Why we don’t want a mansion tax
SIMON Jenkins manages to get it right today. Which is a real surprise for something about tax in The Guardian.
This Lib Dem idea of a mansion tax is simply stupid. You’d need to set up an entirely new tax collection system, you’d have to have a valuation of all the expensive houses, it would be a very expensive method of collecting not very much tax revenue.
And there is a much simpler way to do it: one that, amazingly, the Welsh have already brought in. Just have more council tax bands.
We’ve already got the tax collection system, we’ve already got the method of valuing the properties, we’ve already got the people in place. It’s a very simple method of doing exactly the same thing: taxing expensive property more.
Sure, we might think that taxing expensive property more isn’t a good thing to do: we might think it is. But if we do think it is then surely we want to do this in the cheapest and most dosh and cash producing method possible? Which is just to tweak the council tax, not create an entirely new system.
One fascinating number. A decent house in Kensington, under the old system of rates, would currently be paying around £15,000 a year. Today, under council tax, it pays a little over £2,000. There’s room in there to tax the rich a little more if that’s what you want to do.