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1,000 Homes A Month Facing A Tax Rise

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1,000 HOMES A MONTH FACING A TAX RISE

MORE than 1,000 homes a month are being secretly moved into higher council tax bands.

The “stealth revaluation†means owners who have improved their properties with extensions, garages and double-glazing face increases of more than £600 a year. Camera-wielding officials may decree that even laying a patio or landscaping the garden are enough move a home up a band.

In some cases the decisions may even have been prompted by a change in local services, such as better results at a local school or a new bus route running close to the property.

Official figures show that 13,852 homes in England were moved up one or more council tax bands in the past year following inspections by officials from the Government’s Valuation Office Agency.

Liberal Democrat local government spokesman Julia Goldsworthy last night said: “Ministers insist that a national revaluation will not take place, yet we have inspections being carried out and thousands of homes being moved into higher bands. It is a ­revaluation by stealth.

“Ministers deny it is going on but anyone buying a house that has been improved faces a lottery which could end up with them receiving a nasty surprise. They are trying to carry out the process by the back door, which is just dishonest.â€

Ministers insist there are no plans for a national council tax revaluation, yet an army of inspectors is continuing secretly to revalue thousands of homes every year.

The latest figures reveal that badly affected areas include Stevenage in Hertfordshire, where 385 homes were moved up at least one band last year, Wigan, Greater Manchester, where 293 families were hit, Bromley in Kent, where 151 homes were moved up and Ashfield, Notts, where 148 homes were affected.

Revaluation can cost a homeowner hundreds of pounds a year. A typical Band D bill is £1,414 a year. If a property is moved up to Band E the owner will be charged an extra £314. If the property is moved up two bands to Band F, the owner will be charged an extra £628 a year in council tax.

Homes are revalued for council tax purposes every time they are sold. In many cases the Government’s Valuation Office Agency will send inspectors to check for any alterations.

Despite the poor state of the property market last year, more than 1,000 homes were moved up at least one band every month.

Inspectors have powers to take detailed measurements, as well as photographs, inside and outside a property. The information is placed on a massive database, which will eventually hold details of all 23 million homes in England.

Because the original valuation in 1991 was carried out hastily, the Government argues that even existing features might not have been properly noted at the time. This means that ­inspectors could decide that homes with a good view should pay more tax.

Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “People’s homes have been wrongly listed and rather than doing anything ministers have sat on their hands while hard-working people pay over the odds.

“The adjustments listed in this document show Labour are barely scratching the surface when it comes to putting right this injustice.â€

John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Given the state of the property market, councils should stop moving homes into higher tax bands.

“Huge amounts are spent on gold-plated staff pensions, pay for middle managers, council publicity. Councils should be looking at how they spend their money and how they can deliver better value for their residents.â€

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said it had a duty to maintain accurate valuation lists and added: “No national revaluation is taking place.â€

The figures also reveal that last year almost 46,000 homes were moved down a tax band following appeals.

Meh. How this comes as a surprise is beyond me.

Taxes are going to rise, significantly, across the whole spectrum.

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....if this is true ..there is no transparency ...it's financial daggers in the night.....another reason this Governmemt must go now...!.... <_<

Doesn't matter who is in government. Most likely it will be Cameron next time and he will, like Brown, be forced to raise taxes or risk a complete meltdown in the social welfare system in Britain.

There just isn't enough money coming in to support our standard of living, and nothing will change that basic math.

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Doesn't matter who is in government. Most likely it will be Cameron next time and he will, like Brown, be forced to raise taxes or risk a complete meltdown in the social welfare system in Britain.

There just isn't enough money coming in to support our standard of living, and nothing will change that basic math.

It's the transparency, rather than the rises per-se, that's concerning.

An income tax or VAT rise is out there for all to see. Council tax rise across the board, ditto. Tax rises aimed at specific targets decided quietly by bureacrats, not the same thing at all.

Edited by huw

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It's the transparency, rather than the rises per-se, that's concerning.

An income tax or VAT rise is out there for all to see. Council tax rise across the board, ditto. Tax rises aimed at specific targets decided quietly by bureacrats, not the same thing at all.

Hmm, well this is all small change really.

ZIRP and inflation are much bigger problems to tackle.

What about the issues of the tax and benefit cheat tattle-tale phone lines and such?

It's just not a nice society in Britain, that is unless you are part of the 0.5% that have real wealth and title.

This is Britain. Same as it ever was.

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Ministers insist there are no plans for a national council tax revaluation, yet an army of inspectors is continuing secretly to revalue thousands of homes every year.

The last I heard was that there were no plans for the revaluation "in this current term of office" so until next Spring.......

Homes are revalued for council tax purposes every time they are sold. In many cases the Government’s Valuation Office Agency will send inspectors to check for any alterations.

A couple of years ago South Bucks council were very experienced at doing this, just checked up on planning permissions and sent out a form asking what improvements had been completed. A few weeks later a rebanding notice would arrive with the increase taking immediate effect. With a national revaluation taking into account, garden size, conservatory, available parking on property. view and tranquility, no overlooking properties at rear, house interiors etc there could be some massive increases in this hated tax.

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Guest eight
A couple of years ago South Bucks council were very experienced at doing this, just checked up on planning permissions and sent out a form asking what improvements had been completed. A few weeks later a rebanding notice would arrive with the increase taking immediate effect. With a national revaluation taking into account, garden size, conservatory, available parking on property. view and tranquility, no overlooking properties at rear, house interiors etc there could be some massive increases in this hated tax.

I'm missing something. How does you installing a conservatory increase the burden on council services?

eight

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I'm missing something. How does you installing a conservatory increase the burden on council services?

eight

It doesnt,but your banding is based on the value of the property, so if a it has been extended, then it may have increaed the value.

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It's the transparency, rather than the rises per-se, that's concerning.

An income tax or VAT rise is out there for all to see. Council tax rise across the board, ditto. Tax rises aimed at specific targets decided quietly by bureacrats, not the same thing at all.

You mean decided by bureaucrats with the incentives to increase the valuation to get more tax to keep themselves in a job.

No conflict of interest there then.

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this is just another reason not to buy a house.

it's really not a good idea to store your wealth in a large, illiquid, highly visible, immobile asset when the state is going mental.

+1

I'll buy a camper van next time.... :lol:

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Bit of a non-story, 13,000 up 46,000 down whats the net cost or benefit?

Edited by GBdamo

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Well I agree.

I bought a New Build in 2005. I got rated at a high band. Down the road a friend owned an old cottage which had been extended and was worth double mine. He was 3 bands lower as his cottage was still on original banding!

Also, in the boom a lot of people Mewed to extend and redevelop perfectly good houses, and in many cases over-developing the house. Most of these people did this not because they neeeded to but simply to keep up with the neighbours. Knowing whenever you apply for planning permission that your house will be re-appraised may have stopped some of these people doing it!

Checks and balances, if fair, will work! This was all going on before the current crisis.

N

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