Challenge to farm tax

Claire Young has challenged Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council to remove a tax on new farm buildings.

If a farmer is building a new building for agricultural purposes in South Gloucestershire, they must pay a 'Community Infrastructure Levy'. But the next door farmer in Stroud District would not have to pay this fee at all.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Claire Young, who represents rural Westerleigh ward in South Gloucestershire said: "Local farmers don't understand why they're having to pay extra taxes just because of where they live."

"The Community Infrastructure Levy is supposed to help pay for things the community needs when new development comes along. A farmer putting up a new barn or shed, purely for farm purposes, does not need the new infrastructure that new flats, houses or shops do."

Claire formally asked the leader of South Glos council if he would consider exempting farmers putting up agricultural buildings from the CIL, in a review required by law.

"I was glad the leader of council agreed to my request to consider it," said Claire. "Now, when the review starts, I'm going to need local farmers to make their voices heard to the council. They're not asking for any special treatment - they just want to be treated the same as they would be if they were right next door in Stroud. This isn't a massive change to the council, but it would make a big difference to small farmers in South Glos."

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