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south Bucks stamp duty raises £70m for Government
HOUSE buyers in south Buckinghamshire paid a combined £70.6m to the Government in stamp duty last year.
Newly compiled figures showed that purchases in the Chiltern District Council area was the highest of the three authorities, including Wycombe and South Bucks, with a total revenue of £25,409,632 in 2012-13.
Homes purchased in South Bucks raised £23,518,162 in stamp duty, while in Wycombe it was £21,720,337.
The money all goes to the coffers of The Treasury.
A staggering 99 per cent of money raised from South Bucks properties came from the three per cent or higher bracket, slightly higher than Chiltern at 98 per cent and Wycombe at 93 per cent.
Homes costing more than £250,000 go into the three per cent or above category.
The Taxpayers' Alliance, which produced the research, has hit out at Stamp Duty Land Tax, which is charged when a property is bought for more than £125,000.
The organisation is running a campaign to scrap the charge, which is applied at a rate of 1, 3, 4, 5 or 7 per cent of the total purchase price, depending on the price band of the property.
In a statement, it said: "The tax can prohibit people from purchasing their first home. Or it can stop people moving when they need to. The result is that people stay put when it would make sense for them to move for a variety of reasons, such as getting a new job, being closer to relatives or having enough space for a growing family.
"The 'slab rate' nature of Stamp Duty makes it particularly distortionary. If you buy a £250,000 property you pay 1 per cent, or £2,500. But if you buy one for £250,001, you pay 3 per cent, or £7,500.
"This means that buyers are extremely sensitive to differences in prices over these thresholds.
"The market can respond by negotiating down the fixtures and fittings included in the property exchange rather than negotiating up the price, once it hits a threshold. This is economically destructive and wasteful."
The Treasury has said the cost of cutting the duty would be too much at a time when the Government is trying to reduce the deficit. The Coalition is supporting house buyers through its Help to Buy programme and believes there are better ways to aid the market than scrapping the tax.
In neighbouring areas, properties purchased in Aylesbury Vale District Council's patch led to £15,797,092 worth of stamp duty sent to Central Government.
At The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, revenue from stamp duty was even higher than the three in south Bucks - at £34m.
Home buyers who are South Oxfordshire District Council residents paid £22.9m, while London Borough of Hillingdon Council householders stumped up £24.4m in total.
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