Tuesday, March 07, 2006

RICS opens up the debate on stamp duty

Raising money for public services is an essential part of the business of government. But the problem with taxes is wherever you impose them you influence behavior. Stamp Duty is case in point. Tax people on buying cheap properties and they are less likely to do it. We know that change of ownership of an empty property is the one thing most likely to result in it coming back into use, so could a change in the thresholds help? RICS have opened up the debate: RICS lobbies for rise in stamp duty threshold principally as a means of encouraging first time buyers. But an added bennefit of thier suggestion is that it may encourage prospective purchasers to buy cheaper run-down empty properties thus avoiding stamp duty and spend the savings on restoration.

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