My uncle says he pays a derisory sum in council tax - less than he paid in 1980.
Yet still we hear cries from the "asset-rich but cash-poor" of "scrap the council tax".

In New Zealand and Queensland most districts still levy the rate on square metres of land. Every poll in these countries since WW2, confirm this as the citizens' choice of the fairest way to pay for facilities and services which of course enhance the owners' locations. Kiwis and Aussies understand that property-rich people are not stupid enough to show high conventional incomes that attract taxes paid by the ordinary bloke. The common unit of wealth is not the Aussie or Kiwi Dollar but the very bankable, tradable, mortgageable, sq ft. [10 sq ft = 1 sq metre]

The alternatives to the council tax that ministers are looking at are:

                Local income tax

                        The most damaging method of all

                Local business rate

                        Excellent if based on land value rather than building value

                Local sales tax
                        As championed by the IEA and the Adam Smith Institute - but hopeless

                Specific charges

                        E.g. road use charges and tolls - also very good

                Tourist tax
                       Similar to congestion charging and therefore a "specific charge", useful because they have to arrive                        and depart the country (and may hope to stay free with a resident family or friends)

                A better council tax

                       Excellent if based on land use, area and value, rather than building value and bands

                Combination of above

                       Dreadful idea, which would make matters worse

Council TaxThe final option was the one preferred by the Government, as reported in the Sunday Telegraph on the front page on Sunday the 15th February 2004.

Roll forward to 2010 and it remains to be seen if any government will be stupid enough to try to implement a dog's breakfast of updated council tax and business rates and add a new local income tax.

We have to despair. Why are Governments so scared of the better ideas?

Maybe if we wage-slaves voted as regularly as OLDIEs, we could force through levies on properties which oldies are holed up in, often solo, often of high value, often near good schools. We need to shake oldies up - they expect us to sacrifice for them, by joining their tax regime. We need to see substantial tax shifting onto their millions of home sites which need to pay their way, rather as Londoners are learning that road occupation needs charging for. Westminster Council are
                        "Bills". U. Uzbyakov 1962

hugely biased against genuine road users, who pay millions of pounds in camera based fines and parking fines each year.

An adjunct to council tax that is location based is the fixed parking permit for each residence. This is stupidly cheap: 40 sq metres is hogged by a resident's car for a week at under £ 3, while a nearby one hour visitor's parking slot costs £ 4.