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Thread: Housing Mistakes

  1. #31
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    Are there any tower blocks left in Liverpool that are not privately owned?
    Good question. Over the water??

    Ownership, in one form or another, seems to be the key. Whether it's actual freehold or leasehold or renting, if the place doesn't 'belong' to you, more or less permanently, why bother with a lick of paint here or there (some would say)?

    My parents bought 'our' house in the right-to-buy in the 80s. But before that it was always 'theirs' even though they paid rent to council for thirty years before hand.


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  2. #32
    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post
    ....
    My parents bought 'our' house in the right-to-buy in the 80s. But before that it was always 'theirs' even though they paid rent to council for thirty years before hand.


    .
    Yes, but there seems to be a difference between a house and a flat with large common areas that don't "belong" to you.

    I too have rented a house on Los Angeles in the past and painted it inside to suit us.

    It was sort of funny, the landlady came around to raise our rent $50 per month (it was in the 70's......) because her "taxes went up" - when I found out her taxes went up less than 1$ per month (public record) and she saw how we had improved it - she left the rent the same...

  3. #33
    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Nevertheless, I feel the council had something to answer for in the clear design fault of the piggeries that were of no fault of the people who witheld their rent. It was felt there would be an avalanche of copycat cases so it was nipped in the bud. To say it was only the council's obligation to maintain or repair what was a bad job in the first place is a bit of a raw deal with those who were not hooligans or louts and who were just trying to live their lives in a not too fit for purpose habitat.
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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doris Mousdale View Post
    Perhaps if there was a penalty rate imposed on buildings left to rot in the hope of getting a demolition permit things might look a little different. There should be time limit on leaving buildings derilict with the council stepping in to keep the buildings viable with a charge on the owners equity in the building.
    On the otherhand the experiments that have failed was it the housing or the housed that were the problem. I don't reall any Cornish fishing villages with "criminal rat runs" going through them a few smugglers coves, yes, but most are very desirable places to live.
    Same with tower blocks how come they turned into such a heap of crud in such a short time- in terms of property life span, when in other countries around the world they are accepted as inner city housing. If those tower blocks were privatised dwellings would they still be habitable or even proved to be a good investment?
    It's a pet hate of mine,to see any building left to to deteriorate,and agree there should be some sort of legal timescale set for it's vacancy! One of the reasons that's been suggested to me for this happening is,that when house owners die intestate,the property goes to the Crown,who then add it to the list of same,and that's it! (can anyone confirm this?)
    As for tower blocks,after renovation,some blocks on Netherfield rd.sold quickly enough,some prospective buyers queuing overnight! There are now,another 2 blocks nearing completion,(Candia,and Crete, towers.) but I've not heard how well they're selling,yet!
    As has been mentioned,there were some tenants who didn't appreciate the(any?)accomodation,and unfortunately,that's all it takes to ruin any block/estate/street,the majority tending to suffer in silence!

  5. #35
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    It's a pet hate of mine,to see any building left to to deteriorate,and agree there should be some sort of legal timescale set for it's vacancy!
    Look at Harrisburg in the USA - a victim of the Rust belt decline. Ugly, vacant properties were cleared up by imposing Land Valuation Tax. You pay only on the value of the land not the bricks on top (the building). If empty you still pay the same as if the building is occupied, as the building has no bearing on the tax, only the land under. Speculators cannot leave buildings empty as they are taxed the full amount. Most vacant buildings were brought back to use. Harrisburg is great success story and copied by many in mainly PA, USA.

    Liverpool tried to get LVT with the LibDems to clear up the eyesores in the city. Advisors from the USA came over. Whitehall stopped the lot. The Welsh have just debated LVT in the Assembly - it is gaining ground in the UK with even top Financial Times economists such as Martin Wolf and Sir Sam Brittan falling in behind it.

    http://<a href="http://www.youtube.c...go_QoB6OvE</a>

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    The first 10 minutes above is a great explanation of LVT.


