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Is LVT a threat to the landscape?

“Without special exemptions, land value taxation policy would cause loss of habitats such as ancient woodland heath etc in private ownership but not designated as sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs). It could also impair the protection of historic landscapes.”

The proposal is for a tax levied on the annual rental value of land at its optimum permitted use. This excludes the hope value for speculative purposes – eg if urban edge farmland is being used for agricultural purposes, the tax payable is based on agricultural use value until full planning consent has actually been given for something else.

Under the LVT system proposed here, there is no need for specific tax relief as it is built-in – valuations reflect restriction in use. If positive conservation policies are in operation, LVT would promote them and discourage resistance, since restrictions in land use are reflected in the valuation. Indeed, there is no reason why conservation areas should not be the subject of voluntary agreements ie land subject to a voluntary management scheme would be assessed on the basis of its low-intensity use, since this would not compromise the system through exemptions and exceptions and it would be up to the taxation authority to agree to the protection of a particular site or sites.

However, LVT levied on selling prices could do just the sort of damage that some people are concerned about, because selling prices include the “hope value” of of the prospect of future development. This is one of the reasons why the Campaign holds fast to the original concept of LVT as a tax on annual rental values.