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Reasons for a Land Value Tax No.1 of 1

Houses for sale in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire

4 bedroom detached house for sale in Royal Wootton Basset

And so on - the Estate Agents have been marketing the Royal bit for some time now, even though it isn't yet so named.

Wootton Bassett seeks cash to pay for Royal honour ceremony - mirror.co.uk

WOOTTON Bassett is struggling to raise the £65,000 cost of winning royal status and is appealing for help from the public.

Princess Anne will visit the town on October 16 for a ceremony that will see it renamed Royal Wootton Bassett, but the council has been given no extra money to pay for road closures and security.

My pointy headed friend bangs on about Land Value Tax, which of course as a old fashioned chap I am against. (I'm against anything with the word tax in it and against anything that encourages a new tax and against anything that is a tax on any sort of wealth rather than consumption, and especially against anything that combines all of these features).

But I have to say the old wonk has a point here with regards the costs of slapping the Regal Moniker on the Urbs. Obviously it adds a bit of desirability and hence some wonga into the badly cut pockets of the cheap suited agents so would it be unreasonable for Sir Frank Rutley et al to chip in a bit?


"I am... against anything that is a tax on any sort of wealth rather than consumption"

a) LVT is not a tax on wealth is it? Taxes on wealth are things like income tax, corp tax, VAT, SDLT, capital gains tax, inheritance tax etc, i.e. pretty much all of them. With all these true wealth taxes, there is at least not a problem with 'ability to pay', so the fact that the anti's always wheel out The Poor Widow In A Mansion On A Fixed Income With No Savings as an argument against proves that point beyond reasonable doubt. Land is an entitlement to wealth and not wealth in itself, the same as the entitlement to welfare or pensions payments are not wealth in themselves, they are a claim on other people's wealth. LVT is in fact just a sophisticated Poll Tax.

b) VAT is not a tax on consumption, it is a tax on gross profits ('value added' the clue is in the name). In any event, one man's consumption is another man's production so by taxing one you discourage the other. If anything LVT is a perfect tax on consumption because it's consuming something that no individual himself produces, land rental values are generated by society as a whole, for example by allowing a town to call itself "Royal".

c) As to "old fashioned", I'm sure you're aware that it was Queen Elizabeth i who introduced the first national land value tax (called 'poor rates') in 1602, specifically to pay for welfare for the dispossessed, thus pre-empting Tom Paine by about two centuries. The poor rates continued quite happily as Business Rates, Domestic Rates and Agricultural rates for centureies.

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