• John Luxton
Land Information

Minister in Charge of Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), John Luxton today said that Jim Anderton's plans to fund tertiary education by taxing commercial building owners was a poll tax that would have done Margaret Thatcher proud.

"Jim Anderton is living la-la land if he thinks voters will go for this. It is complicated, it is inflationary and it is utterly reckless. The previous land tax was abolished by Labour's David Caygill who called it arbitrary and haphazard."

"Jim Anderton has singled out commercial land-owners as those who will bear the cost of a $425 million tertiary policy. Leaving aside the education debate, meddling in the area of land tax shows just how out of his depth Jim Anderton is."

"While Jim Anderton claims it is an administratively simple tax to collect, this is simply not true. He also claims it will be levied on the basis of district valuation rolls (DVRs) but these rolls are managed by local authorities at arms length from Government. They exist purely for the determination of rates. Any attempt to hijack them for poll tax purposes will result in a riot."

Mr Luxton said it was clear that Jim Anderton had not factored in the cost of collecting his new poll tax which would be administratively complex to collect.

"Clearly Jim needs to do his homework if he thinks this no-brainer is a winner. For a start he hasn't even got his facts straight.'

"Jim Anderton calls it an unimproved value tax, in fact the use of unimproved values for tax purposes was abolished in the 1970s. The correct term is land tax. No doubt Jim is keen to avoid this term for all the negative reaction that the British poll tax evoked."

Mr Luxton also said that Jim Anderton has conveniently ignored the flow-on effects that his loopy policy will create. "Yet again he has tried to single out the 'rich' but has blatantly ignored the flow-on effects for everyone else. Building owners will inevitably seek to pass the costs on to tenants resulting in increased market rentals and higher inflation. This flow on effect will slow the economy and increase unemployment."

"Will Mr Anderton also be reinstating the archaic tax on windows and chimneys that we saw last century? Judging by today's announcement I predict that can't be far away," Mr Luxton concluded.