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Scottish Political Parties' Policies.

We understand that the policies of the main Scottish political parties on local government funding in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary Election on 5th May 2016 are as follows:

The Scottish National Party proposes to end the Council Tax Freeze in 2017-18, although it is proposing to cap future rises from 2017-18 at 3% per year. From April 2017, the existing council tax will be modified by increasing the four highest bands only, as follows: Band E will increase by 7.5%, Band F by 12.5%, band G by 17.5% and Band H by 22.5%.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
The council tax should be reformed into a more local, fairer and progressive property tax. The council tax freeze should end and rates should be allowed to change within upper and lower limits set by negotiation between local and central government. The banding structure should be maintained but the progressiveness of the multiplier should be adjusted while protecting low income households across all bands. The network of reliefs should be reviewed with the focus on compensation for low income households across all bands.

The Scottish Labour Party plans to carry out a revaluation of properties in Scotland costing £8.5m. Their replacement property tax would mean properties worth £180,000 or less would be taxed £450, plus 0.35% of the property value. For properties worth more than this, the portion of the value above £180,000 would attract a rate of 0.9% of the property value. The maximum charge would be capped at £3,000 (corresponding to a property value of £393,333 or above) and with a cap on year-on-year increases at 3%.

The Scottish Green Party plans to replace the "discredited" council tax with a "progressive" property tax incorporating land value for the first time.

The Scottish Liberal Democratic Party calls for a "fairer system of local taxation to replace the Council Tax". It says it is attracted by the "economic and social benefits that could be brought about by a system of land value tax". It says the system would not penalise people who improve their property as the tax is based only on the land value.

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