November 2004 Archives

Global Taxation Matters

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A Revealing Landvaluescape "making property tax more acceptable using value maps" is the title of a paper just submitted for publication by Richmond Law and Tax in their forthcoming Volume III of a series "Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation" that began in 2002 and led to my new life as an academic researcher.

In outline, it suggests that campaigners for land value taxation (LVT) may be undermining their cause - and that of better 'joined-up' geo-data policy - by emphasising the link between tax reform and value maps. It "frightens the horses"!

A better strategy is to encourage industry groups such as insurers, property investors and mortgage lenders to jointly approach governments with a strong case for sorting out geo-data first. The Knowledge Economy needs value maps anyway. Only when landvaluescape is on the way to being revealed should the case for LVT be pursued.

In an election of the whole membership, the UK Association for Geographic Information (AGI) has just voted Tony Vickers of Modern Maps onto its governing Council. Vickers will take up his appointment in 2005.

A specialist in land and geo-data policy, with a background in construction and defence geographic support, Vickers obtained a Masters degree with Distinction in Information Systems in Hong Kong in 1994 and is now studying for a PhD at Kingston University School of Surveying. He is also an elected member of West Berkshire Council, where he serves as chair of a planning committee.

Delphi Final Round launch

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Do UK Value Maps need the VOA?

The emerging findings of my PhD research indicate that it may be best not to link value mapping with property tax reform, especially as there seem to be a number of industry sectors (insurance, institutional investment, mortgage lenders) who could be interested in value mapping but not in tax reform - and who could fund the necessary activities.
Government's role should be to 'let it all happen'. Instead of allowing publicly funded geo-data production agencies to 'play shop', there should be a fundamental review of the way GI is managed in the UK. Ironically we need to think less about maps and more about e-government information if we are to get the data fit for many purposes such as value mapping.
here is the form for you to complete if you want to help develop my Action Plan.
Return completed form to me by email before 20 December.

Countries can 'do' value mapping without 'doing' land value taxation - so why not the UK? That's what my PhD research Visualising Landvaluescape: Developing the Concept for Britain seems to show.
Download Delphi Round Two Analysis
to see what I make of the views of 23 members of a Delphi Group of experts and stakeholders on the Policy Options I presented to them earlier this year.

The third and last Delphi Round is launched this week from here. To take part place a comment below.

I wrote a paper Valuebill after Acacia: forward addressing!
for the UK Association for Geographic Information (AGI) in June, suggesting a course of action to speed up the completion of the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG). It was endorsed by AGI's Public Policy Special Interest Group on 13 September but AGI's Council did not approve it on 29 September because certain of its members alleged that it contained inaccuracies. I am told that it will be considered again at AGI Council's next meeting.
So far no specific 'inaccuracies' have been pointed out to me, although changes have been suggested to improve clarity and emphasis. AGI has not yet posted the paper on its web-site and it is unclear how members will be able to comment on a paper that they haven't been told about!
Aware that certain bodies with a commercial interest want the NLPG to take an entirely different route, also that a large number of AGI members depend on one or more of those bodies for their custom, I have decided to put the document on my own website and ask everyone I know to please read it - and comment back to me - and AGI direct.
The key passages (and recent changes) in the document are highlighted in yellow.

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