Further to our recent call in the Bournemouth Echo for business rates to be scrapped we are delighted to confirm that our national party conference has backed us.
Today at conference, Liberal Democrats have voted for a comprehensive plan to replace the broken business rates system.
The motion based on the report – Taxing Land, Not Investment – calls for the abolition of business rates and its replacement with a tax on land values, the Commercial Landowner Levy (CLL). The levy would remove buildings and machinery from calculations and tax only the land value of commercial sites, boosting investment and cutting taxes for businesses in nine out of ten English local authorities.
Key recommendations from the motion include:
Business rates should be abolished and replaced by a Commercial Landowner Levy based on the value of commercial land only
The levy should be paid by owners rather than tenants
Non-residential stamp duty should be scrapped to improve the efficiency of the commercial property market
Commercial land should be taxed regardless of whether the buildings above it are occupied; the tax should also apply to unused and derelict commercial land
If you would like to read the report in full, you will find it here