London borough solicits voluntary “mansion tax” from rich residents

David Beckham and other affluent home owners in Chelsea and Kensington will be asked to donate in addition to paying tax

(Credit: iStock)
(Credit: iStock)

The governing council is soliciting a voluntary “mansion tax” in an affluent London borough with rich residents including soccer celebrity David Beckham.

A spokesman for the council that governs Chelsea and Kensington told the Evening Standard that if Beckham donates a sum on top of his regular council tax, “we can encourage others to ‘pay it like ‘Beckham.’”

Other affluent residents of the borough include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Mansions can sell for more than £30 million in some parts of Chelsea and Kensington. The Tory borough also has some of the poorest neighborhoods in London, which drew more scrutiny after the 2017 fire at the Greenfell Tower that killed 72 people.

The voluntary “mansion tax” would support a charitable fund that helps people who want to develop skills and get a job.

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Currently, local rules prevent the Chelsea and Kensington council from raising its tax on high-priced homes without raising the tax on all homes and burdening low-income families.

So, council members this week agreed to ask the borough’s wealthiest residents to voluntarily donate money in addition to the amount of their regular tax payments to the council.

That solicitation will go to home owners in the highest council-tax bracket, who now pay £2,246.14 in council tax.

In Westminster, a nearby Tory borough, a comparable “mansion tax” solicitation has raised more than £600,000 over the last 12 months. [Evening Standard]Mike Seemuth