November 2011 Archives

A meeting has been arranged with HMLR officials to explore the possibility of valuing land in England & Wales for taxation.

On behalf of the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ), Dr Tony Vickers, Hon Sec of the Professional Land Reform Group (PLRG) is due to meet the Deputy Director (Rating), Patrick Bond, at the Valuation Office Agency later this month.

Discussions with Government, at various levels, about the practicalities of Land Value Taxation (LVT) have been ongoing for several years. In May this year, a group from CEJ including Dr Vickers met with officials at HM Treasury responsibile for property tax policy and administration. Shortly after the 2010 General Election, at a meeting with those officials' predecessors, CEJ were invited to prepare a series of papers dealing with questions that Treasury had about LVT. Over following months, CEJ experts submitted the papers and in May they were given contact details of more officials with whom to continue discussions on various aspects.

One such aspect is the actual valuation of land sites, as distinct from the valuation of property including buildings and other 'improvements' to sites. This is essential if any kind of LVT is to be introduced.

The Liberal Democrat Party has long been committed to LVT. At the 2010 election, its manifesto included a commitment to reform Business Rates onto a Site Value basis: "Site Value Rating". In a recent paper for the think-tank CentreForum, the Chair of the Lib Dems Tax Commission (which drew up current tax policy in 2006-7) Lord Dick Newby - now co-Chair of the Lib Dems Backbench Treasury / BIS Committee - said he believed it was possible to persuade the Coalition Government to move forward on this policy in the current Parliament.

It was Dr Vickers who, as a member of the Tax Commission, drafted the property tax section of the Lib Dem Tax Policy Paper Reducing the Burden. Since then he has obtained a doctorate at Kingston University from a study of how land valuation might be carried out in Britain.

Dr Vickers is speaking in a debate on the Implementation of LVT at the School of Economic Science, Mandeville Place, London this Friday 11th November. Entry is free. The debate starts at 2.30pm


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