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Local Government Act 2003

Sections 77 and 78: Valuation Lists and Bands

Section 77: Statutory revaluation cycle

157.For non-domestic rates, there is a statutory requirement (under the Local Government Finance Act 1988) for new valuation lists to be compiled every 5 years (commonly known as revaluation, since the rateable values of hereditaments subject to the non-domestic rate are included in the lists under section 42(4) of that Act). However, there is currently no such requirement for council tax valuations to be updated, and new council tax valuation lists prepared, under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (‘LGFA 1992’).

158.Dwellings are currently included on valuation lists originally drawn up on 1 April 1993, and assigned to one of eight valuation bands based on their 1 April 1991 values. At present, under the LGFA 1992, a revaluation will only take place for council tax if the Secretary of State (or in Wales, the National Assembly for Wales (‘the NAW’)) makes an order under section 5(4) of the LGFA 1992 substituting new bands for the current valuation bands, with new lists based on a new valuation date prescribed under section 25 of the LGFA 1992.

159.Section 77 inserts section 22B into the LGFA 1992, which will provide for a statutory revaluation cycle for the council tax in England and Wales. Section 22B(2) will require new lists to be compiled and come into force for England on 1 April 2007 and 1 April 2005 in Wales.

160.Section 22B(3) requires that further new lists must be compiled and come into force no more than ten years after the date of the previous (2005 and 2007) lists. This means that the period between revaluations will be no longer than 10 years. However, the Secretary of State (for England) and NAW will be able to make orders under that section to require the compilation of new lists (and hence revaluation) sooner. The Secretary of State's orders will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure (subsection (11)).

161.Subsections (4) and (5) of section 22B provide for the coming into force of new lists and their maintenance. Subsection (6) provides for the listing officers to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that lists are accurately compiled - it is this subsection which in effect provides for the revaluation of dwellings.

162.Subsections (7) to (10) of section 22B impose certain duties on the listing officers to compile and send copies of the new lists to billing authorities and for billing authorities to deposit the lists at their principal offices and give notice that they have done so.

163.Subsections (4) to (10) closely follow provisions in section 22 of the LGFA 1992 which provided for the original council tax lists to be compiled, except that in future the listing officer will be required by section 22B(7) to send a proposed (i.e. draft) list to the billing authority on one occasion rather than two as required in section 22(5) of the LGFA 1992.

Schedule 7: Minor and Consequential amendments

Paragraphs 44 to 48, 52 and 53(2): amendments consequential on section 77

164.Dwellings are currently assigned to a valuation band based on their 1 April 1991 values, in accordance with section 21(2) of the LGFA 1992. Paragraph 44 of Schedule 7 amends section 21, by inserting new subsections (2A) and (2B) to enable valuations to be as at a new valuation date. The new date will be either two years before the date the next revaluation is due (e.g. for the first English revaluation, 1 April 2005); or, a date during that two year period specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State or NAW.

165.Paragraph 45 of Schedule 7 ensures that an original list will remain in force until the date on which the new list is compiled.

166.Paragraph 46 of Schedule 7 amends section 24(9)(b) of the LGFA 1992. Section 24 allows the Secretary of State to make regulations about the alteration of valuation lists. Subsection (9)(b) currently refers to copies of lists deposited by the authority under section 22(8) or section 22A(10) (which related to the compilation of new lists following local government reorganisation in Wales). New lists will be deposited under section 22B(10), not section 22(8), so paragraph 46 amends section 24(9)(b) to refer to section 22B(10).

167.The current section 25 of the LGFA 1992 enables the Secretary of State (in Wales, the NAW) to require a new valuation list to be compiled and decide the new valuation date and when the new list should come into effect. This general power is being replaced by a fixed revaluation cycle. Paragraph 47 of Schedule 7 will make section 25 no longer effective.

168.The current section 28(2)(a) of the LGFA 1992 governs a person's right to inspect the valuation lists. Paragraph 48 of Schedule 7 will apply that right to the new lists, and proposed new lists, compiled under section 22B.

169.Paragraph 52(4) of Schedule 7 amends section 113(3) of the LGFA 1992. Section 113(3) provides that all orders or regulations made by the Secretary of State or the Treasury under that Act shall be subject to the negative resolution procedure, save for listed exceptions. Paragraph 51 adds to the list of exceptions orders under the new section 22B(3)(a), i.e. orders bringing forward revaluations from the 10 year cycle, which will be made by affirmative resolution procedure (see subsection (11) of the new section 22B inserted by section 77). Paragraph 52 also amends section 113 to provide that any power of the National Assembly for Wales to make orders or regulations under the LGFA 1992 shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.

170.Paragraph 8 of Schedule 2 to the LGFA 1992 enables regulations to be made requiring billing authorities to notify owners of exempt dwellings of the valuation band the property has been assigned to in proposed lists. Paragraph 53(2) of Schedule 7 enables such regulations to cover the new lists, and proposed new lists, prepared under section 22B.

Section 78: Power to change number of valuation bands

171.There are currently eight valuation bands (A-H), with different bands in England and Wales, set out in subsections (2) and (3) respectively of section 5 of the LGFA 1992. Under section 5(4)(b) of the LGFA 1992 the Secretary of State (in Wales, the NAW) has power to substitute different bands for the existing bands. Section 78 amends section 5 of the LGFA 1992, by inserting a new subsection (4A) which makes clear that the Secretary of State (in Wales, the NAW) can vary the number of bands at the time of revaluation. The Secretary of State‘s orders under section 5 of the LGFA 1992 (including under new subsection (4A) ) will be subject to affirmative resolution procedure in the House of Commons.

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