A PETITION calling on the Welsh Government to reject proposals for a council tax revaluation is to be heard by the Senedd.
Monmouth MP David Davies has warned Monmouthshire residents face “astronomical” council tax hikes if proposals to revalue homes go ahead.
Reforms for the revaluation of all 1.5 million properties in Wales – entitled ‘A Fairer Council Tax’ – would see new bands created and new tax rates set for each band.
Included in the phase 1 consultation, which ran last summer, were links to reports by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and University of Sheffield estimating the extra costs people will face in different parts of Wales.
Mr Davies launched a petition after both reports suggested Monmouthshire residents will be hit by astronomical rises in the amount of council tax they pay.
It collected 3,324 signatures and will now be considered by the Senedd’s Petitions Committee on 15 May 2023.
“I am grateful to everyone who signed the petition to challenge this ill-thought-out policy and ensure Monmouthshire’s voice is heard,” said Mr Davies.
“Council tax rises are bad news and I don’t want to see it happen. Nearly four out of 10 homeowners in Monmouthshire will face paying hundreds of pounds more each year by moving up a council tax band, while less than one in 10 would pay less by moving down a band.
“We have a right to know what the impact of a revaluation will be before any decisions are taken and this needs a full and proper debate.
“Monmouthshire residents already face an unfair council tax burden because it is one of the lowest funded out of the 22 local authorities in Wales. Welsh Labour, which runs Monmouthshire County Council, said it would write to the Welsh Labour Government and request a fairer funding settlement, but I have not heard anything further about this. The Conservative group has also asked to see the letter and again, nothing has been forthcoming.”
Mr Davies said Monmouthshire is being used as a “cash cow” and is likely to be a “net loser” from these proposals.
“It is totally unfair to push hard-pressed families into much higher council tax bands, potentially making it even more expensive and unaffordable for some local people to live here at a time when many are struggling with the cost of living,” he added.
“Before Welsh Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay even consider a revaluation, they should bring forward a fairer funding formula and look at immediately assisting councils who generally throughout the years have not received their fair share of Revenue Support Grant.
“Some local authorities in Wales have three-figure millions in reserves due to years of more generous funding per head of population. Yet Monmouthshire, which is really struggling with its budget, has only had a limited opportunity of accumulating money for its reserves.
“Sadly, a letter to Petitions Committee chair Jack Sargeant from Finance and Local Government Minister Rebecca Evans indicates the Welsh Labour Government is determined to push ahead with its plans to reform council tax.”
The minister has said she intends to outline detailed proposals for a reformed system in a phase 2 consultation later this year.