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Mansion Tax misnomer

“Mansion Tax” is a misnomer, as it is just a tax on quite ordinary houses in London and the South East. A real mansion would be a seat like Hinderton Hal in Cheshire. Hinderton Hall in the photograph is a Great Western Railway locomotive, 5900 built in 1931. What is the connection? The Great Western’s Hall Class locomotives were named after posh country mansions. There were over 250 of them. If the tax were a genuine mansion tax it would have started by going for the places on the list of Hall class locomotives

The mansion tax, as floated by the LibDems and now espoused by Labour, is a bad idea which doesn’t go away. It is ill-conceived, arbitrary at the margin, an unnecessary complication and will require an expensive revaluation of properties within about £200,000 of whatever threshold is set. That will lead to a rash of appeals. It is everything a tax should not be.

If proper LVT is off-limits, the Council Tax needs to work with a new list based on current valuations instead of the 1991 valuations used at present, the ratio of payments between the bottom and top band properties should be increased from the present 1: 3 to something that more closely reflected the ratio of the property values, and a couple of extra bands should be added.