Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Council Tax - are you willing to pay no more - 5%more, 10% more or more than that? - poll on Highland Council facebook page now

The Highland Council are running a poll here.


Anonymous said...

Far too regressive a tax. The poorest folk in the smallest houses pay way too much in comparison to the richest in the biggest houses. We need a new system asap.

Anonymous said...

agreed @anon5:25

will it be funding a better canteen lunch for the councillors - or perhaps an upgrade in the car they hire for "work related travel" - all previous scandals of this Council - as often quoted "we are all in this together" then the actual top brass of Councils should get their own house in order before asking us to pay more....

D.Ross said...

I always think it very misguided when people assume that because you live in a big house you have pots of money. I know quite a few people who worked hard, saved up & bought their house 20-30yrs ago to raise a family. They are now retired & want to enjoy the rest of their old age in the comfort of their own home they spent their live working for.

However in the past 20yrs the value of that property has gone up due to the market & therefore so does the council tax. The people living in the property, now retired usually a couple (kids now left & married) & therefore can end up paying quite a lot more per head than a family in a smaller house.

And as we all know the state pension is very poor & most of the private pensions have failed in the past 10yrs. So to try to extract even more money from older people in this situation is bad judgment.

H.C need to get their house in order first & not just the Councillors, the civil servants who we can not vote out need to remember that they work for us the tax payer!

Anonymous said...

Sorry i thought Council tax was based on a fixed Band at a certain Year that does not change even if the value of your property your living in goes up. If there is a 5% increase in Council tax, the increase is the same for every band of Council tax - so everyone pays an increase. In fact I do not think since its inception there has ever been a Council Tax increase that has been different for the different Bands of Council Tax.

What I do question is inefficiency and incompetence in the HC and indeed in the whole Council based system for the entire Country - do we really need a HR, FINANCE, PLANNING, IT systems, helpdesks, Admin, housing & heating these people in buildings, for every individual council? do we really need the number of Councillors/committees/meetings we have or should it be more a Mayoral type system ? the buck stops with 1 person we all elected on her/his vision and ideas to bring to the area we live in?
are the people who run Councils actually the best people to understand how to make viable efficiency changes on a long term basis - at a business process level, not just looking at the sums and cost on the bill,
are the priorities of the cuts really aligned to saving the people of that council money, or the easiest , damage limitation , short term option (that perhaps effects them the least) that they can think of, because they do not know how to do anything else?

with regards to anon@7:14 - he/she is exactly right - and backs up my paragraphs above - how can we have had years of "we need to make cuts cuts cuts" and we get in the Press that they spend £1000 a day on hiring cars - this is a prime example of the issues we face with the Council - 5 years ago Councillors should have put in place with a local car leasing business a low cost yearly scheme with highly efficient and low carbon cars that would cost around £30000 a year.
Or perhaps they should wonder why they could not conduct their business using PUBLIC TRANSPORT within their own Council Region and spend £1000 on improving that instead for EVERYONE'S BENEFIT not just for one off journeys for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps people would like to see a return of the poll tax?

Anonymous said...

I wonder as to why the council are publishing such polls on FaceBook? For anyone who's interested the FB poll allows you to see exactly who has voted for each proposal, surely people have a right to vote but also a right to privacy

Despite the great majority who voted not wanting an increase in council tax I doubt this will stop the ruling independent councillors trying to push it through. Democracy at it's best, hopefully the majority of the electorate will remember this at the next council elections and vote accordingly

D.Ross said...

@Anon 8:33

Quote from http://www.saa.gov.uk/counciltax.html

The Assessor is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the Council Tax Valuation List which requires that each property’s band reflects the Assessor’s opinion of its open market value as at 1 April 1991, but taking account of its physical state and its locality as at 1 April 1993 (or for new properties, when they enter the list).

