§ Mr. Letwin
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether in valuing dwellings for council tax purposes, it is his policy that district valuers should take into account changing values over time of house prices within a given locality; and if he will make a statement on the construction of time services and deflators for such purposes. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
[holding answer 14 July 2003]I have been asked to reply.
The current Council Tax bands contained within valuation lists are based upon property values as at 1 April 1991. The Listing Officers of the Valuation Office Agency, who are statutorily responsible for the lists, will use a range of evidence to support the bands ascribed to each property. However, the strongest evidence is property sales evidence which was available close to the valuation date. Other information, such as property indices, are utilised as a check mechanism but are often generalist in nature and must be used with care when dealing with an individual property, or an area, which may have changed character over the ensuing 10 or more years.
The Local Government Bill currently before Parliament will provide for a council tax revaluation at least every 10 years. The first revaluation in England will have a valuation date of 1 April 2005 with the new lists coming into force on 1 April 2007. The Valuation Office Agency will undertake the revaluation.