Local authorities have no powers to fix the commercial rates but they do have the right to fix their own tax rates on houses known as the Council Tax.
Central government retains a power to prevent high taxes. Local property taxes are paid by occupiers rather than owners which makes tax payer identification easy and therefore quick and cheap.
Collection levels are high at between 95pc and 97pc. It is convenient to pay the tax and there is a wide range of facilities where this can be done.
To make it easier for taxpayers to understand their tax bills, local authorities are required by law to provide them with a comprehensive description on how the tax has been calculated and spent.
The cost of raising property taxes typically does not exceed 3pc of the tax return, which is a generally accepted level.
Enforcement action is against the individual (occupier) not against the property. It appears that this method of enforcement is more efficient than those methods that are targeted against the property.
Taxpayers (occupiers) are required by law to provide requested details on the property but generally they do not participate further in the property assessment until an appeal has been initiated.
All taxable values -- council tax bands and rateable values -- are available publicly in lists, which provide limited information: typically, an assessment number, address, description (non-domestic), council tax band/rateable value.
There are special and independent institutions that hold hearings and solve disputes regarding property tax issues.