This article originally appeared in the Doncaster Echo on 03/07/2020. The article can be read here

Fairer Share has launched a new campaign to reform Council Tax, saving 98%+ of households in Doncaster on their current tax bills. The plan, named The Proportional Property Tax, proposes a flat rate of 0.48% on the value of property, providing significant financial benefits for the 75% (18 million) of households in England that will save. In Doncaster, the average household would save £377 each year if the plan was introduced by the government.

Fairer Share launched the campaign to address the increasingly unfair characteristics of Council Tax and the impact it has had across the UK. Research found that many expensive properties in London and the South East were paying less in Council Tax than smaller properties in other parts of England.

In addition to replacing Council Tax, the plan calls for the abolition of Stamp Duty and the controversial “Bedroom Tax”. Exemptions for foreign owners and those with second homes will also be removed. Under the plan, The Proportional Property Tax is revenue neutral and would be collected by central government and redistributed to local councils accordingly, meaning local budgets would remain unchanged.

In the three weeks since the campaign launched, over 15,000 people have signed the petition calling for The Proportional Property Tax. Fairer Share is now looking to gain the support of parliamentarians to increase momentum behind this much-needed reform, including Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher. 

“As we have seen from the impact of Covid-19, it is clear that the deck is stacked in favour of the rich”, said Fairer Share founder, Andrew Dixon. “In many cases, the wealthiest are paying a lower effective rate of Council Tax than those who are merely well off, not to mention those who are financially struggling. Outdated property valuations combined with local authorities setting the rate of tax has led to an incredibly regressive system that charges a family in Doncaster more than a multi-millionaire in Westminster.”

Research by the Money Advice Trust shows that Council Tax arrears account for 60% of cases sent to bailiffs by local authorities, while recent research from Citizens Advice suggests 1.3 million households are currently in Council Tax arrears. Fairer Share’s plan includes a deferral mechanism that allows those who can’t pay to wait until a change in their financial situation, or the sale of their house.

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