söndag 11 november 2007

New taxes will hurt small firms that try to go green

Energy Saving
Originally uploaded by Neil101.

Small businesses that want to do their bit for the environment face higher tax bills.

An article in today's Independent on Sunday states...
"The Conservatives have warned that SMEs that want to tackle climate change and install green energy technology will face a hike in their tax charges.

"The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an arm of Inland Revenue, is preparing to tax solar panels, wind turbines and micro-generation technology with higher business rates and council tax. This follows news that Gordon Brown is set to abandon Tony Blair's targets on renewable energy.

"The small print of last month's pre-Budget report revealed that "the installation of micro-generation equipment in business premises can trigger an increased liability for business rates".

"Parliamentary Questions have also revealed that green energy measures will result in higher council tax bills. Such measures can push a home into a higher council-tax band when the house is sold or after council tax revaluation. The VOA is already undertaking training and preparations for the revaluation..."

One might think that this is crazy, but it is a logical consequence of Britain's property tax system. The solution is to exempt all buildings and improvements from property tax assessments and to tax on the rental value of the site alone, on the assumption that it was at it optimum permitted use.

Unfortunately, such is the power of the clique of vested interests that has Britain's politicians and civil servants in its pocket, that this simple and sensible measure is promptly struck off the political agenda whenever it is suggested.

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