To ensure the tax system supports our competitiveness and business growth, London First is working with members and stakeholders on the following issues:
Developing a long-term solution to the broken business rates regime
London generates 30% of business rates yield in England and, if revaluation arrangements continue alongside trends in growth, this share could rise to almost 60% by 2040 according to the GLA.
The government must undertake a fundamental review of business rates. We would like to see business rates devolved to London, assessed separately in London and retained by London government to fund its functions. The government should also consider the effectiveness of business rates as a measure of economic activity, particularly given the move toward online retailing.
Read more about our work with other business groups in London on business rates
Reduce Stamp Duty Land Tax
UKSDLT has increased fourfold since 2010, rising from 4% to 15%, when the 3% second home levy is taken into account. This has resulted in a reduction in turnover of properties worth £1 million , which in the London market are ordinary – but expensive — family homes. SDLT is too high and must be reduced.
In the longer term, there is a strong case for devolving property taxes to London’s government, as recommended by the London Finance Commission.