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December 17, 2003

Blueprint for Smart Tax

Download the full paper
(also available on The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy website)

In this third and final year of a research project to help prepare Great Britain for land value taxation (LVT), work focused on an inner city area of Liverpool and plans to introduce Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in England and Wales. The aim was to produce a 'blueprint' for the city council to adapt the Government's BID proposals into a pilot implementation of LVT.

Findings include the following:
  • A national (England & Wales) land valuation could cost no more than the existing periodic valuations for property taxes, over the valuation cycle.
  • LVT could be phased in, as a full replacement to local property taxes nation-wide, while the 2003 (non-domestic) and 2006 (council tax) valuations and taxes based on them are phased out, over less than ten years starting with trials as part of the pilot BIDs in several cities. The changeover could be cost-neutral in administration terms.
  • Business managers overwhelmingly prefer Smart Tax to Business Rates, which they do not understand, and are particularly eager to see it being piloted in BIDs, where they do not believe a voluntary system of owner payments can work.
  • TED should be widely used to help make property taxes transparent, irrespective of any tax reform. The Government should fund development of TED, as part of e-government.
  • The Valuation Office Agency's replacement IT system should not be specified until further research has been carried out relating to the need for a parcel-based national land management system and fundamental reform of property taxes.
    Posted by Tony Vickers at December 17, 2003 11:51 AM

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