CSPP Chair Professor Richard Kerley spoke on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland this morning in anticipation of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of planned reforms to the Council Tax.
In response to presenter Gary Robertson’s assumption that the reform would involve increasing payments in the higher bands of the property tax, Professor Kerley suggested that without updating Council Tax bands to reflect contemporary property values, such reforms would be incomplete.
“We know from some of the recent research done as part of the commission [on local tax reform] that something in the order of 50% of properties in Scotland are mis-valued: either under-valued, or over-valued. If there isn’t to be any change [in Council Tax bands] then that implies that there might not be some kind of revaluation, which most of us view as an absolutely essential element of any change in the property regime”.
The CSPP Chair added that properties have not been re-valued for Council Tax purposes since 1991, before many of those listening were born.
Professor Kerley also talked through the difficulty of alternatives to the Council Tax, such as a local income tax, which would involve technical complexity to implement and administer in over 32 council areas. Meanwhile he observed that all of the debate over Council Tax was focused on only one fifth of local authority expenditure, with centralised business rates and government grants forming the rest.
The CSPP Chair also gave interviews on the Scottish Government's reform plans to BBC Reporting Scotland, STV news, and the Guardian newspaper.
The full interview can be heard on Good Morning Scotland at 01:36 (07:36am) by clicking here.
Note: The CSPP’s submission to the Commission on Local Tax Reform can be read in our library.