Could Westminster see a new council tax band?

Westminster City Council revealed plans at the end of November to create a new band of council tax. They will poll owners of homes worth over £10million to see how they react to the idea to double their annual fees. This could see the taxation rise from £1,376 to £2,752, generating as much as an additional £2.75million in taxes each year.

The move comes after the council cited the difficulty they had with funding following several years of austerity and cuts. This comes at a time when the cost for social care continues to rise. The result is a very challenging time for the local government and the worry of failing to provide the services that local residents need.

The idea is to initially consider the 2,000 or so people who own the most valuable 2% of properties within the area. This could be extended further to around 15,000 people who own multi-million pound homes. Early thoughts are that many of these people may be willing to pay the higher fees.

The additional funds obtained from the tax could be used to help other residents who struggle with their finances. Particularly it could freeze any potential rise in their council tax fees. The fact that local councils are now allowed to keep 100% of the taxes for use in the local area means this would be a great way for them to raise money.

If the response to the idea is good, Westminster Council could petition the Government to make a new optional tax band for ultra prime property owners. This could be one of the first significant changes to the council taxation in recent years.

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