RE: [LandCafe] Council tax is not efficient
What an excellent letter.
You really made the most of 381 words.
There should be more like it.
Henry George School of Social Science
of Los Angeles
Box 655 Tujunga CA 91042
From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Of Jock Coats
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 6:25 AM
To: Land Café
Subject: [LandCafe] Council tax is not efficient
Letter to Oxford Times in response to letter praising council tax:
I write with both bad and good news for Michael Tyce (Switching
Taxes, 29th April).
First, the bad; Council Tax does not encourage efficient land use, nor
the earlier rates system. Because they tax the value of both land and
buildings on a site, if you increase the density the value of the
buildings the tax increases.
The good news is that in Oxfordshire, there is multi-party support for
a system that will do exactly what Mr Tyce wants a property tax to do;
help solve Oxfordshires housing needs through more efficient use of
land, whilst avoiding sprawl.
Labour, Lib Dem and Green parties on the county council support Land
Value Tax. For the Greens, it is manifesto policy to replace Council
Tax. It is the Lib Dems proposed replacement for Uniform Business
Rates, accounting for the bigger proportion of local government tax
receipts. The Labour Land Campaign has the ear of the Treasury as they
review local government funding.
With the Vale of White Horse District Council they recently completed a
pilot proving statistically that LVT can lessen the burden on those
hardest hit by Council Tax and Uniform Business Rate. Lack of this
proof is partly why Lib Dems nationally opted for Local Income Tax, and
I hope we can persuade them to adopt LVT for both when next they review
local government policy.
LVT differs from Council Tax in one important respect it is levied
only on the value of land on a site, not the buildings. Within
planning constraints, increasing building densities will not increase
the tax due, while underutilization is relatively penalised.
Disappointingly the Conservatives do not seem to support LVT.
Perplexingly too, since it the least bad tax to the free market
economists they seem to adore otherwise like Adam Smith and Milton
Friedman. Winston Churchill was a vocal supporter. It would
substantially help resolve their dilemma of how to accommodate more
households without using more land. To mis-quote Leo Tolstoy, People
do not argue with Land Value Tax, they simply do not know about it.
We would love Oxfordshire to trail-blaze a full pilot with all-party
support, but at least I hope Mr Tyce is reassured that groups are
actively campaigning for Oxfordshire to lead the way with an efficient
Jock Coats, Hon. Sec.,
Lib Dems ALTER (Action for Land Tax and Economic Reform),
Wardens Lodgings, Morrell Hall, OX3 0TU
Tel: 07769 695767