0:01 AM, 3rd February 2023, About A year ago 1
Property taxes in Scotland have increased by nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in the last year, compared to the pre-pandemic period, says a leading property firm.
DJ Alexander has analysed the figures and found that the Scottish Government’s revenues from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) were £247m (62.4%) higher in the 12 months to December 2022, compared to the same period in 2019.
Scotland’s largest lettings and estate agency says that revenues received totalled £642.6m to the end of last year, compared to £395.6m for 2019.
And, in the last six months alone, the government has raised £380.4m and include the six highest totals since LBTT was introduced in April 2015.
However, the firm says that Scotland now needs to introduce a fairer tax system for its property sales or risk losing talent and investment to England.
David Alexander, the chief executive officer of DJ Alexander Scotland, said: “There is no doubt that the property market has boomed over the last two years.
“Prices have risen at an unprecedented rate and demand has never been higher.
“The result is that taxes charged on property sales are now substantially higher than even three years ago.”
He added: “With almost 90% of revenues generated from a few thousand buyers, it is important to realise just how vital these individuals are to ensuring we have a buoyant and dynamic property market.
“They are already paying considerably more in tax than their counterparts south of the border, so it is essential that Scotland remains as attractive a destination as possible for homebuyers, investors, landlords, and second homeowners.”
The firm’s data also shows that over the last year, £107.9m was raised from 1,270 sales above £750,000 – which means each buyer paid an average of £84,960 in tax on each property.
A further £280.2m was raised from 16,760 buyers paying more than £325,001 for a property which is the point at which the tax increases to 10%.
In addition, £172.1m was raised from landlords, property investors and second homeowners which is equivalent to 26.8% of all revenue raised.
The last five months of 2022 were the highest monthly figures ever recorded.
This means that £560.2m – 87.2% of the total raised – was charged to those paying more than £325,001 for a property.
Mr Alexander said: “At its heart LBTT, like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in England, is a simple cash grab for governments.
“You can’t hide a home, so owners simply have to pay up or move to somewhere where the purchase costs are not quite as punitive.”
He continued: “It is important to be aware that as the house market slows, so these revenues will slow, and the government will lose income.
“We need to ensure that Scotland continues to have a strong and lively housing market and part of this must be fairer taxation on property.”
Mr Alexander said: “If Scotland is to be seen as a progressive country wanting to attract the brightest and the best, then we must ensure we have a property tax regime which is at least as fair and as competitive as our nearest neighbour.
“We must have a tax system which is more broadly based and encourages homeownership, investment and the private rented sector.”
He added: “We should always be aware that those with more money always have the option of moving elsewhere and it would be a mistake to drive these individuals and companies away with excessive taxation.”
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