We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

WHAT IS LAND VALUE TAX AND WHY WOULD IT BE GOOD FOR BRITAIN?

Land Value Tax (LVT) is a levy on the unimproved value of land, it disregards the value of building, personal property and other improvements to real estate. LVT has been referred to as "the perfect tax" and the economic efficiency of a Land Value Tax has been known since the eighteenth century. LVT is a progressive tax in that the tax burden falls on titleholders in proportion to the value of locations, the ownership of which is highly correlated with overall wealth and income.

Land Value Tax would be payable each year depending on the location and size of a plot. We advocate that it should replace some existing taxes. It should not add to the overall tax burden, its purpose is to shift tax away from income taxes . Land means the site alone. A vacant plot in a row of houses would be taxed the same as a similar built-on plot. It taxes the size and location of he plot. It does not tax buildings or other works.

There are three strong arguments for the tax. It is socially just. It is the best way of financing infrastructure. And it is economically efficient.

First social justice. Property taxes are fairer than income taxes. In the UK the wealthiest 1% own almost 25% of all property. Today we base the tax system almost entirely on income rather than assets. This means the very rich avoid paying their fair share of taxes. This entrenches inequality.

Second, infrastructure. The benefits of infrastructure are uneven. A fast rail line from London to Birmingham will provide a windfall for property owners in those locations. It won't benefit other locations nearly as much. At present every taxpayer, everywhere, pays. Land value tax corrects this. It recoups costs from those who benefit the most.

Third, economic efficiency. Land value tax is payable whether or not the owner actually uses the plot productively. It penalizes owners of empty houses; owners of run-down sites. Unlike now, they would be taxed at the same rate as a site in productive use. This would promote inner city regeneration. There is a myth that Land Value Tax would destroy green spaces. In fact, the City of New York made a profit when it created Central Park. It greened over existing built-up areas. The increased property tax from surrounding neighbourhoods paid for this.

In summary, Land Value Tax is pro-enterprise and green. Its introduction would allow other taxes to be reduced; especially those on income and profits. Enterprise would be better rewarded. Building on a property doesn't change its location value. The location value of land comes from geography -a beautiful view; or from investment elsewhere - for example a high speed railway. Location value is maintained by society. It just and efficient to tax it.

  • Article: Dec 29, 2020
    By Tony Vickers

    Having been rejected for the Autumn Conference, ALTER is supporting efforts by Andrew Dixon and others to promote progressive reform of domestic property taxes again at the Party's Spring Conference.

    The Fairer Shares campaign is promoting a Proportional Property Tax (PPT) which would replace Counci Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax and the so-called Bedroom Tax (in England only - these taxes are devolved to Wales and Scotland) and lead to greatly reduced taxes for most households. Details are in https://fairershare.org.uk/

  • Article: Nov 11, 2020
    By Tony Vickers

    Like its founder, the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) has always spoken up for LVT in general terms but once again it has published a muddled report that merely recommends its introdction on "major [housing] developments". The ASI report recently had a little mainstream publicity and can be found here https://www.adamsmith.org/news/build-build-build-and-beat-the-germans-again

  • Article: Nov 11, 2020
    By Tony Vickers

    The German state (Land) of Baden-Wurttemburg has taken the historic step of legislating to introduce a state-wide Land Value Tax. See https://www.grundsteuerreform.net/aktuelles/ for details (you may need to translate from the German).

    With its population of 11 million and major cities including Stuttgart, Mannehim and Karlsruhe, it becomes the largest part of Europe to have LVT - called Grundsteuer in German - and the first in Europe for nearly 100 years other than former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania. Twice the size in area and population of Denmark, which has had LVT as a local tax since the 1920s, this places the policy literally at the heart of Europe.

  • Article: Sep 21, 2020

    Almost unnoticed, a very significant consultation on Transparency & Competition in the UK land market has been launched by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The responses to this - and the reaction from Government - could have a more significant impact on house prices and delivery of new homes than the much more widely publicised and simultaneously launched Planning White Paper "Planning for the Future".

  • Article: Sep 21, 2020

    Lib Dem 'angel investor' and ALTER member Andrew Dixon's campaign for a fairer property tax, launched earlier this summer, has passed the half-way mark towards its target of 100,000 signatures.

    The Fairer Share campaign has a slick marketing appeal to the general public and aims to replace Council Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax and Bedroom Tax with a "Proportional Property Tax" that is similar to Land-Value Tax.

  • Article: Sep 21, 2020

    Veteran campaigner Lord (Tony) Greaves now represents the Liberal Democrats on the APPG on Land-value Capture committee. After Sir Vince Cable (President of ALTER) stood down from Parliament last year, a new APPG was formed in February - just before Lockdown stopped all Parliamentary business.

    Replacing Sir Vince as its Chair, the APPC is now led by Labour MP Helen Hayes. Alongsdie Lord Greaves as co-chairs are Kevin Hollinrake MP (Con) and Caroline Lucas MP (Green). See http://www.c4ej.com/appg for more on the APPG, which ALTER Chair Joe Bourke supports as its Secretary, assisted by the resources of Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP) and other members of the Coalition for Economic Justice.

  • Document: Sep 21, 2020
    231.58 KiB drawing or desktop publishing document

    If you haven't heard of ALTER, start by reading this reflection on why the Party needs us and (more important) needs Land-value Taxation at every level of government.

    We hope to meet you this weekend at Conference.

  • Document: Jul 25, 2019
  • Document: Jan 16, 2019
    24.5 KiB text or word processing document

    ALTER membership form

  • Article: Nov 8, 2018
    By Tony Vickers

    On 31st October at Church House, Westminster, London the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Land Value Capture published its report on Land Value Capture. The event was attended by several MPs and chaired by Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Chair of the APPG.

    The APPG was formed less than a year ago and has spent this year taking evidence from a range of organisations and individuals in the UK and beyond. Its proceedings are published on the website of the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ) of which ALTER is a member. It was ALTER's Chair Joe Bourke who acted as the APPG Secretary since its formation and pulled together the report for MPs with assistance from other CEJ members.