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Council tax = political poison

February 19, 2009

Council tax revaluation has snuck back into the press – Labour is accused of secretly plotting to revalue in next parliament if re-elected (see article). 

We held a roundtable on council tax a few weeks ago with some the country’s most established experts on council tax so I have been thinking about council tax generally (I know, life doesn’t get more exciting).  It seems to me that we need a whole new debate on local taxation.  Just going round the houses on revaluation is a political loser and just makes council tax even more despised. 

The Conservative proposal to give up capping in favour of referendums is a good start – but can’t we get more ambitious than that?  What about giving councils the power to do whatever they want when it comes to local tax – as long as the public voted for it in a local referendum?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2009 12:09 pm

    What about letting counccils set whatever tax they like, but having proportional representation so we can actually vote them out?

    Philip

  2. Jonathan Carr-West permalink*
    February 19, 2009 1:06 pm

    Despite the Mail’s attempts to stir things up. I think it’s interesting how far this has fallen off the political radar.

    The Conservatives are dropping capping which is welcome – though their national threshold may turn out to be much the same in practice – but are not asking any fundamental questions about local taxation or local government finance more generally.

    But this means that there might be space for the sort of debate you’re calling for – perhaps people will be more willing to think radically if the issue isn’t a current political football?

  3. February 19, 2009 1:27 pm

    Have just seen great council tax story – Southampton City Council have given a 100% council tax discount to all the special constables in the city.

  4. Jonathan Carr-West permalink*
    February 19, 2009 2:58 pm

    “There are about 60 special constables in the city at the moment however it is hoped that this number could be substantially increased. ”

    you think?

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