A London council plans to launch a revolutionary voluntary “mansion tax” on high-value properties which its leader says the rich are happy to pay.
The tax would be for owners of properties worth more than £10m, like the One Hyde Park luxury apartments which heralded the prime central London high-end property boom.
Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster Council, is confident Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) would pay the optional charge.
“This scheme might have its cynics, but I have spoken to very wealthy people who want to help the borough more,” she said.
She explained proceeds could be used to freeze council tax for other council tax payers.
The tax would collect a voluntary supplement of £1,376 a year from the estimated 2,000 owners of £10m-plus properties in band H, doubling what they already pay in council tax.
The scheme would raise an extra £2.75m a year if they all fulfilled their promise made the payment.
It will come into force from next April and the voluntary contribution will be collectable alongside ordinary council tax.
If all the wealthy 2,000 residents of some of the most expensive luxury properties in central London paid up the voluntary supplement £1,376 every year then it will be a game-changer in the way the city regards its moneyed dwellers.
It will be nothing short of a public relations coup. Long regarded as partly responsible for the capital’s home crisis, gentrification, empty properties and lack of affordable homes. And the murky home ownership obscured by shell companies based tax havens.
Many critics have long campaigned for an overhaul of the council tax bandings to reflect the true wealth of owners 0f luxury homes worth millions.