On the day that a UK General Election was called, Oxfordshire County Council voted 32:17 in favour of a motion by Lib Dem (Hon. Vice President of ALTER) Cllr Margaret Godden, calling on Government to "proceed with trials" of LVT. Margaret is not standing for re-election in May (when the whole Council is up for election) but has the satisfaction of seeing every Lib Dem, Labour and Green member present, of the Council she has served for over 30 years, support her.
Motion from Councillor M Godden
The Council recognises that the Oxfordshire Land Value Taxation (LVT) Study has shown that:
1. the use of Land Value Taxation as a replacement for Council Tax and/or National Non-Domestic Rate is a practical option;
2. LVT would not be prohibitively expensive to introduce and would thereafter be cheaper to update than the present taxes;
3. LVT is a more progressive tax than Council Tax.
The Council also notes that LVT has advantages for local councils in that:
a. expenditure on infrastructure and services produces an immediate revenue stream for the council; and
b. the tax reinforces planning decisions, encouraging development where that is approved by the planning system, and reducing pressure on owners of undeveloped land which the planning authority wishes to protect.
The Council accordingly resolves to ask the appropriate government departments to proceed with trials of Land Value Taxation with the intention of either introducing it throughout England and Wales or of making it available to local councils who wish to adopt it. Oxfordshire County Council would be interested in taking part in such a trial.