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Brits pay highest property taxes in developed world

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Brits pay some of the highest property taxes in the developed world, according to a Policy Exchange report.

UK property taxes represent 4.1% of gross domestic product, compared to 3% in the US and 1.9% in Denmark. Among the 34 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average is 1.8%.

The think-tank said the UK’s reliance on property taxes means any change could lead to significant political problems: “The approach most likely to be politically and economically beneficial is therefore not to focus on land and property taxation, but to address the primary problem in the housing arena – the chronic undersupply of homes.

“It is not to place further tax burdens on property ownership but to ensure that property ownership increases, and wealth is more widely diffused, through fixing the country’s housing supply.”

The report said Stamp Duty Land Tax is beginning to reach levels that could discourage mobility, including downsizing: “This clearly has negative social and economic implications that would outweigh revenue gains.”

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