Saturday 10 December 2016

Convert unfair stamp duty into a property tax

It's time to serve notice on a capricious tax with no basis in reason which is slowing any economic recovery, writes William Campbell

Published 27/06/2010 | 05:00

One way to make future property development more rational is to encourage liquidity in the market, so people can buy and sell easily when they need to. Stamp duty is a major barrier to this.

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UK stamp duty on residential property ranges from between one per cent for properties priced over £175,000 and four per cent for properties over £500,000. All properties priced below £175,000, or in large swathes of the country classed as disadvantaged, are entirely free of stamp duty.

In Ireland, up to 1969, stamp duty was two per cent for properties up to £6,000, and three per cent up to £50,000, a gigantic sum at the time. Since then, the rates kept ratcheting up, with the top rate going to five per cent in 1973, six per cent in 1990 and nine per cent in 1997, following the first Bacon Report.

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