Commission launches examination of how tax changes might ‘stimulate’ land use and town centre regeneration

CHANGES to the tax system could promote “active land use and diverse ownership” and “stimulate town centre regeneration” in Scotland – according to the Scottish Land Commission, which has published a report on land and property taxes.

Says the commission, the publication of the report coincides with it setting up an ‘expert advisory group’, “to advise the commission and shape the recommendations that it will put to [Scottish Government] Ministers in late 2021.”

The report is titled, ‘Land and property taxation in Scotland: Initial scoping of options for reform‘.

Says the commission (here): “Some taxes, including council tax, non-domestic rates and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), are already the responsibility of Scottish Parliament, which also has the option of introducing new local taxes designed to fund local authority expenditures.

“The Scottish Land Commission is investigating these options further and will be making recommendations for tax reforms within the devolved competency in 2021. 

“Other taxes such as corporation tax, inheritance tax and income tax, which is [sic] partially devolved, also have the potential to influence land ownership and use, though these are reserved taxes that require action from the UK Parliament.

“While 50 per cent of the UK’s wealth is tied up in land and property, it only forms around ten per cent of the total tax base.

“In Scotland, just 12 per cent of all public sector revenue across reserved and devolved taxes are raised through taxes fully or partially levied on land and property.”

In announcing the report, the commission begins: “Taxes on land and property could serve as a powerful tool for helping Scotland develop a robust, resilient wellbeing economy.”

Read more, here.