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August 08, 2007

Tax Breaks and Farming.

Graham Harvey over at CiF says:

"An end to all tax breaks and subsidies for land ownership would be a good start."

Quite. The first to go would be the EU subsidies. These are now paid on acreage, not production. They therefore do nothing but raise the price of land, just as any other increase in the rent of an asset will increase the price of that asset.

Glad we agree on that one.

The second would be to get rid of the exemption of farmland from inheritance tax. That's certainly one of the reasons the City types are buying it, it's a way of sheltering the cash for the next generation.

Looking forward to your trying to explain that one to your farming colleagues.

The third would be removing the exemption of farmland from rates/council tax. Either it's a business, in which case it pays the UBR, or it's not a business in which case it should pay council tax.

I'm all in favour of all three of those changes. It's just that I don't think you'd find a single farmer in the country who would agree with me.

August 8, 2007 in Taxes | Permalink

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Comments

Dr Duncan Pickard, farmer in Scotland and author of "Lie of the Land" (and UKIP member) would very much agree with you. So that's one.

Posted by: Mark Wadsworth | Aug 8, 2007 9:56:08 AM

As a son of a farmer;

Agree with point 1, point 2 is only valid if you scrap Business Property Relief (and I'd like to see you get that past the FSB!), I can see the fairness on point 3, but should a field pay the same UBR as a haulage company that uses significantly more local resources? If it were council tax, this is paid on the farmhouse anyway ~ how would one allocate a share for the land? Discuss.

Posted by: Harry Haddock | Aug 8, 2007 11:13:58 AM

re point 3: biz rates are done by value not sheer area, aren't they? land with planning permission to be used as a transport depot is going to be a hell of a lot more valuable than farmland...

Posted by: john b | Aug 8, 2007 1:39:28 PM