HUNDREDS of thousands of council tax payers in Wales could see their bills increase under plans for the biggest shake-up of the system in decades.

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on proposals to redesign council tax, which raises more than £2 billion a year, with the goal of making it fairer.

While bills for 70 per cent of people would fall or stay the same, 30 per cent of council tax paying households – approximately 450,000 homes – could face higher taxes.

Ministers have stressed that any redesign would raise the same overall amount of council tax across Wales as the current system.

The consultation includes three proposals:

  • Minimal reform: a revaluation of properties but keeping the current nine bands and tax rates;
  • Modest reform: a revaluation plus further reforms to the tax rates for each band. This would mean bills for households in lower-band properties would fall while bills for those in higher bands would increase;
  • Expanded reform: a revaluation plus further reforms including three new tax bands – one at the bottom for the lowest value properties and two more at the top for properties valued at more than £1.2 million.

Rebecca Evans, the finance and local government minister, said: “Achieving a fairer council tax will be one of the single most beneficial actions this government can take towards making Wales a more equal nation.

“The benefits will be felt in the pockets of many households.

“This is not about raising more money from taxes and changes are not going to happen overnight.”

Nearly half of households in Wales currently receive a discount or reduction on their council tax bill.

The Welsh Government is reviewing all 53 categories of council tax discounts and exemptions, including whether there should be new discounts.

However, the 25 per cent council tax discount for single-person households will remain.

The proposals are being brought forward as part of the co-operation agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

“It is widely recognised that council tax is outdated and long overdue for reform,” said Cefin Campbell, for Plaid Cymru.

Under the proposals, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) would revalue all 1.5 million homes in Wales – the first revaluation since 2003.

The VOA would then revalue homes every five years to ensure they are up-to-date.

Sam Rowlands, the Conservatives’ shadow local government minister, criticised plans for a council tax re-evaluation.

“The last time a revaluation took place in Wales one in three families were hit with higher bills – we can’t allow this to happen in the current cost-of-living challenge," he said.

“It’s vitally important that any council tax revaluation is fair and justified and doesn’t hit hard working people across Wales.”

Ministers are also consulting on scrapping the 50 per cent empty property discount and changing the exemption for properties unoccupied since the former resident’s death.

The earliest the reforms could come into force is April 2025 but they could be deferred until the next Senedd term after the 2026 election or introduced in stages.

Readers can have their say by responding to the Welsh Government’s consultation at, which closes on February 6, 2024.