Wales politics

'Clear need' for council tax shake-up, inquiry concludes

Houses Image copyright Getty Images

A shake-up of the council tax system and a re-valuing of homes is needed after a decade of price changes, according to a new report.

The inquiry, chaired by Tony Travers of the London School of Economics, said councils should raise more of the money they spend.

Council tax bands were last reviewed in Wales in 2005.

Re-valuations can be controversial, as some homes move up a tax band and face higher bills.

England has never carried out a review, with council tax there still based on 1991 house prices.

'Ambitious'

Prof Travers said: "While not completely broken, the current system for funding local government in Wales is broadly the same one inherited from 'England and Wales' arrangements that predate the highly successful and continuing devolution journey that Wales has embarked upon.

"There is now a clear need to support Wales' increasingly devolved public services with an updated and improved financial system that is fit for purpose."

The report, published by the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance in Wales, also suggests allowing councils to keep the money raised locally from business rates - as will happen in England by 2020.

Welsh Local Government Association chief executive Steve Thomas said the inquiry's proposals were "ambitious but deliverable".

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