Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tax Free Toll Bridge

I forget why, but this bridge came up in conversation last night. It recently changed hands for over £1m, but apparently the owner collects almost £200,000pa tax-free from the toll, thanks to an 18th century grant. Sounds like quite an investment.

The example seems relevant to a claim made by my friend Karl in his 2009 PPE paper: "Current titleholders do not hold full property rights, and they did not pay for full property rights when
they bought their rights from earlier holders. Those titleholders would have charged more for those titles if they constituted stronger rights of ownership, or perhaps they would have retained those incidents of ownership for themselves. That is, most current titleholders lose nothing to government taxation and regulation, because they never bought the right to be free of it" (p.58).

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