Building developments in the city

Tax Trial: Land Value Tax for London?

Date published: 
22 February 2016

Land Value Tax

London’s record population growth reflects its success, but it also creates an urgent need for more homes and infrastructure.

The report ‘Tax Trial: Land Value Tax for London?’ seeks to offer the next Mayor a potential solution, by examining the argument for and against introducing a Land Value Tax (LVT) in London.  It identifies nearly 2,000 hectares of land in currently not being used for housing that are potential sites for residential development.  These sites might accommodate at least 276,000 new homes, and potentially many more.

LVT is unlike any of the property taxes currently in use in the UK.  It taxes land, and not buildings.  Current tax and business rates are only imposed on occupied and developed land; which can discourage development.  This means some sites in London, which could be used to meet housing needs, are being under-utilised as car parks or plots with long-demolished buildings.

The report recommends that the next Mayor look at the issue to identify what further devolved powers might be needed to make a Land Value Tax a reality, and then explore the potential of a Land Value Tax through a feasibility study and pilot scheme.  A complete set of recommendations is listed on page 29.

Members of the London Assembly Planning Committee recommended to the GLA Oversight Committee the appointment of Tom Copley AM as rapporteur for this report.