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hissingsid

Rates Reform

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3 hours ago, Derek Flint said:

There is LIDAR mapping data too. Some of the 3D stuff on Google Maps is really good. I believe the IOMG are a bit precious about our stuff though, which is why they only release low res stuff?

LIDAR is good, but still not good enough to accurately estimate the habitable area of a house even in combination with the other data they have.

I’ve done a lot of transferring data between satellite imagery, LIDAR and full ground surveys. It’s good enough if you’re knocking up a planning application and the odd meter here or there doesn’t make any difference, but if we’re going to be charged x/sqm I don’t think it’s accurate enough. 

At the end of the day if you think you’ve been measured incorrectly I’m guessing it will be up to the individual to prove otherwise. Or maybe I’m too cynical again. 

The basic principle of using such an arbitrary factor to decide how much tax you pay is extremely regressive, not that we should be surprised. 

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16 hours ago, Kopek said:

Howard Q???

Actually, there would be nothing wrong with agricultural land being rated lower than normal...... As long as the land is being use to produce a commestable product for local use or export.

But then, if an industrial plot is used to make an exportable product, should that also be treated favourably?

Surely an industrial plot will already be paying business rates if it's being used as a productive area of business (I stand to be corrected).

Whereas IoMG engages in a policy of shovelling taxpayer's money in the agricultural direction and then giving them tax breaks on their property to boot (no pun intended). Is IoM the best place to be if you're a farmer?

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So the plan is to pay a firm to send drones over every property in the Isle of Man excluding the ones near the airport, hopefully, how much is that going to cost ?   Talk about La La land...and who is going to pay for all this, answers on the back of a stamp, ratepayers.    Chris Thomas is a costly liability and this is his latest crackpot idea.     We are doomed things are becoming so expensive just to exist no wonder there is not a lot left for consumer spending and shops are closing down.   MR Bungle does not have a clue.

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14 minutes ago, hissingsid said:

So the plan is to pay a firm to send drones over every property in the Isle of Man excluding the ones near the airport, hopefully, how much is that going to cost ?   Talk about La La land...and who is going to pay for all this, answers on the back of a stamp, ratepayers.    Chris Thomas is a costly liability and this is his latest crackpot idea.     We are doomed things are becoming so expensive just to exist no wonder there is not a lot left for consumer spending and shops are closing down.   MR Bungle does not have a clue.

I agree, other than things becoming expensive, thing have been excessively expensive here for the last 20/25 years to fund the bloat.

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I am not at all sure that Thomas' proposals can be described as "Rates Reform".  The word "Reform" suggests that a change is made in order to improve and make things that are wrong, right. I cannot see how replacing the current flawed system of setting "Rates" based on property valuation with one that sets the rate according to an assessment of property size is an improvement. Neither can I agree, as Thomas suggests, that that assessing rates on property size is fair, modern and practical. It simply replaces one flawed method of assessment with another. It is not, therefore, Reform but merely Change.

My understanding of the purpose of "Rates" is that they are a local charge for local services. The only fair method of assessing this is an assessment of the level of service actually supplied in each locality, coupled with an assessment of the use of those services. However this is difficult. The last time such an assessment was attempted, this resulted in the Community Charge in the UK. This generated huge opposition, largely from the service users who had previously not been service payers. Most of these, but not all of them, under the Community Charge system would either start paying for services or pay more than they had been accustomed to. The opposition to this system and the subsequent repeal of it proved that politics is not always about fairness but about popularity and the avoidance of difficulty. Those of us who are politically long in the tooth will view any politician, including Thomas, with a degree of suspicion when the use the Fair word.  It cannot be fair to charge someone who lives in a larger house more than the person next door, when the person in the larger house may have one income and one or two service users, when the house next door has more than one income and more service users. You might assume that a property with a larger footprint is inhabited by people who have more income and access more services, but that is just an assumption. It is not fair to make assumptions about the ability to pay when sending out Rate demands. Fairness demands a higher level of effort than simply assuming.

And how will the size of a property actually be assessed? What are the detailed methods of doing this? Is a one story building with a footprint larger than a three storey house actually larger? Or is the largeness defined by the number of bedrooms? When is a bedroom a bedroom? When it could be used as such or is being used as such? Who holds this data and makes the assessment? Are we really going to be a using satellite imagery and drones to assess the size of properties? Will council house tenants in large properties because they have large numbers of children actually be charged more rates, added to their rents? If not why not? Why should only owner occupiers face this increase? There are many questions to be answered and many justifications needed for the proposed assessments. I truly doubt whether the application of the assessment can ever be fair; it is as arbitrary as valuation.

