Scrap council tax to achieve levelling up, says former Goldman Sachs banker

A top tech investor has today called for a shakeup in property taxes across Yorkshire, citing the outdated council tax system as the main barrier blocking the region’s growth.

Andrew Dixon. Photo: Supplied

Andrew Dixon, founder of ARC InterCapital and former Vice President at Goldman Sachs, has said that if the Government truly wants to level up Yorkshire then it should replace the council tax system with a proportional property tax.

The call comes after the Government announced up to 5 per cent hikes in rates of council tax in last month’s Spring Budget.

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Mr Dixon argues that levelling up Yorkshire should start with abolishing council tax as part of Boris Johnson’s commitment to the North.

He said: “Britain’s property tax system is unfit for purpose. If we want to level up towns and cities across Yorkshire, we need wholesale, top to bottom reform of the tax system, starting with scrapping council tax, which is a national disgrace.”

Mr Dixon, who has spent more than two decades investing over £20m in micro, small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, founded Fairer Share last year, a national grassroots campaign calling for council tax and stamp duty to be replaced with a proportional property tax.

Under his proposed reforms through the campaign group, he says at least 83 per cent of all households across the 54 Yorkshire constituencies would find themselves better off.

And he said the unfairness of the current system meant many households in some of the most deprived areas of Yorkshire were paying higher council tax rates than those in wealthier areas of London and the South East.

In Bradford East residents pay an average of 0.93 per cent of the value of their property in council tax. While in Westminster North, where the average property value is in excess of £1m, residents pay just 0.08 per cent — over ten times less proportionally.

And Mr Dixon said research done by Fairer Share shows that with a proportional tax levied on a flat rate of 0.48 per cent of a property’s value, 76 per cent of households across the UK would benefit from savings of £435 per year on average.

He added that this would provide the boost needed to level up the most deprived areas in Yorkshire in line with Government aims and would not only put more disposable income in millions of pockets but also provide a £6.5bn windfall to local economies battered by the pandemic.

Mr Dixon said: “As an investor and former Goldman Sachs banker, I’ve seen first-hand the impact tax policy can have on people. Council tax is one of the worst — it’s regressive, outdated and deeply unfair, leaving some of the most deprived areas, including constituencies in Yorkshire, at the very sharp end.”