Labour’s Land Value Tax would be excruciating for London

On page 86 of its manifesto Labour raises the prospect of a Land Value Tax (LVT):

A Labour government will give local government extra funding next year. We will initiate a review into reforming council tax and business rates and consider new options such as a land value tax, to ensure local government has sustainable funding for the long term.

I did the calculation for my house. My current council tax is £2,270. Under Labour’s LVT proposals this would go up to £5,890, a rise of £3,620 or 160%. It would be excruciating for my family. Finding £3,620 out of an already reduced after tax income would effectively mean the end of holidays or a move to a smaller property.

It is quite easy to do this calculation for yourself. Get your property value off Zoopla. Multiply by 0.55 to get an estimate of the value of the undeveloped land. Multiply 0.0085 to get the tax you would pay. The rate of 0.85% comes from proposers of the tax themselves.

It is no good Labour claiming that this is scaremongering. They have raised the proposal and stated the rate. We know it has to be a large amount because they themselves are presenting it as a get out of free jail card for local government finance. Here is a mechanism that will allow Labour to pump vast funds into its local government clients without affecting headline tax rates for regular people.

The 1%ers will pay! Unfortunately that means anyone who has struggled to buy a property in London. Good luck on Thursday!

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