Nice view 'will mean council tax rise'

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Indy Politics

Views over hills, the sea or a golf course could lead to higher council tax bills. Officials preparing the ground for the revaluation exercise have been told to gather data on whether homes have views, roof terraces and large patios.

Caroline Spelman, the Conservative local government spokesman, who uncovered the documents from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, accused the Government of preparing a stealth tax on the middle classes by targeting homes in the most attractive areas. She said there were"value significance codes" covering 66 features and the Government had spent £45m on a computer system for the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which carries out revaluations.

The Government this year postponed a revaluation due to take effect in 2007 because it feared a backlash over higher council tax bills. MPs will be asked to approve a Bill today to delay revaluation. A spokeswoman for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said: "The VOA's good work will provide a firm foundation on which to build."