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OurDayWillCome

Council Tax

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It is about time that local government provision of service is sorted out (ie centralise the things that should be centralised).  I'd also accept that they sort out council tax while they're there (just do it on a %age of house value, rather than the strange banding system).

Oh, and regularise pay while they're at it (ie, council CEO and other seniors on a formal pay scale, just like other council workers).

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5 minutes ago, Dipsy said:

Hopefully IOW council tax isn't as high as Surrey.

Yes, I was allowing him his moment of glory when he revealed his imminent saving.

Cornwall Council is going for the max on the council's element at 3.99% (2% allowed to fund adult social care and 1.99% max general increase) but there are the police and town precepts to run in as well.  I think the police is higher but the town lower so it will be around 4% all told.

As these seem to vary hugely across the country I'll post Cornwall's for interest.

Band A - the cheapest - is an average of £1,182 (average because the town precepts vary).  £979 council, £126 police, £77 town.

Band H - the top - £3,545

https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-spending-budgets-and-information/council-tax-2018/council-tax-bands-2018/

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I can't find Surrey's for the upcoming year apart from a council document that states the Surrey council precept of around £2500 for a band G property, then you have to add on the additional stuff for police etc. They are probably waiting to announce it at the last minute, just as well as last year I thought Mr Dipsy was going to have an aneurism when he saw the bill.

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They merrily put it up by 4% as though that's fine but wages and benefits aren't going up by anything like that amount.

This differential has been going for about twelve years now and it must be devastating to the disposable income of the lowest paid.

The obvious solution - do it as percentage of the house value at roughly half a percent - would bring in loads more from the biggest houses and stop the need for these attritional rises.

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1 minute ago, Dipsy said:

Maybe we should be more like Margo.

Margo Leadbetter:
Now listen very carefully to me, Mr... umm, Mr. Squires. I have itemized the components of my rates bill scrupulously.

Mr. Squires:
As every citizen should Mrs. Leadbetter.

Margo Leadbetter:
I am not a citizen. I am a resident. Now, road cleaning, I shall pay. Street lighting, I shall pay. Ground rent, I shall pay. But when it comes to the drain in front of my house, I shall not. Because it is blocked up and overflowing.

Mr. Squires:
I'll make a note of that.

Margo Leadbetter:
You will do more than that, Mr. Squires. You will have a plumber on my door step at nine o'clock tomorrow morning with a plunger in his hand, or you will not get a penny.

Mr. Squires:
Just who do think you are, Mrs. Leadbetter?

Margo Leadbetter:
I am the silent majority.

xD

Love it, I was hearing every word of Margo through that as I remember the scene well.

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13 minutes ago, Dipsy said:

Maybe we should be more like Margo.

Margo Leadbetter:
Now listen very carefully to me, Mr... umm, Mr. Squires. I have itemized the components of my rates bill scrupulously.

Mr. Squires:
As every citizen should Mrs. Leadbetter.

Margo Leadbetter:
I am not a citizen. I am a resident. Now, road cleaning, I shall pay. Street lighting, I shall pay. Ground rent, I shall pay. But when it comes to the drain in front of my house, I shall not. Because it is blocked up and overflowing.

Mr. Squires:
I'll make a note of that.

Margo Leadbetter:
You will do more than that, Mr. Squires. You will have a plumber on my door step at nine o'clock tomorrow morning with a plunger in his hand, or you will not get a penny.

Mr. Squires:
Just who do think you are, Mrs. Leadbetter?

Margo Leadbetter:
I am the silent majority.

I've never even seen that episode and I was hearing Penelope Keith's voice in my head. Remember the days when the Beeb hired people based on merit? You end up with pure gold like this.

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1 minute ago, TheNoSnowMan said:

I've never even seen that episode and I was hearing Penelope Keith's voice in my head. Remember the days when the Beeb hired people based on merit? You end up with pure gold like this.

I can't find a video just of that clip but the withering contempt in her voice is brilliant.

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1 minute ago, Dipsy said:

I can't find a video just of that clip but the withering contempt in her voice is brilliant.

I couldn't spell her name correctly so I looked it up on wiki. I didn't know she was born in 1940. Which means she was only in her 30's when she did The Good Life. Not only a brilliant actress but convincing enough to appear older.

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It's another reason I don't think I'd ever own a 'big' house - even if I stretched myself to buy it the additional council tax would be unaffordable for me when it comes to the time I'll be able to enjoy it the most i.e. retirement.

It's disgraceful that a single bloke in a big house can get charged 3K a year council tax whereas a family of 5 in a small house can get charged 600 a year - who generates the most waste?

It's basically another income tax by proxy.

Edited by JoeDavola

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Just now, JoeDavola said:

It's the main reason I don't think I'd ever own a 'big' house - even if I stretched myself to buy it the additional council tax would be unaffordable for me when it comes to the time I'll be able to enjoy it the most i.e. retirement.

It's disgraceful that a single bloke in a big house can get charged 3K a year council tax whereas a family of 5 in a small house can get charged 600 a year - who generates the most waste?

It's basically another income tax by proxy.

I don't see it as disgraceful; I see it as a property tax.  That the owner of a £30m house pays the same as the owner of a £1m house looks wrong to me.  If you're going to have taxes they shoudl be fair and it is easy to assess fairness when it comes to property tax.

The main receipients are the police, adult social care, and schools.  You would hope not to have to benefit from the first two and we all went to school so having no kids isn't a reason to not want to pay that IMO..

