HOMEOWNERS who spend thousands enhancing their homes will fall victim of Council Tax hikes.
That's the warning from Tory MP Stephen O'Brien, who claims families are likely to find their homes shunted up a tax band if they spend money doing it up.
The Government is spending more than £100m on reassessing the value of every home in England for Council Tax purposes; revised bandings will be issued in 2007.
But Mr O'Brien, Conservative MP for Eddis-bury, said Parliamentary questions tabled by the Tories have revealed Government inspectors will take into account the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, off-street parking, sheds and outbuildings, conservatories and garden size when assessing properties.
That means residents who have improved their home could be moved up one or more Council Tax bands. Shifting from Band D to Band E in Vale Royal would mean a tax hike of £275-a-year, from £1,237-£1,512.
Mr O'Brien said: 'Councils like Cheshire County Council have worked extremely hard to keep local tax bills as low as possible, but their hard work is constantly being undermined by new centrally imposed unfunded burdens and new stealth taxes engineered in Whitehall with local councillors taking the blame.
'In an attempt to cash in on property price increases across the country, Gordon Brown is going to pull off one of his biggest smash and grab tax raids since coming to office.
'I fear families that have saved and invested in their home will face even higher Council Tax bills, without any improvements in their local services.' WARNING: Stephen O'Brien MP.