Take a look at the back of your council tax letter, you’ll see that what band you’re in depends on the property’s value on 1 April 1991, twenty years ago today.
This valuation was done in ‘second gear’ by estate agents and others driving past. It was a stop-gap measure, but in England and Scotland it’s still what dictates the amount we pay.
I could go on about the fact you can do a council tax check and challenge to get cash back but that’s covered elsewhere on the site, and with today’s birthday I think more important is the ridiculous fact the system is still so outmoded.
Eric Pickles, why no change?
Back in 2008 I interviewed Shadow Minister Eric Pickles who held a document revealing the then Labour government was ‘hiding’ 400,000 homes in the wrong band. Now he’s in charge, he hasn’t done anything.
Six months ago, I had my chance to rant at his departmental Minister Bob Neill MP on Radio 2’s Vine, and (probably to shut me up) was soon invited in to discuss it (see backdoor revaluation opened? news).
There I argued they need to at least stop making appeals difficult for those who’ve been in properties over six months. It’s a SENSELESS rule as only since the internet age have people been able check their banding. Plus the workaround only really helps those who are pushy and comfortable playing the system.
They sat and nodded, said they’d consider it, yet four months on, I’ve heard nowt. So if you’re reading Messrs Neill and Pickles when will you sort this out?
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