Adult social care is going to keep ballooning.  A week in a care home costs something like £500 minimum; massive wage suppression through immigration since 1997 combined with a fall in house owner occupiers means that the vast majority of people will not be able to fund that so the council will have to do so.  Meaning you.

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14 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I don't see it as disgraceful; I see it as a property tax.  That the owner of a £30m house pays the same as the owner of a £1m house looks wrong to me.  If you're going to have taxes they shoudl be fair and it is easy to assess fairness when it comes to property tax.

The main receipients are the police, adult social care, and schools.  You would hope not to have to benefit from the first two and we all went to school so having no kids isn't a reason to not want to pay that IMO..

Adult social care is going to keep ballooning.  A week in a care home costs something like £500 minimum; massive wage suppression through immigration since 1997 combined with a fall in house owner occupiers means that the vast majority of people will not be able to fund that so the council will have to do so.  Meaning you.

I guess I don't agree fundamentally with the concept of a property tax. You've already taxed someone at the point of earning their money, you tax them again at the point of buying most things, and now you're going to tax them continuously for ownership of what for most people will be their most expensive asset and an important part of their quality of life.

Income tax is proportional to what you are earning at that point in time which is a more accurate indicator of your ability to pay that. I just see it as wrong that two people who lets say earn a 1.5million throughout their working life, one decides have a small house, for the other person they want a bigger house so spend the extra buying and maintaining that...at the point when they're both retired, the second bloke has to pay the government more every year for that decision, even though he's not earned more throughout his lifetime and his choice of a bigger house doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a bigger drain on government finances.

It's also not merely a tax on the size of property, as new build apartments over here that are literally right beside housing executive houses which are larger than the apartments, get taxed at more than the housing executive houses do. Because of the demographics of who is buying it i.e. higher income so can tax them more for a smaller dwelling.

Edited by JoeDavola

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39 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

I guess I don't agree fundamentally with the concept of a property tax. You've already taxed someone at the point of earning their money, you tax them again at the point of buying most things, and now you're going to tax them continuously for ownership of what for most people will be their most expensive asset and an important part of their quality of life.

Income tax is proportional to what you are earning at that point in time which is a more accurate indicator of your ability to pay that. I just see it as wrong that two people who lets say earn a 1.5million throughout their working life, one decides have a small house, for the other person they want a bigger house so spend the extra buying and maintaining that...at the point when they're both retired, the second bloke has to pay the government more every year for that decision, even though he's not earned more throughout his lifetime and his choice of a bigger house doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a bigger drain on government finances.

It's also not merely a tax on the size of property, as new build apartments over here that are literally right beside housing executive houses which are larger than the apartments, get taxed at more than the housing executive houses do. Because of the demographics of who is buying it i.e. higher income so can tax them more for a smaller dwelling.

 

There are several reasons why I like an uncapped property tax:

  • Overseas investors - pay no tax in this country and minimal tax on their property however large.
  • Second home owners - second homes are damaging to communities so taxes should reflect this.
  • Homes as investments - as long as you only have one house then, as long as house prices are rsing, you have a tax free investment.  No income so no tax on income and no capital gains tax.  This accelerates house price booms as people go "my house is my pension" and buy the biggest they can afford.  Michael MacIntyre said he had done this in an interview.
  • That it is mostly avoidable - just downsize or start living in a van.

 

Your second bloke, because of the tax free nature of the investment, will be able to pass on a vast profit to his children by having bought that bigger house.  If he can avoid inheritance tax he pays nothing upon it; why shouldn't he have paid more in property tax whilst living within it?

 

Edit: it also means that a limited resource is shared more fairly (as opposed to equally, I'm not a communist).  In most parts of the country you have big houses with huge estates, some historic others new.  These have grounds of hundreds of acres.  Meanwhile owing to the scarcity of available development land new builds are being crammed in with insufficient parking, tiny gardens, and often terraced or semi-detached.

So I don't see it as unreasonable to require the owner of the big country estate to (in Cornwall) pay more than £3,545 per year at a time when the owner, or more suually renter, of a tiny studio flat is paying £1,182.

I don't see this tax as primarily paying for services that you use yourself anyway; they are paying for local services generally so somebody with an enormous house and grounds occupying half a parish should be contributing a lot more IMO.

 

Edited by Frank Hovis
investment tax corrected to inheritance tax

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4 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

There are several reasons why I like an uncapped property tax:

  • Overseas investors - pay no tax in this country and minimal tax on their property however large.
  • Second home owners - second homes are damaging to communities so taxes should reflect this.
  • Homes as investments - as long as you only have one house then, as long as house prices are rsing, you have a tax free investment.  No income so no tax on income and no capital gains tax.  This accelerates house price booms as people go "my house is my pension" and buy the biggest they can afford.  Michael MacIntyre said he had done this in an interview.
  • That it is mostly avoidable - just downsize or start living in a van.

Your second bloke, because of the tax free nature of the investment, will be able to pass on a vast profit to his children by having bought that bigger house.  If he can avoid investmnet tax he pays nothing upon it; why shouldn't he have paid more in property tax whilst living within it?

Agree on your first couple of bullet points above - I'd support overseas investors and second home owners (esp HMO slum landlords) being slapped with a much bigger property tax than folk who are paying for their main dwelling.

I suppose you could argue that removal of council tax on a sliding scale might only further speed up the development of high-density slum housing?

I hadn't thought about passing it on to kids, as I'm thinking about it as a single person and yearly ownership costs. In this scenario I think that it's probably fairer to tax at the point of sale/passing on to family, as there's no guarantee that the house will have shot up in value during the years you've owned it.

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