Ignorant Ritchie

I remain adamant: a land value tax cannot replace all other taxes. That’s like playing a round of gold with only a putter to hand. But is land value taxation part of the future for British taxation? It has to be. It’s interesting that it’s only in the FT you’ll really find people saying that.

That\’s strange. Because I see people saying that we\’ve got to have LVT all over the place. Must be all those neo-liberals and libertarians that I read. Heck, even the guy that writes taxation policy for UKIP is onto it.

And if Ritchie didn\’t ban quite so many people from commenting at his place he might have been told that, eh?

13 comments on “Ignorant Ritchie

  1. Ritchie doesn’t like people who present facts that interfere with his preconceptions – it’s a Leftie thing.

  2. Firstly – Council tax includes a large amount of LVT, with the result that a household with a modest house in central London ends up subsidising households with better houses in Glasgow or Blackburn (or even Canary Wharf). LVT is part of the *present* of British taxation.
    Secondly – he should try saying that in Kuwait or Alaska. Admittedly neither has a LVT, preferring to tax foreign corporations but if they replaced a profits tax with a tax on the value of the oil in the ground the source of the bulk of revenue would be the same corporations in similar amounts.

  3. You’ve got it Tim

    The rest don’t count.

    Its Mr. Murphy and the FT. A person and a paper of equal standing, doncha know?

  4. John77 (#4) is incorrect – there’s very little regional variation in council tax, nothing like enough to reflect the variation in property values.

    Taking the cheapest (North East) as the baseline:

    – London property prices are nearly 3 times as high, but average council tax is only 15% higher. To be proportional to prpoerty prices, London council tax would have to be 2.5 times higher.

    – West Midlands property prices are 24% higher, but average council tax is only 5% higher.

    Different numbers across the country, but the principle holds true in all regions.

    These are actual average council tax per dwelling, so should be proportionate to property prices if council tax were an LVT substitute.

  5. Plus of course council tax is on the occupier, LVT is on the owner. But that then gets into an endless argument about the likely incidence of an LVT between landlord and tenant.

  6. No idea on the business rate, but you’ll see from my comments I have succeeded in getting him to pay band A council tax on the Annexe to his house.

  7. Noel, what was behind that?

    There was a story about him not paying business rates even though he ran his business from home (which was possibly a legitimate loophole, depending on usage), but is the annexe a different issue?

  8. Thank you Noel; an excellent bit of digging.

    So it is the annex that his Addresses to the Nation are broadcast from.

    Two things come to mind. First, if it was treated as business use, business rates could be higher than council tax (going by the floor plan you gave, £1,500 for business vs £1,000 for domestic council tax).

    Whether it is business use or not is a tricky question; he seems to be somewhere between examples 2 and 5 on the guidance:
    http://www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/_downloads/pdf/workingFromHome.pdf

    But I wonder how accurate the information he gave the Valuation Office was. He has, I think, previously claimed that it’s domestic because there is a train set in the room, but there’s no sign of one in his YouTube videos.

    I see from your plans that there are two rooms in the annex, which could put him in the worst position of one being business and the other domestic. That way he could be paying business rates on the business part and still be paying Band A council tax on the rest of the annex.

  9. Second, I wonder what he claims as a business expense for income tax?

    It would be interesting if he claimed expenses based on full business use of the annex (or the room) but said it was only partial use when claiming that it’s not subject to business rates.

    Also what about capital gains tax if he sells the house? The YouTube broadcasts make it look like there’s exclusive business use of at least that room, which could mean that he loses some of the CGT exemption under the principal private residence rules.

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