Council Tax

Balance of Funding Review: Options for Reform of Council Tax

  • Published 1st Jan 2004
  • Authors: Peter Kenway, , Guy Palmer,
  • Category: Council Tax

This paper presents an analysis of the options for reforming the council tax, a subject with which the New Policy Institute has been engaged for some years now. Its remit only covers reforms to the current system and so, for example, it does not look at the possibilities for replacing council tax by a local income tax.

The three main questions about council tax reform that we believe policy makers face, along with the scenarios presented in the paper to help highlight the issues, are:

  1.  Would basic revaluation - that is, simply rolling the current system forward to take account of house price inflation - result in a satisfactory outcome or is some degree of reform needed? 
  2. If the tax is to be reformed, should it be a moderate reform (with the big changes restricted to the top and the bottom of the property ladder) or a much more radical one (for example, with multipliers proportional to property values)? 
  3. If the tax is to be reformed should it continue to be a system that is uniform across the whole of England, or should it contain some sub-national (e.g. regional) variation?