A GREEN Party councillor has called for a 'land value tax' in hope it would allow councils to deal with the coronavirus recession and Brexit.

Pete Sudbury, county councillor for Wallingford, said that council tax is not a fair tax.

The councillor argued that, while there is some Government support to help councils through the coronavirus recession, local councils have been ‘crippled’ by Government austerity for 20 years.

He added that the Government was refusing local councils funds to restore their continuing losses due to the coronavirus.

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To help councils deal with coronavirus and Brexit, Mr Sudbury wants local councils to bring in a land value tax which would replace council tax and lead to supporting a 'green new deal' for the UK.

Mr Sudbury said: “Every local council should be able to set its own council tax level according to its needs.

“But, since the council tax is not a fair tax, the Green Party supports land value taxation so that those with larger land holdings pay a small percentage of tax on the value of their land each year.”

He added: “Eventually, this tax would replace council tax so that the tax would be based upon the scale of land occupied by the household or business and its current commercial value.

“Land value tax is one of the few taxes supported by economists across the political spectrum, because it drives more productive use of land, and is therefore good for economies as well as shifting the burden of taxation from average council tax payers to wealthier people.”

On the July 14, Oxfordshire County Council unanimously voted to support ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ (LTNs).

An LTN is where motor vehicle through-traffic is discouraged or banned from a group of residential streets.

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Mr Sudbury said that, although low-traffic neighbourhoods were a good idea, he suggested the delivery would be very difficult if council budgets from April 2021 continue past cuts. He said a land value tax would help with this.

He said: “A fair local tax system would allow councils to deal with the coronavirus recession and the problems caused by Brexit.

"That can support a green new deal for the UK, expanding green employment to resist the climate emergency, to build greener tourism, to enhance public transport, walking and cycling networks throughout the county.”

However, he would like to see the county council do more for green transport as he believes it has so far been ‘poor’.

The councillor added: “I question the willingness of the county council to fight for the resources it needs. Before its vote on low traffic neighbourhoods, and despite fine words, the county’s record on walking and cycling has been poor."

Last month, the county council won £298,500 Government funding for a series of highways upgrades across Oxfordshire, largely designed to make life better for pedestrians and cyclists.

It is also currently upgrading Botley Road in Oxford to make it more suitable for push-bike use.