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Re: Tory Reform Group is pushing LVT

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  • Dave Wetzel
    John says: Nick Boles was the first Tory that I know of to be pro LVT nb David Curry was Conservative MP (1987-2010) when he wrote this for the UK s Local
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 6, 2013
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      John says: "Nick Boles was the first Tory that I know of to be pro LVT"

      nb David Curry was Conservative MP (1987-2010) when he wrote this for the UK's Local Government Chronicle:

      DAVID CURRY - TURNING FIELDS INTO TAXES

      1 February, 2006

      Here we go again! Some ideas keep turning up like winter sore throats. This one has been round the course four time...

      Here we go again! Some ideas keep turning up like winter sore throats. This one has been round the course four times already. Now it is in its fifth manifestation. According to its enthusiasts it is a revelation. For others it is closer to Apocalypse Now.

      The little number in question is the land value uplift tax. It springs from Kate Barker's 2003 report on housing. Gordon Brown has re-christened it the Planning gain supplement and sees it as a key instrument in the government's drive to deliver an extra 50,000 houses (to 200,000) a year by 2010. The main claim made for it is that it will jolt local authorities into a pro-development frame of mind and out of their current mindset hostile to development.

      The idea is simple enough. Land values rise massively when planning permission is granted. The government estimates that mixed agricultural land is worth some£9,287 per hectare. Endow it with planning permission for industrial use and the value rises to£750,000. Hit the jackpot - residential use - and the value rockets to£2.5m. This huge windfall occurs simply at the stroke of a pen. So shouldn't society gain some benefit from the profits so painlessly created?

      A tax would be levied on the gain in value of land when development began. It would be small - at least at first - so as not to frighten the horses and a significant amount would go back to the council to finance infrastructure.

      Finally, it is argued, it should replace the notorious s106 agreement - an arbitrary mechanism stained with the risk of corruption. In fact, the government has already said it will keep some form of s106 after lobbying from the social housing sector.

      The critics are equally adamant in their scorn. This is not a way of accelerating development, they cry, it is a way of stopping it in its tracks. Landowners will sit on their property, the supply of land for housing will diminish, prices will rise in response and fewer houses will be built. Urban authorities will lose out given that the really big money would come from the designation of agricultural land rather than in urban areas with a much smaller uplift value on brown-field sites. A huge incentive for green-field development - and a wonderful advertisement for the government's environmental credentials!

      And just how do you work out how much of the increased value of the land is due to a change in planning designation? And what about multi-phase developments? When would the tax be levied and how often? The only certain beneficiaries from a planning gain tax would be tax lawyers.

      Creating such a tax would require cross-party support. Otherwise landowners would put development on hold until a change of government brought cancellation of the levy. What puzzles me is why, if he really wants a radically energised planning system and is prepared to have a huge fight to get one Mr Brown has not gone for the much bolder option - a tax on the value of the site itself.

      This tax would take the form of an annual charge on the value of a site, levied according to its status in the local plan, whether or not it was developed. Its advocates claim that it would bring idle land into the best use for it, leading to an increase in supply and a decline in price.

      Rather than capturing planning gain on one site at one moment, a land value tax would also recover value from neighbouring sites that had benefited from the development. Local authorities would collect more tax by the mere act of designation (or zoning) suitable land for industrial or residential development, thereby increasing its value even if no development took place. Landowners would have no incentive to hold sites back from development. Councils, by contrast, would have an incentive actively to pursue re-zoning.

