|New plans to increase council tax by stealth, warns Sir George
23 Dec 2002
Sir George has warned that the Government was planning to introduce new council tax bands across North West Hampshire. “This will mean local residents living in houses whose value has risen due to higher property prices could face soaring council tax bills – paying up to £730 a year extra in tax. The measures are outlined in a Local Government Bill currently before Parliament. I hope to speak on this Bill as it goes through the House."
“We already know that the Council Tax has soared ahead of inflation every year since 1997. But now the Government is finding new ways to increase the tax burden by stealth. Families or pensioners - who may not be on a high income - could face higher council tax bills, just because the value of their house has risen.”
Those in council tax Bands G or H are expected to be the most likely to face higher bills. There are currently 2794 Band G and 341 Band H properties across Basingstoke and Deane Council, and 3193 Band G and 378 Band H properties across Test Valley Borough Council – the number may rise following the planned council tax revaluation. It has been reported that the new top Bands could involve up to a 40 per cent increase in the level of council tax. For a resident in a Band H property, currently paying £1829 in Test Valley, this would entail £731 a year extra. For Basingstoke and Deane , someone paying £1814, this could rise by £725 to £2539.
- The Local Government Bill 2002 currently before Parliament will give the Government new powers to introduce extra council tax bands in England.
- It has previously been reported that the Government are planning a new banding between Band G and Band H, and a corresponding increase in the Band H rate. For those at the top of the scale, the hike could be up to 40 per cent extra on council tax (cited in Sunday Times, ‘New council tax bands may hit 1 million homes’, 7 January 2001). In 2002-03, the average Band H council tax in England was £1,952 a year. A 40 per cent increase would entail an extra £781 a year in tax.