Response to Scottish Land Commission report

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Press Release

In response to the Scottish Land Commission’s final report on a potential land value tax in Scotland, Sarah-Jane Laing, Executive Director, Scottish Land & Estates, said: 

“We’ll need to reflect on the details before commenting further but we can say that taxation must be considered in the round, rather than looking at just one idea in isolation, and all the unintended consequences well thought through. 

“Land value tax has been debated for many years but has not been taken forward by any administration because of the potential impact it may have on not just rural Scotland, but the whole of the country. 

“The introduction of land value tax would have an impact on every corner of Scotland, both rural and urban - so it should be recognised that this would not be solely a tax on land ownership. 

“In a rural context,  it would have an effect across the entire Scottish countryside, not simply ‘estates’ or ‘landowners’. It could have an impact on local communities’ aspirations and it would discourage those providing investment, from housing developers, to forestry businesses and farmers. Rural businesses, which invest heavily across Scotland, are already subject to a very well established and complex tax regime and it should be pointed out that land value taxation is, in effect, already in existence in the form of capital gains tax, inheritance tax and developer contribution when planning permission is granted. 

“We believe the impact of any policy change of this magnitude should not only be measured in terms of delivery of land reform objectives.”