      The links between this proposal and Sir Michael Lyons' work into local government finance are obvious - though to what extent the two processes are 'joined up' is not clear. What is certain is that the fifth version of the betterment levy already has a huge coalition arrayed against it. Stand by for an unexpected outpouring of admiration for the charms of s106. Better the devil we know

       



    • John
      ... So there is glimmer of hope in that Party then. The Philip Blond ResRepublica organisation as far as I known is not a Tory Party outfit, although Blonds
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 7, 2013
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        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Dave Wetzel wrote:
        >
        > John says: "Nick Boles was the first Tory
        > that I know of to be pro LVT"
        >
        > nb David Curry was Conservative MP (1987-2010)
        > when he wrote this for the
        > UK's Local Government Chronicle:
        >
        > *DAVID CURRY - TURNING FIELDS INTO TAXES*
        >
        > 1 February, 2006
        >
        > *Here we go again! Some ideas keep turning
        > up like winter sore throats.
        > This one has been round the course four time...*

        So there is glimmer of hope in that Party then. The Philip Blond ResRepublica organisation as far as I known is not a Tory Party outfit, although Blonds claims to a "Red Tory", whatever that is. Or is that so? They lean towards reclaiming economic rents.
      • harrypollard
        John, As I recall, Thatcher intended to go after two blocs that needed reform. One was the trade unions, the other the land-owning elite. Well, she got to the
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 7, 2013
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          John,

           

          As I recall, Thatcher intended to go after two blocs that  needed reform. One was the trade unions, the other the land-owning elite.

           

          Well, she got to the unions, diminishing their power, but failed with regard to  the land-owning class. I think she gave up. Whether that is so or not, the question in the Tory Party is what is the extent of landholding power today.

           

          A lot of Tories must be free market types, not particularly close to the land-holding group. These should offer opportunities for us. However, we should direct their attention to the inability of the free market to operate well when an important factor of production is not controlled by the market price mechanism.

           

          Necessary to price mechanism control is that when demand increases, raising prices, producers rush supplies to the market, which reaction brings down prices as demand is met. So prices hunt around an equilibrium which indicates a position where supply and demand balance.

           

          In the case of land (or perhaps we should get used to using “locations” – note the Scottish Liberals use) rising prices not only fails to bring more locations to market, they may actually persuade landholders to stay away from the market as they wait for further rises.

           

          Collecting Rent throws locations back into a price controlled market and, incidentally, makes full economic control of the market possible.

           

          This argument could get to the free market Tories (not that I’m suggesting it will be easy, but it offers an avenue).

           

          As I’ve said before, pushing our “better” tax is a pretty bloodless task and places us in the same group as other tax reformers – a path that can cause a voter’s eyes to glaze over. Apparently, Fred is coming to a similar conclusion.

           

          An old adage of advertising is that one doesn’t sell the steak, one sells the ‘sizzle’. Collecting Rent leads to plenty of sizzles. We should start selling them.

           

          Harry

           

          ***********************

          The Alumni Group

          Henry George School

          Of Los Angeles

          Tujunga  CA  91042

          (818) 352-4141

          ***********************

           

           

           

           

           

           

          From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John
          Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2013 1:25 AM
          To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [LandCafe] Re: Tory Reform Group is pushing LVT

           

           

          --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Dave Wetzel wrote:

          >
          > John says: "Nick Boles was the first Tory
          > that I know of to be pro LVT"
          >
          > nb David Curry was Conservative MP (1987-2010)
          > when he wrote this for the
          > UK's Local Government Chronicle:
          >
          > *DAVID CURRY - TURNING FIELDS INTO TAXES*
          >
          > 1 February, 2006
          >
          > *Here we go again! Some ideas keep turning
          > up like winter sore throats.
          > This one has been round the course four time...*

          So there is glimmer of hope in that Party then. The Philip Blond ResRepublica organisation as far as I known is not a Tory Party outfit, although Blonds claims to a "Red Tory", whatever that is. Or is that so? They lean towards reclaiming economic rents.

        • roy_langston
          ... No, we should direct their attention to the fact that forcible and uncompensated removal of people s rights to liberty is not compatible with a free
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 7, 2013
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            --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "harrypollard" wrote:

            > However, we should direct their attention to the inability of the free market to operate
            > well when an important factor of production is not controlled by the market price mechanism.

            No, we should direct their attention to the fact that forcible and uncompensated removal of people's rights to liberty is not compatible with a free market.

