While property taxes are not front-and-centre of the leading political parties’ election manifestos this year – as in the previous mansion tax-riddled campaign – the challenges of effectively and fairly taxing homes and real estate are more present than ever. Tom Goodfellow, Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, explores the issues at play, and some possible solutions.
Outrage has been mounting over the untaxed incomes of the global elite, foreign ownership of urban land and soaring rents in the private rental sector. Much of this boils down to two key matters: who owns property, and how they are treated.
At the back of this year’s election pitch documents, Labour proposes a review of the Council Tax system, suggesting that a Land Value Tax might be a better option, while the Liberal Democrats are advocating a chunky 200% Council Tax surcharge on empty homes… No word on property tax reform from the Conservatives, who focus everything on building more and streamlining processes. Read more about the manifestos on PrimeResi here.
Tom Goodfellow is Lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield, and a Research Associate of the Sheffield Institute of International Development and Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute.