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Statement on land value tax investigation

The Scottish Land Commission has today published contract details of a project to investigate options for the potential introduction of land value tax.
In its tender document the Scottish Land Commission states: “The overarching objective of this project is to assess, with reference to international experience, the potential of land value taxation to contribute to a more productive, accountable and diverse pattern of land ownership and use in Scotland and to identify a set of potential policy options that merit further consideration by SLC.”
Following publication of this tender, Scottish Land & Estates has issued this statement.
Sarah-Jane Laing, Executive Director, Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The Scottish Land Commission is tasked with looking at a range of policy options to deliver the Scottish Government's land reform agenda. Land value tax has been debated for many years but has not been taken forward by any administration.
“We would like to have seen more consideration given in this project tender to the impact of any form of land value taxation on business and will press for more weight to be given to this during any consideration of land value tax. 
“The introduction of land value tax could affect a wide range of land-based businesses across Scotland, not simply ‘estates’ or ‘landowners’. This could have an impact on housing developers and providers, forestry businesses and farmers. Rural businesses, which invest heavily across Scotland, are already subject to a very well established and complex tax regime. Taxation must be considered in the round rather than looking at just one tax vehicle.”
“With the uncertainties of Brexit as well as other economic challenges, we believe the impact of any policy change of this magnitude should not only be measured in terms of delivery of land reform objectives.”

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