            > Necessary to price mechanism control is that when demand increases, raising
            > prices, producers rush supplies to the market, which reaction brings down prices as demand is met.

            That claim is factually incorrect. An increase in demand simply raises prices to the new equilibrium point, whether or not there is any reaction on the supply side.

            > So prices hunt around an equilibrium which
            > indicates a position where supply and demand balance.

            Price does that independently of supply elasticity.

            > In the case of land (or perhaps we should get used to using "locations" -
            > note the Scottish Liberals use) rising prices not only fails to bring more
            > locations to market, they may actually persuade landholders to stay away from the market as they wait for further rises.

            Locations are all already available to the market. That is what "fixed supply" means.

            > Collecting Rent throws locations back into a price controlled market and,
            > incidentally, makes full economic control of the market possible.

            Recovering land rent removes the welfare subsidy giveaway to idle landowning. It does not affect supply.

            > This argument could get to the free market Tories (not that I'm suggesting it will be easy, but it offers an avenue).

            Unlikely, IMO, as Tories do not actually favor free markets but only privilege.

            > As I've said before, pushing our "better" tax is a pretty bloodless task and
            > places us in the same group as other tax reformers - a path that can cause a
            > voter's eyes to glaze over. Apparently, Fred is coming to a similar
            > conclusion.

            Maybe Fred should start talking about how people's rights have been removed so they can be consigned to the treadmill and enslaved.

            > Collecting Rent leads to plenty of sizzles. We should start
            > selling them.

            First we would need to identify them accurately.

            -- Roy Langston
          • Harry Pollard
            John,**** ** ** As I recall, Thatcher intended to go after two blocs that needed reform. One was the trade unions, the other the land-owning elite.**** ** **
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 8, 2013
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              John,

               

              As I recall, Thatcher intended to go after two blocs that  needed reform. One was the trade unions, the other the land-owning elite.

               

              Well, she got to the unions, diminishing their power, but failed with regard to  the land-owning class. I think she gave up. Whether that is so or not, the question in the Tory Party is what is the extent of their power today.

               

              A lot of Tories must be free market types, not particularly close to the land-owning group. These should offer opportunities for us. However, we should direct their attention to the inability of the free market to operate well when an important factor of production is not controlled by the market price mechanism.

               

              Necessary to price mechanism control is that when demand increases, raising prices, producers rush supplies to the market, which reaction brings down prices as demand is met. So prices hunt around an equilibrium which indicates a position where supply and demand balance.

               

              In the case of land (or perhaps we should get used to using “locations” – note the Scottish Liberals use) rising prices not only fails to bring more locations to market, they may actually persuade landholders to stay away from the market as they wait for further rises.

               

              Collecting Rent throws locations back into a price controlled market and, incidentally, makes full economic control of the market possible.

               

              This argument could get to the free market Tories (not that I’m suggesting it will be easy, but it offers an avenue).

               

              As I’ve said before, pushing our “better” tax is a pretty bloodless task and places us in the same group as other tax reformers – a path that can cause a voter’s eyes to glaze over. Apparently, Fred is coming to a similar conclusion.

               

              An old adage of advertising is that one doesn’t sell the steak, one sells the ‘sizzle’. Collecting Rent leads to plenty of sizzles. We should start selling them.

               

              Harry

               

              ***********************

              The Alumni Group

              Henry George School

              Of Los Angeles

              Tujunga  CA  91042

              (818) 352-4141

              ***********************

               

               

               

               

               

               

              From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John
              Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2013 1:25 AM
              To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [LandCafe] Re: Tory Reform Group is pushing LVT

               

               

              --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Dave Wetzel wrote:

              >
              > John says: "Nick Boles was the first Tory
              > that I know of to be pro LVT"
              >
              > nb David Curry was Conservative MP (1987-2010)
              > when he wrote this for the
              > UK's Local Government Chronicle:
              >
              > *DAVID CURRY - TURNING FIELDS INTO TAXES*
              >
              > 1 February, 2006
              >
              > *Here we go again! Some ideas keep turning
              > up like winter sore throats.
              > This one has been round the course four time...*

              So there is glimmer of hope in that Party then. The Philip Blond ResRepublica organisation as far as I known is not a Tory Party outfit, although Blonds claims to a "Red Tory", whatever that is. Or is that so? They lean towards reclaiming economic rents.