 I do recognise that the proposed changes are a practical method of conducting a review of the Rates currently being paid. I would ask; for what purpose? My suspicion is that, following such a review, the revenue generated will increase significantly. It is revenue generation in the guise of Reform. It is a real pity that we do not have politicians, particularly occupying positions in Government with the words "Policy" and "Reform"  in the title, of sufficient backbone and calibre to identify real reform in Government that reduces costs, streamlines services and service delivery and makes a proper and thorough assessment of services that are directly managed and delivered. Instead we get faux consultation and "reform" designed to generate more revenue for an increasingly profligate administration.

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Major problem with this supposed "reform" is that we are all, for good or ill, vested into the existing rates system. Many of us have bought our current properties taking into account the rates as they were at the time - half the kerfuffle about the proposed boundary change in Rushen / Port Erin is simply that the poor folk being land-grabbed by Port Erin would wind up paying higher rates than they signed up for when the bought their houses. It is manifestly wrong for gov't to change the rating system without a public mandate, so the proposal should be decided by a plebicite, not Tynwald.

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16 minutes ago, craggy_steve said:

Major problem with this supposed "reform" is that we are all, for good or ill, vested into the existing rates system. Many of us have bought our current properties taking into account the rates as they were at the time - half the kerfuffle about the proposed boundary change in Rushen / Port Erin is simply that the poor folk being land-grabbed by Port Erin would wind up paying higher rates than they signed up for when the bought their houses. It is manifestly wrong for gov't to change the rating system without a public mandate, so the proposal should be decided by a plebicite, not Tynwald.

But if your seeking re-election in Douglas it is a master stoke, No Doubt the changes will not come into effect untill after the next election.

Then Alison or Hooper will be in charge of the cabinet office and like magic, in a puff of smoke the changes will disappear.

 

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10 hours ago, joebean said:

I am not at all sure that Thomas' proposals can be described as "Rates Reform".  The word "Reform" suggests that a change is made in order to improve and make things that are wrong, right. I cannot see how replacing the current flawed system of setting "Rates" based on property valuation with one that sets the rate according to an assessment of property size is an improvement. Neither can I agree, as Thomas suggests, that that assessing rates on property size is fair, modern and practical. It simply replaces one flawed method of assessment with another. It is not, therefore, Reform but merely Change.

 My suspicion is that, following such a review, the revenue generated will increase significantly. It is revenue generation in the guise of Reform.

You are completely correct. It’s now common practice for governments to use the more dynamic, “we are making progress” word “Reform” to describe what is simply change. And yes, the outcome will be a no more streamlined, equally flawed, but different, system, the principal aspect of which is that it will be more costly.

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11 hours ago, hissingsid said:

We are doomed things are becoming so expensive just to exist no wonder there is not a lot left for consumer spending and shops are closing down.   MR Bungle does not have a clue.

That’s the worry and it will just drive more people off the IOM. After what I thought was a good start with some good ground covered this government does seem to be losing the plot. I’m not sure they even know what their future strategy for anything is. Were now building all these new estates despite Thomas publicly saying were doing too much green field development. We consult on bringing this in but then we don’t really listen to the people we consulted with who clearly don’t want it. We’re setting our stall up for people who won’t come here because it’s now too expensive to live here compared to the UK and actually the focus should be on driving jobs unless we want another load of retired wasters here burning up our already useless and underfunded NHS. The only way people will come here is jobs and there aren’t any so all this other stuff just looks like a complete waste of time. 

I’ve spoken to three people who have left the IOM in the last few months. All happy with their decisions and all seeing cost savings in their living expenses despite the tax differences living in the UK. All of them also moved for work as the jobs here in their fields just dried up. We’re living in cloud cuckoo land. 

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54 minutes ago, thesultanofsheight said:

all this other stuff just looks like a complete waste of time. 

There should be only two strategic priorities for Gov't.

1) Restrict immigration to those who have a compassionate right (family here) or will reasonably pay their way - whether through high value employment or existing wealth, in order to re-balance the demographic and economy.

2) Improve public sector efficiency to reduce the cost of public services. 

Everything else is noise, nice to have, but these two are the factors which will determine the survival and future prosperity of the nation.

The rates thingy _could_ be justified on the basis of 2. if, and only if, the change reduces the cost of collection without increasing the overall tax burden. Unfortunately we have already been told that it will bring an incremental cost.

Like its predecessors over the past decade, this government has failed to address the key issues and is fiddling around the edges while the island slowly decays.

 

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2 hours ago, craggy_steve said:

half the kerfuffle about the proposed boundary change in Rushen / Port Erin is simply that the poor folk being land-grabbed by Port Erin would wind up paying higher rates than they signed up for when the bought their houses.

Not quite true if you read the public inquiry report. Rushen failed to inform those buying houses that a boundary extension application existed when asked on standard local authority searches which I find rather shocking. 

I’d be surprised if some homeowners won’t take legal action against Rushen for misleading them.

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Would a poll tax not be more appropriate to the Isle of Man?

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