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Letter: The Regressive Council Tax Should Be Reviewed

Published on: 11 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 11 Feb, 2017

Bernard Parke

Hon alderman and former mayor

The government should look again at the council tax. It is a regressive tax hitting hard the more unfortunate amongst us. Additionally, the banding is now completely out of date and should be re-evaluated.

Families living in quite modest homes now pay as much tax as those living in multi-million pound properties. This more wealthy section of society tend to have larger disposable incomes and so the tax is not such a burden on them as it is on the lower paid, struggling to pay mortgages or living in rented accommodation.

The tax is also a considerable burden on pensioners and those on fix incomes.

The figures available from GBC up until last October showed that there was them 1,600 properties where no  council tax was paid at all. A figure that has increased over the previous twelve months.

In  rented accommodations where no council tax is paid it allows landlords to use this non payment to charge even higher rents. Most of these are properties are let to students. In such cases landlords should make a contribution to paying towards the upkeep of local services especially as the very nature of this occupancy can place a higher burden on the borough services.

All social care costs should be paid by central government where national taxes can more equitably share the financial burden amongst us all.

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test One Response to Letter: The Regressive Council Tax Should Be Reviewed

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    February 11, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Oh dear. Wasn’t “Local Government Finance Bill: policy factsheets” published at the end of January? You may not agree with the content, but it seems the government will be looking at council tax. Perhaps Mr Parke you should read and comment on the shortcomings of those proposals?

    Banding is a (crude) mechanism for ranking property, but it works. The only issue might be when property values vary naturally, such as by an area becoming more fashionable. Modification of a property has always been covered by a re-assessment.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-government-finance-bill-policy-factsheets

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