LONDON: British citizens pay the highest property taxes in the developed world, according to inquiry by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Property taxes account for 3.8pc in France, 2.9pc in the US and just 0.9pc of GDP in Germany.
Taxes on commercial and residential property – including council tax, inheritance tax and business rates were worth 3.9pc of GDP in 2012 – the latest year for which data are available.The OECD’s annual analysis of tax in top economies showed that while UK’s total tax burden as a percentage of gross domestic product fell to 32.9pc in 2013, from 33pc in 2012, property taxes continued to rise both as a share of national output and Britain’s total tax take.
The increase means taxes on property as a percentage of total taxation are higher than anywhere else in the developed world, with Britain leapfrogging the US into first position. The proportion was also double the OECD average of 5.5pc. Experts said that higher property taxes were not the answer to suppressing demand for housing – and instead urged the Government to do more to increase supply. Christopher Walker, head of housing and planning at Policy Exchange, said: “With many of our taxes – such as stamp duty, capital gains, and inheritance – falling on property, the Treasury’s take has soared in line with the rise in house prices.