Higher Council tax bills for home improvements

Greenwich Conservatives warned this week that the Government’s forthcoming council tax revaluation will mean soaring bills for local residents in the borough who have invested in home improvements and home owners who have pride in their property.

The Labour Government is controversially spending over £100 million on re-assessing the value of every home in England for council tax purposes; revised bills will be issued in 2007. Yet new Parliamentary questions tabled by Conservatives have revealed that the Government inspectors will be able to enter people’s homes, and will take into account the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, off-street parking, sheds and out-buildings, conservatories and the size of the garden when assessing the value of the property.

This means that local residents inGreenwich who have invested in home improvements could be moved up one or more council tax bands. Shifting from Band D to Band E in Greenwich would, for example, mean a council tax hike of £262 a year, every year.

Hard working families and pensioners have already faced punishing hikes in council tax since 1997. Now Labour wants to hike your bills further by stealth, through a rigged council tax revaluation. Armies of clipboard inspectors will be descending on every borough, including Greenwich, to inspect peoples’ homes to justify this modern-day windows tax.

We fear that families who have saved and invested in their home will face soaring bills, without any improvements in their local services. Only Conservatives have voted against the council tax revaluation and we call on the Government to cancel their plans for this expensive and unnecessary stealth tax.