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UK property taxes highest in OECD

A new report says Britons are paying the highest level of property taxes among the nations in the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report by Policy Exchange thinktank maintained that the amount of property taxes paid by Britons is more than twice the 1.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) average for the 34 members of the OECD.

Property taxes include council tax, stamp duty, inheritance tax and capital gains tax, which amount to 4.1 percent of GDP in the UK, according to the report.

This is while that the amount being levied in property taxes in Canada, for instance, is 3.5 percent of GDP as compared with the US, where it is 3 percent of GDP. In Japan the rate is 2.8 percent and in Germany it is 0.9 percent.

The thinktank called on politicians to reject new levies on property and instead work towards controlling housing costs by constructing 1.5 million new homes by the end of the decade.

“No other developed country taxes property more heavily than the UK. Yet rising house prices and falling levels of home ownership have led to many calling for an increase to land and property taxes,” said Alex Morton, head of housing and planning at Policy Exchange.

“But these issues will only be solved by genuine reform of the outdated planning system, not a tax raid on peoples’ homes. Politicians cannot try to do everything at once and must focus on the most crucial issues”, he said.

According to Morton, the planning system needs serious reform and there is a need for creative ways to deliver housing.

“The evidence shows where excess credit and under-supply exist, taxation or subsidy can only have a limited impact. That is why policymakers should ignore calls for a new round of property taxes and instead commit to spreading the benefits of home ownership and stabilising the UK economy by building at least 1.5m new homes over the course of the next parliament”, the Policy Exchange official added.

 

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via UK property taxes highest in OECD: Report.

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