A leading conservative has called for both Stamp Duty and Council Tax to be abolished and replaced with a property tax based on a person’s home.
It’s not a new idea – as a version of the same idea dubbed the ‘mansion tax’ (that just taxed upmarket homes) was proposed by the Lib Dems in 2015 and briefly embraced by the Prime Minister in February last year – but it reveals that key people within the party and government are looking at a way to unshackle the housing market including, reportedly, Rishi Sunak.
John Stevenson (pictured), who is MP for Carlisle and a leading light in the party in the region, has argued on the Conservative Home website that property tax reform should be a key plank of the party’s attempt to ‘level up’ England.
“Council Tax is based on property values from 1991 – 30 years out of date. That means that someone living in a house worth £100,000 pays around five times more tax as a share of property value than someone living in a home worth £1 million,” he says.
More importantly for estate agents, Stevenson says that his proposal for a single property tax would free up hundreds of thousands of sales every year by removing a major cost in the home moving process – SDLT.
“The current system is out of date, confusing, unpopular, unequal and most importantly unfair,” says Stevenson.
“The Chancellor has acknowledged the need to make the system fairer and property taxes would be the ideal place to start.”
“Stamp Duty is a property tax which is an attack on aspiration and ownership. By taxing property transactions, Stamp Duty discourages homeowners from moving.”