Council tax revaluation is a ticking tax timebomb

Alistair Craig, Parliamentary Spokesman for Greenwich & Woolwich warned this week that the revaluation of properties for council tax, starting next year, was a ‘ticking tax timebomb’ that threatens to send council tax bills in Greenwich soaring. By contrast, Conservatives have pledged that they will stop the revaluation being used to further increase the tax burden on local residents.

In Wales, where the council tax revaluation has already started, one in three households are being moved up a council tax band, while only a mere 8 per cent have moved down. Laws to allow the council tax revaluation were passed last year, and the revaluation process will start in England in 2005 – with new bills being issued after the general election. The revaluation will be in addition to any Government plans to introduce new council tax bands and change the banding multipliers after the general election.

If the Welsh changes were duplicated in Greenwich, then many Band D homes currently paying £1,140 could see an automatic tax hike of £251 a year by being moved up a band; similarly, many Band H homes, could be moved into a new Band I, taking their local tax bill to a record £2,660 a year

Alistair said:
“It is clear that Labour are planning third term tax rises, with stealth changes to council tax one of their preferred ways of squeezing hard working families and pensioners. I fear that council tax revaluation will be used as a ticking tax timebomb, primed to explode after the general election.

“Not only have local residents faced soaring tax bills since 1997 thanks to the Government, but now Labour want to move more homes into higher bands and charge those bands more. Conservatives are opposing these plans and we pledge to stop the revaluation process being used to increase tax on houses in Greenwich.

“I am very concerned that people who may not be wealthy, but whose home has risen in value due to rising house prices, will be taxed to the hilt to pay for Labour’s growing appetite for fat government and will struggle to pay their soaring local tax bills.”