The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP), a group representing businesses in the north of England, has called for an overhaul of council tax bands in England to address a funding crisis. The NPP is urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to commit to a national revaluation of property values, which have not been updated since 1991 in England and Scotland, 2003 in Wales, and 2005 in Northern Ireland. The government, however, has stated it has no plans for such a revaluation.
NPP’s CEO, Henri Murison, has described the current system as “broken” and has written to Mr Hunt requesting a revaluation before the next general election. The proposed overhaul would also include higher bands for expensive foreign-owned properties to balance the disparity between wealthier and poorer councils.
The NPP, initiated by former chancellor George Osborne to promote policies for economic growth in the north of England, argues that the current bands are unfair. Murison has stated that a homeowner in Hartlepool with a house worth £150,000 pays over £200 more annually in council tax than someone in Westminster with a property worth £8m.
The NPP has also suggested the creation of additional council tax bands for foreign-owned properties valued over £2m, known as super bands, with the funds redistributed to councils nationwide.
However, Conservative peer Lord Pickles has warned that reforming council tax would be “profoundly unpopular” and “physically impossible” before the next general election. A spokesperson for Michael Gove’s Levelling Up Department reiterated that there are “no plans to conduct a nationwide revaluation of council tax bands”.