Taxing Homes Angers Some But Others Still Try
UK Cabinet Minister Says the Magic Tax Words
The lengths to which people go to avoid paying government for where they live -- zheesh! Yet the charge is fair, as far as taxes go. It just needs a rebate or dividend. We excerpt two 2013 articles from (1) the Daily Mail, Mar 13, on a hut by A. Edwards, and (2) The Spectator, Mar 9, on a Cabinet minister by I. Hardman.
By Anna Edwards and by Isabel Hardman
Angry Couple Chop off the Back of their Hut After Council Ups Rent
A couple have torn the rear wall of their beach hut. The couple will now save £160 in building "rent" each year -- but lost a bit of space. The hut is now in a lower bracket so they will only be charged £616 by Suffolk Coastal District Council.
The council increased "rent" by 12 per cent; for the couple it went from £702 to £787.
The hut overlooking the North Sea at Felixstowe Suffolk went from 10ft by 8ft 6ins to an 8ft 6ins square floor with the help of an electric saw powered by a generator. The couple spent around £270 downsizing their place
The rent for huts at Felixstowe has doubled since the couple bought theirs nine-years-ago. It started leaping up three years ago.
The couple complains that the council is profiteering and cannot justify the latest increase. "We want to draw attention to how the council is making a fortune out of us and all the other beach hut owners."
A lady aged 84 who has had a hut here for 40 years, but she is having to give it up because she cannot afford the latest increase.
The town council provides free services such as our public toilets and rubbish collection and street cleansing.
There is clear unmet demand for a license with a five year waiting list.
To read more
JJS: What if the couple lost interest in the hut and decided to “rent” it out? Would they charge a small amount to please the tenant or would they charge as much as the market can bear? Given the long waiting list, government could raise what they charge even higher. Whenever government behaves as most any landlord would -- and with much more justification since they use the funds for public services -- complainers always site the old widow, yet the venerable lady never merits mention when the landlord is a private, absentee owner. Why the double standard?
One mistake the town council is making is charging according to the size of the hut rather than the value of the location. The hut is created by an individual and belongs to an individual. The value of the location is created by society and belongs to society. If government charged according to site value only, no owner would have any reason to take a chainsaw to his hut. Such defacement is the latest in a long lineage of self-destructive behavior spurred by tax avoidance, such as bricking up windows, not finishing the top floor, chopping down fruit trees, etc.
Elsewhere in England, a top politician talks about this sensible way to tax.
Tory ‘ideologues’ waging ‘jihad’ against public spending
Vince Cable, the UK Business Secretary, has been vocal about protecting his department's budget from further cuts. But he hasn't succeeded in doing so, unlike his Tory colleagues. At the Lib Dem spring conference, he mentioned the words ‘land value tax’, which set many Lib Dem heads nodding away with approval.
To read more
JJS: Of course, it need not be a tax on private land; it could be a lease of public land. And it’s not really on the value of the land -- not on the nutrients in the soil -- but actually on the value of the location. And it’s not really value in the sense of (a percentage of) price but a rent, a repeating and varying amount set not by a legislature but by the market. Hence, more accurate than “LVT” would be land dues. By any name, if society is to accept it, it must be coupled with a rebate or dividend, a share of the raised rental revenue. The revenue belongs to members of society, really, not to town councils, not matter how nice they may be.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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