Council tax reform
A Plaid Cymru Government would reform council tax to make it fairer and more progressive. We would undertake a revaluation, increase the number of bands at the higher end of house valuations, and ensure that that council tax is more proportional to the value of properties. In addition, we would introduce a new system for allocating the Welsh Government’s grant to local authorities with a needs-based formula involving a range of factors including poverty and rurality.
Why council tax needs reform
Council tax is out of date, regressive and distortionary. The values of properties in different parts of Wales have changed very differently over the 18 years since the last revaluation in 2003. For example, it has increased more than twice as much in Blaenau Gwent as in Wrexham. Properties are in increasingly arbitrary tax bands. Two households living in equally valuable properties in the same local authority can find themselves paying tax bills hundreds of pounds different just because their properties used to be worth different amounts in 2003. Council tax is also highly regressive with respect to property values.
A more proportional council tax will narrow the gap in property wealth between owners of high and low value properties. We expect that 20 per cent of households in the bottom fifth of income distribution will see their council tax bills fall by more than £200.
We would introduce proposals for a new Single Land and Property Tax covering residential, commercial, and industrial land (agricultural land will remain exempt) – beginning its implementation by scrapping the current system of non-domestic rates during this Senedd term.