Facing issues when implementing LVT

1 Feb 2010

At a General Meeting of the Coalition for Economic Justice, on Friday 22nd January in London, at the School of Economic Science, a packed room heard speakers from four organisations set out some of the problems with implementing Land Value Taxation in Britain today.

Henry Law (of the Land Value Taxation Campaign) spoke about "imputed income" - where there is an owner-occupier claiming inadequate cashflow to pay the 'economic rent' upon which LVT is based;

Tomas Graves (Henry George Foundation) read a paper by David Triggs on Citizens Income and LVT;

Dave Wetzel (Labour Land Campaign) spoke on some problems around introducing LVT as a local tax - with some councils have far higher land value base than others;

Tony Vickers (Chair of ALTER) spoke on the problems of valuing sites for tax purposes, especailly where there are few 'bare land' sales as evidence. Tony has researched practical issues of LVT for over 10 years and recently gained a PhD on the subject of "Visualising Landvaluescape". The abstract of his PhD thesis can be downloaded from his research website www.landvaluescape.org

A briefing on Lib Dem tax policy has recently been sent to all PPCs which helps explain some of these problems - and the Party's solutions, in the context of the so-called Mansion Tax. It says:-

It remains the Liberal Democrats' long term commitment to abolish the current unfair council tax and replace it with a tax based on people's ability to pay. One of the most offensive aspects of the current council tax system is that a multimillion pound mansion pays no more council tax than an ordinary family home. We recognise that an alternative system will take time to be developed and will have to be piloted by volunteer councils. Once a suitable tax system based on the ability to pay has been created the 'mansion tax' could be abolished all tax systems have to have a tax base which reflect property or land values.

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