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November 30, 2005

Scandinavian land tax - latest news and UK lessons

Tony Vickers visited Sweden and Denmark in November 2005 to study recent developments in the use of GIS for property taxes, as well as how these fit within their overall tax systems.

The findings of these brief visits to the tax administration offices and (in the case of Sweden) land survey department show that 'landvaluescape' is recognised as a useful tool, although application development is still at an early stage. The lesson for UK is obvious: our property tax system needs to be modernised, to exploit the efficiencies of latest technology and enable a wider range of property taxes -specifically those based on land values - to be considered.

As long as there is no register of land parcels, land uses and property rights covering the whole country, there is no immediate possibility of adopting land value taxation comprehensively. However the wider benefits of having such land information make it almost certainly worthwhile, especially as Governments have already expressed support for national land information projects in their own right (i.e. without tax reform as the justification). The introduction of LVT would be self-financing.

The reports can be downloaded

Posted by Tony Vickers at November 30, 2005 5:13 PM
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