Bradford Green Party welcome call for "developers duty" to replace council tax

3 March 2018

Bradford Green Party has welcomes calls for a radical overhaul of council tax which would see it replaced by a fairer system which is linked to the value of the land.

Matt Edwards at Bingley Railway Station

The plans would see council tax and business rates scrapped and replaced instead with a new land value tax or 'developers’ duty', to ensure the richest in society pay their fair share.

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, will make the call in his speech to Spring Conference today, when he will call on the Government to start an immediate review into a developers’ duty, with the view to start implementing a new tax system in five years’ time.

In his speech Bartley will point out how the current system rewards wealthy land and home owner.

This follows visits by both co-leaders to areas across the country, including a visit to Tong Valley by Caroline Lucas in September last year.

Matt Edwards, Campaign Co-ordinator for Bradford District Green Party welcomed the policy anouncement saying: “We asked Caroline to visit the District to show her the damage that unsustainable planning plans - put forward by Bradford’s Labour-run council – would cause to our communities. 

Caroline Lucas in Tong

“These plans would see vast areas of green spaces across the district allocated for thousands of homes whilst leaving our inner city crying out for development.

"A land tax would encourage the development of underused land in our inner city whilst making green spaces on the outskirts of the inner city less appealing. We are pleased that the Green Party co-leaders have listened to local parties like ours and is working to come up with fresh ideas to deliver a sustainable housing policy that works for local people – not developers”

In his speech Bartley is expected to say: “Last year the most expensive house in the country sold for just shy of a massive £16 million. The cheapest went for £18,500. Yet the difference between what those two new homeowner’s pay in council tax is just £250.”

Instead of looking at the sale price from 1991, the developers’ duty would tax the value of land. Under this scheme rocketing land value due to changes in the area, such as new transport links, would be captured and put back into the local community.

Different types of land value capture have been explored across the world, including in Denmark where landowners pay 1% tax of the value of their property for the first DKK3.04m (£343,000) of its value, and 3% after that.

Bartley is expected to say: “Council tax is regressive and it’s the past. Together with business rates and stamp duty, it needs scrapping, in favour of a developers’ duty that captures the value of land not property.

“It’s time to create an economy that serves us and not the other way round. A chance to determine whether the economy liberates or enslaves us.”