly updated - we're looking at using a 'zoning' system, charging city centres more than city outskirts in order to tax some of that mysterious 'unearned value of land' that comes from simply being in the area.

Any suggestions, etc. would be more than welcome.
The majority of the party is young (I'm leader and I'm 17!) but we're still getting somewhere - we managed to get national news coverage in the Independent (we are of course looking for more!).

You can visit the party's website at http://www.voteliberalist.org

Please visit and join us (it's free - we're liberal, you see).

Cheers,

Anton
Leader, Social Liberalist Party

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