4. Simplicity and Clarity

An important characteristic of LVT, which many other taxes do not enjoy, is its openness, clarity and predictability, which makes it a tax that would be difficult to avoid.              

With LVT, the basis of the tax would be obvious and apparent to all. Site values would be regularly assessed and published for public scrutiny. The tax due on any site could be calculated by anyone. The figures could not be hidden behind ‘creative accounting’ or aggressive tax avoidance schemes. Furthermore land cannot be moved offshore to a convenient tax haven. A tax-avoidance industry, which costs the exchequer billions in lost revenue each year, would be impossible with LVT. Income Tax, VAT and Corporation Tax provide a happy hunting ground for sharp practitioners who flourish in the complexity and obscurity that such taxes allow.

Under LVT, private ownership of land could continue although land speculation as such would disappear. Excessive increases of house prices, which are caused through the increase of the land-value factor, would be brought under control. Sites would continue to be bought and sold, but any prospective purchaser would know in advance the tax obligation for any site and would be able to enter such commitment into his calculations. There would need to be regular and comprehensive valuations, which would be accessible to all as a matter of public information at all times, as are the existing public registers for Council Tax and Business Rates.