Thomas Bridge 09 August 2016

Councils and campaigners at odds over future of property taxes

Councils have called for greater powers over tax to fund infrastructure, despite a pressure group calling for the ‘abolition’ of stamp duty.

New research by the Taxpayer’s Alliance found property tax levels grew 2.8% to £66.8bn in 2015, with stamp duty climbing £1.5bn, business rates increasing by £300m and council tax receipts falling by £100m.

It said business rates, council tax and stamp duty were ‘weighing down’ the economy, blocking first-time buyers from accessing the housing ladder and hindering business growth.

However, councils warned UK-wide growth and jobs could be at risk unless local government received a greater proportion of tax income.

South East England Councils (SEEC) has pushed the National Infrastructure Commission for help in ‘persuading the Treasury’ to hand local authorities a greater proportion of business rates income and property taxes for spending on infrastructure.

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