Local Member of the Senedd, Dawn Bowden MS, is encouraging residents in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney to give their views on new plans from the Welsh Labour Government to make council tax fairer in Wales.
The reforms were a commitment in Welsh Labour’s manifesto for the Senedd election last year and would lead to a more progressive approach to supporting the local services which council tax helps pay for, including schools, social care provision, policing, fire and rescue services, and road infrastructure.
Proposals include a revaluation of all 1.5 million properties in Wales to ensure valuations are up-to-date and people are paying the right level of tax.
The reforms are not intended to raise more revenue from council taxpayers overall as, while it is possible that some people could pay more, many others would pay less. The Welsh Government will also be considering the need for transitional arrangements for any changes
An initial consultation on the reforms has now opened and people across Wales are being asked to respond over a 12-week period.
Encouraging residents to have their say, Dawn Bowden MS said:
“Council tax is a vital source of funding for local services from our schools to care services, through to waste collection and transport.
“I’m delighted that our reforms to the council tax will make the system fairer, giving relief to the budgets to many who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
“These proposals are at a very early stage. I urge residents across Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney to have their say on this Welsh Government consultation at: https://gov.wales/fairer-council-tax”
Council tax pays for around a fifth of spending by councils, but the current system is nearly twenty years out of date and contributes to wealth inequalities. Homes in the highest tax band can be worth more than nine times the value of homes in the bottom band, yet only pay three and a half times more council tax.
The vision launched by Welsh Labour’s Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans, is for a future system which rebalances the tax burden on households, funds services that benefit everyone, and has regular updates to keep the tax fair.
The purpose of the revaluation would be to rebalance the tax payable between households. The last revaluation in Wales was in 2003. While the value of homes has increased significantly since then, the system would remain a relative one, so increasing property values would not necessarily lead to increasing council tax.