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Reform and revaluation

What can lawyers, local authorities and taxpayers expect from the Local Government Act? Alan Murdie examines the draft legislation

17 January 2003

The draft Bill which will become the Local Government Act 2003 heralds major changes to local authority finance. Local authorities are to be given increased powers to raise and borrow money, charge for certain services and enter into special finance schemes with local businesses. Every householder in the country will find his/her home subject to a new council tax revaluation (the first since 1992) with revised property bandings which will more accurately reflect current house prices. From the contents of the Bill it is easy to foresee that the next five years will be extremely busy ones for lawyers working in local government and financial advice, whether in drafting commercial contracts or advising council taxpayers. As at 5 November 2002, formal consultation on the Bill had drawn 326 responses, some of which may yet be incorporated into the final legislation (ODPM Press Release 5 November 2002). But it is already possible to outline the scope of what is likely to be the most signif...

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