Dozens challenge Council Tax bills

Dozens of residents in South Tyneside attempted to challenge their Council Tax bills last year, new figures reveal.

Council Tax challenges
Council Tax challenges

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) – which gives the Government property valuations and advice – received 50 challenges from South Tyneside residents over their Council Tax bill in 2020/21 – though this was down from 60 the year before.

Of the 40 challenges which were resolved, 10 resulted in the tax bill decreasing.

Nationally, 40,620 challenges were launched – down from 43,650 in 2019/20 and, of the 38,070 resolved disputes, 11,670 (31%) resulted in the Council Tax band being decreased.

Homes are given a Council Tax valuation band by the VOA based on its value in April 1991.

Think tank Bright Blue said a rise in the proportion of successful challenges shows that the system has "long passed its sell-by date".

Joseph Silke, communications officer Bright Blue, said: “The banding system devised three decades ago disproportionately burdens those with more modest means.

“If the Government wants to level up, council tax should be replaced with a fairer annual proportional property tax.”

The Institute of Economics Affairs said the council tax system is too vulnerable to "arbitrary" challenges by individual households which can affect a lot of people.

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Andy Mayer, chief operating officer, said: "Often one person’s appeal triggers the revaluation of a whole group of homes, leading to further appeals.”

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said it has no plans to reform Council Tax.

A spokeswoman added: “We are providing councils with £670m to enable them to continue reducing council tax bills this year for those least able to pay.”