|Public Meeting Held on Land Tax
Green Party advocates taxing potential rent to decrease land speculation
A public meeting organized by Hounslow Green Party on Land Tax at the George IV Public House on Chiswick High Road held on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 was well attended by over 50 people.
Dave Wetzel , the President of the Labour Land Campaign and Sean Thompson, a member of the Green Party Policy Committee's economics working group both spoke and then questions were taken from the floor.
Dave Wetzel explained that Land Tax is on the "location value" of a piece of land, not on the buildings on the land. The location value will be different in different parts of the country, and will depend on the improvements that had been made around that land. Better public transport and other capital investments in the neighbourhood would all increase the economic rent of a piece of land; these would be paid for by all of us but the benefit would accrue to the land owner. For example, the Jubilee Line cost £3.5bn but the increase to surrounding land values was £13.5bn. In another example a vacant plot in Brentford had increased significantly in value, with the benefit going to absentee land-owners, some not even in the country, whilst the plot had been unused for over 20 years.
Land Tax would correct this by taxing the rent that could be extracted from a piece of land directly, meaning it would not make sense to hold land for speculation. The tax would be fairer and easy to collect, and impossible to avoid since land can't be hidden.
Sean Thompson said that Land Tax was part of Green Party policy. It was not a panacea for all ills, but should be seen as part of a holistic package of Green policies.
Daniel Goldsmith, the Green Party London Assembly candidate for South West London proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers. A collection was taken and the amount received was more than the room rent. The excess will be given to the charity Hounslow Age UK. Hounslow Green Party really appreciates the generosity of those who attended.
January 18, 2012