The Valuation Office Agency is making a database of all 23 million homes in England, detailing “desirable features”, which will impact on Council Tax bills.
All properties are being re-valued for council tax purposes on a range of factors including views, proximity to parks or the peacefulness of the location. The information is being used to “code” each property which is expected to be used to set council tax after the next election.
Homes assessed with scenic views – nearly 100,000 so far – are categorised by whether they can see the sea, hills, mountains, lakes, fields or a golf course and whether they have ‘full’ or ‘partial’ views. Even garages and off-street parking are seen as ‘value significant features’.
So far, the VOA has found 26,346 homes with a full sea view and 21,709 overlooking a golf course or fields. Another 13,324 have a full view of a river. Conservatories are split into four types and sizes, with double-glazed versions facing a steeper increase than single glazed. More than 13,000 homes with swimming pools have been identified, with separate categories for indoor and outdoor, and there are 1,731 homes with equestrian paddocks, 4,933 stables, 2,863 tennis courts and 2,268 penthouses.
The shadow Local Government secretary, Caroline Spelman, said “Gordon Brown’s council tax inspectors have been caught red-handed preparing the way for massive tax rises on middle England after the election, to fill the black hole in Britain’s ruined public finances. Only Labour would think of taxing people for looking out of their own windows.”
A revaluation has already happened in Wales, where it led to 33 per cent of homes going up a council tax band and only eight per cent going down.
Sources: MailOnline and Telegraph.co.uk 27/7/09