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COUNCIL TAX REVALUATION MEANS GREATER FAIRNESS

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There will inevitably be speculation around increases in council tax bills following the Welsh Assembly Government'...
There will inevitably be speculation around increases in council tax bills following the Welsh Assembly Government's announcement* of new valuation bands for council tax in Wales.

However, it should be stressed that the revaluation and rebanding process will not increase the total amount of council tax collected, but will spread the tax burden more equitably. The Welsh Assembly Government predicts that that half of Welsh homes will remain in the same band, a quarter will move down the banding system and a quarter will move up.

Current council tax bills are based on house valuations that are 12 years old. It is common sense that people should be paying council tax bills based on up-to-date analysis that will reflect the substantial changes in property value during this time.

The current council tax system is an effective and economic way of raising revenue locally and revaluation and rebanding will re-align the system with current house prices. Council tax is important for local democratic accountability, the public pays tax for local services mainly in general taxation but council tax allows the public to judge performance locally.

20% of local government's income comes from council tax, the remainder is distributed to local authorities via the National Assembly for Wales.

The leaders of Welsh local government next meet tomorrow in Llandrindod Wells at their monthly coordinating committee. For a full agenda, visit: www.wlga.gov.uk

* details of the Welsh Assembly announcement here.

Notes

The new valuation bands are:

Band Aup to £44,000

Band B£44,001 up to £65,000

Band C£65,001 up to £91,000

Band D£91,001 up to £123,000

Band E£123,001 up to £162,000

Band F £162,001 up to £223,000

Band G£223,001 up to £324,000

Band H£324,001 up to £424,000

Band I£424,001 and above

The valuations will be car ried out by the Valuation Office Agency, and will take effect from 1st April 2005. The banding of properties by the independent Valuation Office Agency will be completed by the end of August 2004, and draft valuations lists will be available for inspection at billing authority offices shortly after 1st September 2004. The Valuation Office Agency will notify all taxpayers of their individual bands by early 2005 at the latest, and appeals against bandings can be made after 1 April 2005.

The Valuation Office Agency is an Executive Agency of the Inland Revenue. Its main responsibilities are assessing rateable values for the purpose of non-domestic rating and valuing domestic properties for council tax purposes in Wales and England. For further information visit - www.voa.gov.uk

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