Consultation on a Fairer Council Tax
LITRG has responded to a consultation on a fairer council tax system for Scotland, published jointly by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA – on behalf of local government).
The focus of the consultation is the question of whether to increase the council tax rates for bands E, F, G and H by 7.5%, 12.5%, 17.5% and 22.5% respectively. It also considers the timing of the proposal and whether the Council Tax Reduction scheme should be expanded to protect those on lower incomes who would be affected by the rises.
LITRG agrees that the current schedule of rates is regressive, as the consultation points out. This is because the rates on lower value properties are effectively higher than those on higher value properties. The proposals would go some way to addressing the regressive nature of council tax.
However, LITRG points out that, given the property values used for council tax are from 1991, or hypothetical for those properties that were not built at that time, a prerequisite for changes to council tax such as those proposed, should be a full revaluation of all properties in Scotland. It is not possible to address the regressive nature of council tax in a meaningful and fair way without first ensuring that the values are correct. There is evidence that shows that properties are in the wrong bands, so the proposals in the consultation are likely to affect some properties they should not, while not applying to some that they should.
Our full submission can be found here.
Contact: Joanne Walker (click here to Contact Us)
First published: 23/09/23