Mail Online: paying the price for property

ended 17. September 2021

A journalist at the Mail Online is writing a follow-on piece on calls today for council tax to be replaced with an annual levy. It’s claimed that making the change would help tackle regional inequalities, with people living in areas with lower house prices likely to gain, compared to those in regions such as London and the South East where prices are highest who would lose out. In your opinion, is this a tax on homeowners in the south? Quick responses, 2-3 sentences MAX! Deadline is tight. You can read the background story here

6 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
"This feels like a blunt tool which, with the best of intentions, will simply alter where the inequality is felt. It is a dangerous assumption that those with larger homes must have larger incomes. Many 'prime' areas today were not considered as such all that long ago. The issue of council tax does need to be addressed as its current form feels woefully out of date."
"Any move that would reduce the grotesquely imbalanced north-south divide would be a good thing. For far too long there has been too much inequality and it's about time that council tax costs were proportional to the value of property and that money could then be shared nationally."
"A tax based on property value has always been problematic - the value of your home is not always in line with the income you have to pay a tax. Many residents in the South East, for example, who gained property via Right-To-Buy in the 80's, are now sitting on some prime and very expensive real estate, but that doesn't mean they have City banker size incomes to pay a sky-high tax bill based on their property's current value."
"The theory behind this is that those with more expensive homes have higher incomes and therefore can afford to pay more tax but in reality it is a lot more complex than that. It's true that people living in areas where property is more expensive are more likely to have a higher income but this is not relative to the amount of surplus income they have available. Essentially, even if they have a higher income they are often faced with much larger mortgage debt and a higher cost of living, so it is unreasonable to throw further increased costs at those who may already be struggling financially."
"I am not sure how this is workable as there is no daily calculation of the value of your house. Is it fair that if the value of your house drops 10%, so too do your payments, but if it goes up your payments go up? Council tax should be based on the cost to provide council services and your ability to pay for these services, not the value of your house."
"Personally, I think it's an absolutely brilliant idea to start to tax those that have been fortunate enough to do very well out of property price rises in the last few decades. It's fair to shift some of the burden from the shoulders of young working people living hand to mouth who are now going to be even more stretched when N.I. contributions rise. In reality, though, the net losers I imagine may well be core tory heartland voters and turkeys don't tend to vote for Christmas."