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Local taxes....why?

As some of you may know most (75%) of locally spent tax money comes from central government, so my question is, why do we tax locally?

What is the point?

It takes a lot of money to get the tax, its unpopular and in many cases unfair.

Wouldn't it be cheaper and a better idea to just put maybe 1 or 2% on income tax and use that insted?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Or alternatively cut a couple of pence from income tax and raise local taxes? If you believe in local government surely its better that they raise the majority of the tax themselves, and only have the central funding to level out inequalities.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm just thinking that doing it solely through national means would be far cheaper than doing it twice.

    Of course the councils would have to bid for money from central government but they do that now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bonga, what a sensible suggestion. Totally agree. But local government needs reforming, there should be a clearer definition as to what they should be doing. They get involved in all sorts of things that to my mind they should leave alone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why do you put an 'a' at the end of my name?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bongbudda wrote:
    Why do you put an 'a' at the end of my name?
    Would you prefer me not to? Just call me RK.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Seems to me to be two reasons -

    1) It hides the true level of taxation.

    2) The "government" gets a nice list of names and addresses out of it.

    If you were to work out how much cash in the form of council tax is taken from your own street, it quickly becomes apparent that you aren't getting anything like value for money. Especially when you consider that most council's now sub-contract, something that a neighbourhood association or similar organisation could have done directly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bongbudda wrote:
    I'm just thinking that doing it solely through national means would be far cheaper than doing it twice.

    You mean, like a income tax which could be set locally but collected nationally?
    Of course the councils would have to bid for money from central government but they do that now.

    I have a feeling that the central grant is based on capitation. The reason we have local taxation is because each area has different needs, based on what the public votes for in terms of service at local election.

    Perhaps the real question is why we need a system of national taxation afterall the majority of services are provided locally not centrally...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hear hear, most local councils are in most people's experience only there to frustrate and annoy people. If you were to ask people "What does a local council do?" The only thing most people would say they do is collect the rubbish!

    I've often thought that we should just abolish local councils - there are so many layers as well, all costing money, parish councils/district councils/borough councils/unitary authorities/county councils etc.

    If we got rid of the lot of them then we could sell off all those town halls and properties they own (which must cost a fair bit) and think of all the money we could save by getting rid of all those councillors who are surplus to requirements and their expense accounts?

    Then we could hand the functions that needed to be done either to local organisations like schools or if it was too great up to regional government. It needn't even be less democratic than at present, if you had regional parliaments with one member from every ward rather than the three we currently have - you've already saved 2/3 of the politicians costs!

    As most TV companies are regional the regional government option would see them get more coverage and actually be known which would give them more power.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kevlar85 wrote:
    If you were to ask people "What does a local council do?" The only thing most people would say they do is collect the rubbish!

    Just because the masses are illinformed, shouldn't be the basis for government.

    For some reasons when that question is posed people forget fire service, police, parks etc
    Then we could hand the functions that needed to be done either to local organisations like schools

    Which would be interesting because the schools are run by local Govt...
    It needn't even be less democratic than at present

    The more you centralise, the less accountable and democratic the system becomes...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wasnt really arguing for any drastic changes in the way that local councils are organised, just that they would gain all their capital from the centre rather than locally.

    Though I do see that this would put even more power in the centre to dictate what happened in each council. But they can do that now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bongbudda wrote:
    Though I do see that this would put even more power in the centre to dictate what happened in each council. But they can do that now.

    And for thereasons I highlighted above, that is the problem with the current system and [by extension] the EU...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think a U.S style sales or local income tax should be considered. If you use a city for work/entertainment but live in a neighbouring authority you should contribute to financially to your place of work/leisure.
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