Councils and e-commerce; The why, what and how of a Local E-Commerce Levy

Published: February 2020


The digital revolution is now decades old, but digital business is still rapidly changing our world. And we may still only be in the early stages of the transformation. Despite growing by 326 per cent between 2008 and 2017, e-commerce still only accounts for less than a fifth of all retail spending.

This transformation brings a range of issues for policymakers. Prominent among these issues is whether the current system of business rates is fair to those businesses with physical high street premises compared to those operating with a predominantly digital footprint. The Local Government Association therefore asked WPI Economics to consider:

– The case for a Local E-Commerce Levy as part of a future tax system;
– What a Local E-Commerce Levy would look like;
– How a Local E-Commerce Levy could be implemented.

This report is intended to inform and promote the debate on a Local E-Commerce Levy and does not represent LGA policy.

Read the full report here.

Date published: January 2020