    Below, largely the transcript. Note the words:
    discourages speculative land holding.
    encourages active use of land, creating more job opportunities and wealth



    A Land Value Tax for Wales
    LTV is a tax which would be levied on the annual rental value of specific pieces of land, where the value is determined by different usages, for example, agricultural and industrial land. It is, of course, an alternative to existing forms of taxation, not an addition to them. At its most radical, a LVT would allow for the abolition of Council Tax, Business Rates and Stamp Duty Land Tax, by introducing a levy on the annual rental value of every site in Wales including all residential, commercial and farming land, as well as privately owned estates. Moreover, LVT is a progressive tax. Council Tax is regressive because it imposes a lower burden on the rich than on the poor and also a lower burden on rich places than poor places. LVT reverses that proposition.
    The basic idea behind a Land Value Tax is that the supply of land is fixed. As Mark Twain said, when advising people to buy land, they aren't making it any more. As a result, it is inherently scarce. Its price reflects three things: its scarcity value; the value of improvements made by the landowner; and the value of improvements made by other people, especially the public sector. In modern conditions the first and third of these almost entirely swamp the second. Therefore it is right and fair that value created not by the landowner but (mostly) by national and local government should be taxed.
    To give just one practical example: It has been calculated that the Jubilee Line extension to Stratford has raised property values around the stations by 10 billion. If only a small part of this windfall had been taxed, it would have paid for the extension very easily. And, at the same time, while those who benefit from big increases in land values as a result of such development pay more, those whose sites have suffered (such as, for example, housing close to railway tracks which may decline in value because of noise or vibration) would pay less a form of automatic compensation without any complicated appeals system. In just the same way an LVT could easily pay for many other much-needed infrastructure schemes.
    What, then, are the main practical advantages of a LVT?
    First and foremost, such a tax would be tricky for even the rich to avoid. It's hard to hide land or move it offshore to avoid getting taxed.
    For economists such as the OECD's, who advocate a LVT, there are two other big advantages: land taxes (they argue) increase long-term stability and growth by fostering more productive use of capital; and they stabilise government finances by bringing in revenue efficiently and quickly.
    So, a LTV is:

    • cheap to collect
    • difficult to evade
    • discourages speculative land holding
    • encourages active use of land, creating more job opportunities and wealth and, here in Wales, we already have, in TAN 6, `One Planet Development', a policy approach which is sympathetic to land value principles.


    Is it, then, a practical, political possibility? Well, I don't want to underestimate the problems of tackling taxation, especially in an economic downturn. And the experience of the poll tax remains one which has scarred the collective memory of tax change in the property field.
    Nevertheless, a LVT has an impressive economic and social pedigree. Lib Dem supporters have included both Vince Cable and Chris Huhne. For Labour, Andy Burnham made it a centre piece of his campaign for Labour leadership, describing it as an idea so old-Labour it can be traced back to Thomas Paine. It is the official policy of the Green Party in Scotland where research carried out late in 2010 suggested that a land value tax of 3.16p per pound would generate enough cash to replace council tax and the uniform business rate, while leaving 75% of Scottish households better off in the process.
    But LVT is not simply a policy of the radical left. Free-market capitalists and mainstream economists, such as Martin Wolf and Samuel Brittan, have both argued the case in favour. And, indeed, on the right of the political spectrum, a LVT has gained new traction in relation to problems in Greece. Put simply, it is quite difficult to move an Athens mansion off-shore (or, indeed, one in Belgravia) in order to avoid taxation.
    And here in Wales LVT is also an idea with a strong lineage. Inside the Labour Party, the idea was first seriously advanced by Keir Hardy, in his 1906 Manifesto to the people of Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare. Here is what he said:
    'The slums remain, overcrowding continues whilst the land goes to waste. Shopkeepers and traders are overburdened with rates and taxation whilst the increasing land values that should relieve the ratepayer
    go to people who have not earned them.'
    Three years later, a Land Value Tax was intended to be the centre piece of Lloyd George's `People's Budget' of 1909, but was defeated by the vested interests of the House of Lords and property owners in the House of Commons. Now, in the era of devolution, there may be a chance for their uncompleted work to be brought to a conclusion in Wales.
    Of course, it may be that the current settlement will not make it easy for such a reform to be introduced in the immediate future; but the whole future of responsibility for taxation is very much a matter of current debate. I hope that, by raising this matter, it can be brought to the attention of the Silk Commission so that it can include a consideration, if not of land value tax itself, then at least of the case for providing the National Assembly with powers to reform taxation in Wales, in this way, should it choose to do so.
    Because here, the part of the United Kingdom with the longest tradition of radicalism, we have no difficulty in understanding the notion that land is `common wealth' that land is a resource in common. As a result of being fixed and fundamental, it should belong to the people; and those who have the privilege of ownership should pay something back for that privilege, through a Land Value Tax. Once this is understood and agreed, the serious work of detailed investigation of its pros and cons and its practical implementation here in Wales can begin.


    http://commissionondevolutioninwales.independent.gov.uk/files/2012/02/Mark-Drakeford-AM-English.pdf


    This is very encouraging. Vince Cable is attempting to get a wealth tax implemented at Whitehall, which is another good sign. Tax wealth not income.
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