Calls for a Fairer Form of Local Taxation

23 February 2021

Calls for a Fairer Form of Local Taxation

Green Party councillors in Norwich have highlighted the unfairness of the current council tax system - taxes which in many councils across the UK are estimated to rise another 5% this year.

 

Following the news yesterday that Norfolk residents will pay just under 4pc more in council tax to the county council, Norwich Green Party councillors have said that the current system of above inflation tax hikes is simply unsustainable, and an alternative model of local government funding is needed to replace it.[1]

 

Councillor Martin Schmierer, who represents Mancroft ward in Norwich said:

“We cannot go on with a system that sees councils having to cut services each year while residents keep having to pay more. The government needs to act to come up with a fairer system that works for all and ensures that our local authorities can provide the kind of provision residents expect and deserve.”

 

He continued:

“It is astonishing that some of the richest areas of the country pay some of the lowest levels of council tax while some of the poorest have to pay the most. The need for reform is clear and overhauling the council tax system is necessary, if we are indeed to build back better after the pandemic.”

 

A band D property in Norwich currently pays £1,948.96 [2] whereas in the affluent London Borough of Kensington a band D property is liable for just £1,263.83 [2]. The figures for Westminster are even lower, with a band D property there paying only £780.28 [4] while similar properties in most of Wandsworth pay £793.56 [5].

 

Councillor Schmierer said:

The fact that there are such wide disparities shows how broken the system is. For me the obvious alternative would be a land value tax which could both ensure a fairer system and deal with some of the problems affecting our cities such as landbanking.”

 

A land value tax is a form of property tax which only considers the value of the land itself and related improvements, and not the structures built on the land. It has been used in some Eastern European countries as well as Denmark and is seen one of the more progressive property taxes. [6]

 

Further information from

Councillor Martin Schmierer                        m.schmierer@cllr.norwich.gov.uk

Notes:

[1] https://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/local-council/council-tax-increase-agreed-norfolk-county-council-7657786

[2] https://www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20002/council_tax/17/council_tax_bands_and_charges

[3] https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-2020-21 

[4] https://www.westminster.gov.uk/council-tax/check-your-council-tax-band-and-charges

[5] https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/council-tax/about-council-tax/

[6] https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/land-value-tax.asp






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