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November 9, 2005

Ministers asked to "question closely" RICS research findings on LVT

"Detailed research" commissioned by RICS for its response to the Government on Kate Barker's proposed Planning Gain Supplement is questioned by Tony Vickers in a letter to ODPM Minister Jim Fitzpatrick. RICS claims the report by Tony Johnson and Chris Hart, authorities on land and property taxes in the UK, shows Land Value Taxation to be "inadequate or flawed".

The reports authors are not known for their work on LVT, yet they list seven 'problems' with it - without a single piece of research evidence:-
1. LVT seeks to tax freehold ownership rather than occupation.
2. The complex nature of the leasehold structure in the UK, particularly in urban areas.
3. The physical creation and maintenance of a land value registry.
4. The volatility of land prices.
5. The basic (land) valuation methodology.
6. The concept of valuing not what is there but on the basis of what the best or optimum usage is.
7. Equitable apportionment in mixed developments.

Vickers has prepared a paper Disposing of 'Problems' with LVT, which he has sent to Ministers responsible for Geographic Information and Taxation policy in the UK Government. Meanwhile he has asked his PhD supervisor and RICS Board member Professor Sarah Sayce to mediate with the authors and help achieve balance in the RICS submission to Government.

You are invited to join in the debate. Whose research shows what?! Or do we need a lot more study before we can conclude anything? Shouldn't Government itself take a lead - and ask for solutions not problems?

Posted by Tony Vickers at November 9, 2005 8:29 PM

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