Land Tax Reform
The Woodhaven Trust advocates the reform of how land is taxed in the United Kingdom. Land value tax has been referred to as “the perfect tax” and the economic efficiency of a land value tax has been known since the 18th Century. Many economists including Adam Smith and David RIcardo have advocated this tax, but it is most famously associated with Henry George, who argued that because the supply of land is fixed and its location value is created by communities and public works, the economic rent of land is the most logical source of public revenue.
A land value tax 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 taxation is currently implemented in Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Singapore and Taiwan. It has also been applied to smaller extents in parts of Australia and the USA (notably Pennsylvania).
To date the Woodhaven Trust has funded a report entitled “Taxing Land, Not Investment” The paper focused on reforming business rates – replacing it with a Commercial Landowner Levy. The paper received supportive coverage in the press, notably the FT, Daily Mail, The Sun, The Economist.
The Woodhaven Trust is now researching how Council Tax might be reformed to incorporate a tax on the land.