Tax potential explored in the value of land

THE production of a so-called ‘cadastral’ map – detailing the value of plots of land – is among the recommendations in a policy paper exploring how land might deliver more tax revenue in Scotland.

Following work called for by the Scottish Government, the Scottish Land Commission makes “a case for ongoing reform to improve the way in which Scotland taxes land, outlining the steps needed to increase the role of land values in the nation’s tax base and support the delivery of the Scottish Government’s land policies”.

Says the Scottish Commission of its recommendations – here: “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.

“Identifying changes to the tax system could help regenerate town centres, ensure that the move to net zero is a just transition, deliver wider benefits for local communities, and support a more diverse pattern of land ownership.”

Says the recommendations: “We identify two proposed reforms to the underlying tax administration system that would increase the future policy options open to the Scottish Government, within devolved powers.

“We recommend: (1) establishing a programme to bring all land onto the valuation roll; and (2) committing to the development and use of a consistent and comprehensive ‘cadastral’ approach which would enable the integration of information on land ownership, use and value, building on the current work of Registers of Scotland.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland