Ellie Ames 14 November 2023

Wales consults on council tax reform

Wales consults on council tax reform image
Image: cktravels.com / Shutterstock.com

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on redesigning the country's council tax system.

It said it is looking to address the current ‘unfair’ system, which sees people in the lowest council tax bands paying more in relation to the value of their homes than those living in more expensive properties.

The Valuation Office Agency is also preparing to carry out the first revaluation of Wales' homes for 20 years.

The consultation includes three approaches: ‘minimal’, ‘modest’ and ‘expanded’ council tax reform.

Minimal reform would just involve revaluation, with the current nine tax bands and rates retained, while expanded reform would see changes to tax rates, an additional band added for the lowest value properties, and two more bands for properties valued at over £1.2m.

The Welsh Government said the 'expanded reform' proposal would be ‘a decisive move in the direction of fairness’.

The consultation also asks about pace of change, with 1 April 2025 the earliest date for the proposals to come into effect.

Finance and local government finance minister Rebecca Evans said: ‘Achieving a fairer council tax will be one of the single most beneficial actions this government can take towards making Wales a more equal nation.

‘The benefits will be felt in the pockets of many households.

‘This is not about raising more money from taxes and changes are not going to happen overnight. We see this very much as being a gradual process and that is why we are also asking for views on the pace of change.’

Welsh Local Government Association finance spokesperson Anthony Hunt said: 'We recognise the need to make the system fairer and less regressive but remain concerned around some of the timing implications with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

'We will make the case for transitional support to be available to those who face a significant change in property bandings.

'The Welsh Government must also maintain stability within the finance system. We shall study these proposals in detail and will work alongside local government colleagues to provide a response to the consultation in due course.'

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