Well, I thought it was blahdy good news at first but, on examination, it looks less so. That was the Daily Express’s indignant headline on Thursday suggesting the Queen was going to be hit with a big one. The land valuation and shooting tax came into law in Scotland last year and letters are going out this week informing landowners how much taxation they will be due. It’ll be between 38p and £1 per acre for land that is used for shooting birds and deer.
Our multi-millionaire Queen has about 70 000 acres so that’d be, at most, £70 000 per year. For the multi-millionaire Duke of Buccleugh it won’t be any more than £240 000. Danish multi-millionaire Anders Holch Povlsen will pay at most £220 000. These are hardly ‘hefty’ or ‘huge’ as the Express reports them. Also, estates worth less than £15 000 will be exempt and the largest estates will get a ‘volume discount.’ We’ll hear soon what the actual tax bills are but it’s not looking too exciting especially when presumably not all of their land is used for shooting and they might be paying as little as 38p per acre.
According to the Express:
‘Supporters of the law say it will throw out the “feudal and ache” system, but critics say it is designed to drive out English landlords.’
Neither Buccleugh nor Povlsen are English. Maybe the Queen is.
In total, more than a million acres of land in Scotland is used to shoot animals for sport, including grouse, deer and pheasant but if these estates are too wee or too big, it looks like they’ll be paying even less than the not-so-hefty bills estimated above.
Footnote: I got the above photograph from this entertaining site: