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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Council tax revaluing is shelved
London houses
Houses were last valued in 1991
Plans to revalue English homes for council tax have been postponed until after the next election, the government has announced.

Local Government Minister David Miliband said the delay would mean the issue could be considered as part of an inquiry into local authority funding.

The revaluation of around 22 million properties would probably have meant higher bills for many households.

A Tory spokesman said ministers were in "total disarray" over the issue.

Mr Miliband said the postponement from the previously scheduled 2007 would allow Sir Michael Lyons to look at revaluation as part of his wider inquiry into local government funding.

Sir Michael said: "I welcome this extension to my remit, which has the potential to establish a new direction for how local government delivers and funds key public services."

House price rise

Every home in Wales was revalued last year, with a third moving up at least one valuation band and 8% moving down.

But it has been 14 years since the last valuation in England and property prices have risen sharply since, particularly in London and the South East.

At present, council tax is calculated on the basis of eight bands, with owners in a top-rate band H property paying twice as much as people on band D.

All 22 million English homes were due to be rebanded, based on their value on 1 April this year.

The Conservatives oppose the revaluation while the Liberal Democrats want council tax to be scrapped.

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