Bands do not change during the currency of the list (there is no provision for revaluation) even if the owner carries out improvements. The one exception to this however is that the band will be revised if the property is sold after such improvements. New owners who find themselves in this position have a period in which to lodge a proposal. (Read more from the Council Tax Proposals link in the Menu opposite.)END QUOTE

I know people who have improved their home & due to other reasons the name on the dead's has changed even though the house is still in the same family & no money was exchanged & the council have re-assessed the house & put it up a banding! Plus the banding is based on 1991 values for houses which existed then, & councils are wanting to go around & re-asses these older properties & bring the values into line with the newer ones.

So on the same street you can have two similar properties, one banded/valued in 1991 & the other banded/valued this year, both will be several bands apart!!

As for the poll tax, badly implemented, however we pay for gas, electricity, water (if on meter) by how much you use. Why not waste & council services?

Anonymous said...

Get rid of a few of the middle management in the councul and make the councillors take a pay cut as well as no more expences.

Anonymous said...

@ D Ross 10:24

No matter what system is in place in terms of the council tax or such like there are always going to be those that think it's unfair, indeed many people think any tax is unfair and worth avoiding

You have suggested that people in larger houses shouldn't be taxed more than those in smaller properties so I assume you believe that no matter how big or small your residence might be that everyone pays the same amount of council tax? Your further example was to complain about families in effect having to pay more through inheritance of a property. The council for whatever reason takes change of ownership as a chance to reassess properties. If you think this is unfair when should it be done

You seem to have completely avoided the all important question which was would you be willing to pay more council tax and how on earth do you access everyones use of council services as you've hilariously suggested?

D.Ross said...

To anon at 11:19am

In answer to the main question "will I be willing to pay more council tax"? the answer is NO.

I pay enough as it is & the road in my street resembles a 4th world rough track & the council own it & can't be bothered to sort it (I have complained over the years). It has been dug up for new lights & new gas mains in the past 20yrs & has nice trench lines. The rest of the tarmac is well over 20yrs old & has sunk, potholed & the top layer is just loose chippings which are very dangerous!

As for my "hilarious suggestion" do you have anything better? If so please explain!

I am not best qualified to state a way, but I would have though an easy calculation would be the services etc for the council in a ward cost X amount, divide this by the number of people who live in this ward & each person is charged that amount! Very simple suggestion I know!

Anonymous said...

@D.Ross 12:43

'I would have though an easy calculation would be the services etc for the council in a ward cost X amount, divide this by the number of people who live in this ward & each person is charged that amount! Very simple suggestion I know!'

So you'd be happy for more remote communities in the Highlands to pay a very high amount in terms of council tax under your proposals? Doesn't seem very fair

By your description of the road in your street I would suggest that maybe you need to pay more council tax if you're unhappy with the state it's in, clearly HC doesn't have enough funds to fix it to your satisfaction

Anonymous said...

D.Ross lots of people who have worked very very hard,still live in small houses or social housing.I find your remarks offensive.Life circumstances can lead you to any situation.

Count your chickens said...

@ DRoss

I too find your remarks offensive, namely that you compare the street you live on to the '4th world'. This term is reserved for very impoverished 3rd world countries and I'm pretty sure you nor your street fit in that category.

Some 4th world countries don't even have streets and I'm sure would welcome them even if they did have trench lines, old tarmac etc. It's in living memory for some of us when many streets in Nairn were unmade, and became muddy tracks when it rained

Anonymous said...

Clearly, Nairn has at least one affiliate of the US Tea Party

D.Ross said...

To Anon @ 1:19PM
Again why should I pay more to fix the road in my street? In my street & surrounding area only three are band E (one is mine) the rest (over 20) are band C & D. Most are earning more money than me & have more people living in the properties.

In fact one band C property has four working adults two of which are earning quite a lot & they each have their own car, and as they only have one off street space the other three cars have to park in the street. So why should I pay even more than the two bandings that I currently do, when I use the street less, services less etc.! Oh & they complain about the condition of the street also! Might help if they paid more in Council tax as they are more able to than I!

To anon at 5:33PM & 6:35PM
What remarks?

Graisg said...

Thanks to all who contributed to this thread - now closed