Land Value Taxation Campaign

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Home Blog What are the barriers to LVT?

What are the barriers to LVT?

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In response to a question that was circulated recently amongst LVT supporters, I received a list which must come close to being exhaustive. I am not sure whether all the things on the list really are barriers, but even if they were, on that basis, it would still be reasonable to expect support for LVT from politicians, academics and journalists with a commitment to social reform - who together make up a substantial body of power and influence. Yet there is almost none from those whose support should almost be a matter of course. What is going on here? One obstacle, not listed, is that the more enthusiastic advocates of LVT are not always clear about precisely what is being proposed and how it would operate, but even so the lack of interest is still remarkable.

What are the barriers to LVT?

  • Fear of taxes on gardens.
  • The common people fear they will no longer own the freehold.
  • Fear of Change.
  • Fear it will be just another tax on top of all existing ones.
  • Ignorance on the part of those in positions of influence.
  • Failure to understand economic laws.
  • Failure to understand LVT by economists.
  • The failure to distinguish land and improvements.
  • The belief that it is difficult or impossible to distinguish between land and improvements.
  • Non-comprehension of incidence of taxation.
  • Belief that land and buildings are not separate.
  • Embedded self interest namely the great land owners, the church, universities.
  • Pension Funds rely on income based upon rent.
  • The House of Lords.
  • Pension schemes.
  • Hit church, old universities and aristocracy - common people have strong affection for these three categories.
  • Effective lobbying by those who currently benefit.
  • Common people's liking for the notion of 'property owning democracy'.
  • Desire for house price windfall.
  • Living on unearned income.
  • Land is the first and most important collateral for raising capital - LVT makes land effectively nil value.
  • Devaluation of collateral.
  • LVT will depress land values, so must be introduced progressively and with care eg. vacant sites, city centres, domestic property = council tax.
  • Calling it Land Tax. The name we give it.
  • Belief that economics should be separate from morality.
  • Cultural resistance - attachment to 'My Land'.
  • Lack of real public debate.
  • Lack of support from orthodox academic economists.
  • Need to deal with contaminated / contamination of land.
  • Hereditary monarchy.
  • Instinctive hostility in Conservative party.
  • Politically powerful vested interests: Church, Pension schemes.
  • Land has been divided and developed for centuries
  • Asset rich, but income poor.
  • Unemployed home owners do not have the resources to pay the tax.
  • Homeowners where owner has significant capital asset (in home) but low current income.
  • Requires a paradigm shift in understanding.
  • Lack of a comprehensive register of land in order to collect the tax.
  • Lack of an effective treasury model.
  • Not a vote winner.
  • Disliked - seen as unfair (like rates) or last straw.
  • It is a tax that voters actually pay - they don't like it.
  • Belief of the fairness of Income tax.

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