Mansion Tax: More than a third of people think it's unfair

Claims that excessive taxes are hampering the property sector

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The Independent Online

A new poll by Rightmove indicates that nearly four in ten people think Labour’s proposal for a ‘mansion tax’ would be unfair tax to impose.

Rightmove data shows that less than one per cent of all properties currently on the market on Rightmove are priced at over £2million - the suggested cut-off mark -  and of those nearly three quarters are in London, and one in six in the South East. 

"The idea of a mansion tax has been around for a while and has been the subject of some passionate debate despite the fact that our data shows that it would affect less than one in 100 homes," said Rightmove Director and Housing Market Analyst Miles Shipside.

"While it could help raise funds for other causes, according to our survey there are a large proportion of people who wouldn’t be affected by it who still think it’s unfair. It isn’t something that is going to help boost home ownership, and other policies that could be considered are scrapping stamp duty for first-time buyers, and far more wide-reaching commitments to build a lot more houses."

Stacy Eden, head of property and construction at Crowe Clark Whitehill, said that excessive taxes are hampering the property sector, and feeding the escalating housing crisis in London and the South East. 

"Property owners, investors and developers face a plethora of taxes, with new ones added all the time. The stamp duty threshold, which should have risen threefold since 1997 in line with property price inflation, has remained static. Similarly, the inheritance tax limit has not budged, catching increasing numbers of people within its net," he said.

"A new mansion tax would add a further burden to properties in London, where inflation has pushed many family homes within its ambit. Homeowners who purchased property for a few hundred thousand pounds 20 years ago could struggle to earn the income to even pay this proposed tax. Individuals who have paid tax at 40 per cent, 50 per cent or even 83 per cent during their lifetime and who now are on low income are getting hit by further taxes, even though 40 per cent of their estate will eventually end up in government hands.

"All of these factors add up to an unfair and disproportionate amount of tax levied on property. Property inflation and skyrocketing house prices are outside the control of homeowners and private landlords, but these groups bear the heaviest tax burden."