The Centre for London, a politically independent think tank charity, has issued a manifesto calling for the capital to be handed control over property taxation and for it to be allowed to keep a portion of the income tax it raises say Harris & Co accountants Northampton
Brightest Star: A Manifesto for London asserts that devolution is likely to be an important feature of the next parliament.
The tax recommendations included in the manifesto are based on those made by the London Finance Commission, set up by London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2012, which presented a strong case for giving London greater power to design its own taxes and retain some of its tax-take in exchange for the withdrawal of the central government grant.
The Centre argues that, in the short-term, London should be given control over property taxation, to enable it to design a regime suited to its circumstances, and should be allowed to retain these revenues. It says this would increase London government’s retained share of the capital’s total tax base from five per cent to around 12 per cent, which is a very modest proportion by international standards or by the standards of the reforms proposed for Scotland and Wales.
In addition to the devolution of property taxes, it proposes full discretion over smaller taxes (e.g. ‘tourist taxes’) and, in the longer run, it says a proportion of income tax should also be assigned to the city.