            • John
              ... Harry, Thatcher did go for unions - the police turned away from a picket line in the early 1970s which in Tory eyes humiliated Tory PM Heath. The
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 8, 2013
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                --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Harry Pollard wrote:

                Harry,

                Thatcher did go for unions - the police turned away from a picket line in the early 1970s which in Tory eyes humiliated Tory PM Heath. The population never saw it that way. Also, her and Reagan, spurred on by the "Chicago Boys" wanted to drive down labour costs and getting rid of unions was one way. Off-shoring manufacturing was another. They were highly successful.

                I was born in Liverpool one of the world's biggest ports. The place when I was a kid was fantastic - full of ships and men working rail trains, trucks, cranes the lot - with 7 miles of docks. A sight never to be seen again in most parts of the world. By 1880 Liverpool was generating more tax revenue than Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Sheffield together even though collectively they had thee times the population.

                Imports of raw materials were slashed as manufacturing went to China and export of finished goods was also slashed. Mainly imports of finished goods, which the Tories and Thatcher insisted the container terminals were "inland", traditionally the work of the ports, and the ports just crane containers off ships onto trucks and trains. A triple wammy blow to the city. All deliberate. The rapid decline of Liverpool is big topic in itself - Thatcher hated the place thinking it was full of Communist types, when facts proved it was not. The London media went full ahead on castigating the city, which it has never got over even today. Last week the HIgh Speed Rail route was announced. Liverpool, the 4th largest economic region in the UK is left off and Manchester, an ex mill town 30 miles away, has full High Speed Rail even with a 7.5 mile tunnel bored to it new city centre station. The Tories hate Liverpool. Look at Geoffrey Howe's paper "Managing the decline of Liverpool". A deliberate policy to

                Then a depression comes along, which Thatcher & Reagan had a lot to do with. Both Thatcher and Reagan created great misery in their warped idea of what free-market is.

                Going for landowners? Mmmm I think not. She saw the privileged class strata of a few private schools and Oxbridge were inept (jobs for the boys) and wanted a meritocracy. She failed, although she did employ many men from comp schools and non-Oxbridge unis. She never went for the core, never once attempting to dismantle the strata. The Tory Party was too ingrained in privilege. The strata were well ingrained in the military, judiciary, high education, the church, monarchy, etc, and still are. Just look at the current cabinet. They are remote from society - they are implementing a "bedroom tax" - as daft as the window tax.

                > A lot of Tories must be free market types,
                > not particularly close to the
                > land-owning group.

                Then why are they in the party? They mean a rigged or monopolized free-market. They have an obsession of driving down Labour skewing the free-market. Michael Hudson stated that the UKs decline was that they drove down labour costs over 100 years.

                > In the case of land (or perhaps we
                > should get used to using "locations" –

                Spot on. I also like the Alter term lo-tax.

                > Collecting Rent throws locations back into
                > a price controlled market and,
                > incidentally, makes full economic control
                > of the market possible.

                Nicely put.

                > This argument could get to the free market
                > Tories (not that I'm suggesting
                > it will be easy, but it offers an avenue).

                Many of these free-market Tories are really LibDems. They go to the Tories because they see the LibDems will never be in power - except in coalitions.

                > As I've said before, pushing our "better"
                > tax is a pretty bloodless task
                > and places us in the same group as other
                > tax reformers – a path that can
                > cause a voter's eyes to glaze over.
                > Apparently, Fred is coming to a similar
                > conclusion.

                Fred concluded that a long time ago. Talking to people they see the angle of "commonly created wealth used to pay for common services eliminate their taxes". That they can grasp. Talk up the positives. Talking LVT and blank faces appear.
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