Selections from The Chancellor of the Exchequer's (Lloyd-George)
Budget Statement 29 April 1909


HC Deb 29 April 1909 vol 4 cc542-3 542

These proposals necessarily involve a complete reconstruction of the method of valuing property. The existing taxes upon real property are levied upon the annual value of such property as a whole without distinguishing between the value which resides in the land itself and that which has been added to it by the enterprise of the owner in erecting buildings or effecting other improvements. Even apart from this, the methods of valuation vary in different localities, with the result that the incidence of existing burdens is very uneven. The intensely complex character of British land tenure introduces a further complication. There are no official records of the various interests in land, existing rates and taxes being charged upon the occupier, who is left to recover from the other interests (if any) either by a rough-and-ready scheme of statutory deductions from rent or by making such bargain as he is able with his landlord. It now becomes necessary for the purposes both of the increment value duty and of the undeveloped land duty to distinguish between the two elements in the value of real property, while, as the increment value duty and the reversion duty will both of them have to be collected from the particular interests to which those accretions respectively accrue, a complete register of the owners and other persons interested in land, with full details of the various interests, will ultimately be required.

The preparation of such a register will be a lengthy task which must in the main be proceeded with as each separate property comes under taxation, but the question of valuation is of greater urgency. The existing valuation lists on an annual value basis (even if they represented the true annual values which in many cases they do not) would be of little use for the purpose of determining capital values—the basis of the new duties—and it will therefore be necessary to provide machinery for a complete valuation on a capital basis of the whole of the land in the United Kingdom. I do not think I will enter into particulars now of the method which we propose to follow in valuation. I shall do that when we come to discuss the Resolution in Committee. Now I have disposed of direct taxation.

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