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Cut Property Taxes Not Corporation Tax For A Low Tax Economy, May Told

‘Global Britain’ Has Highest Property Taxes In The World

Whilst Theresa May today pitched post-Brexit Britain as a “low tax” economy in a speech to business leaders in New York saying that Britain will have the lowest level of corporations tax, real estate advisor Altus Group warns that Britain is already at a disadvantage through the highest levels of property taxes.

In Britain, property taxes include all receipts from Council Tax, Business Rates, SDLT (stamp duty land tax) and LBTT (land and building transaction tax) in Scotland.

The prime minister told the Bloomberg Global Business Forum that Britain will be “unequivocally pro-business” when it leaves the European Union.

But, analysis of the latest revenue statistics of comparative data from the OECD by Altus Group, shows property taxes as a percentage of overall taxation are 12.6% in Britain compared to 4.7% across the European Union.

Graph Showing Tax on Property, % of Taxation

Further analysis reveals, property taxes as a percentage of GDP, are 4.2% in Britain whilst 1.8% on average across the European Union.

Graph showing Tax on Property, %of GDP

The level of tax that businesses pay on non-residential properties, such as shops, offices, factories and warehouses through business rates has risen by £7.6 billion up 33% during the last decade and are estimated to raise £30.5 billion this financial year for 2018/19.

Since 2010, the headline rate of corporation tax in the UK has come down from 28% to 19% whilst business rate taxes have continued to rise through the compound effects of annual rises through inflation.

Robert Hayton, Head of U.K. Business Rates at Altus Group, said: “Lowering property taxes for companies through the business rates that they pay would be a fairer distribution of overall business taxation rather than lowering corporation even further.

“Britain is already at a distinct disadvantage and rates can be a barrier towards inward investment. But, by freezing planned rises next year, it would certainly be a step in the right direction and a powerful statement of intent.”

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