Think tank believes number of complaints set to rise
Twenty borough residents succeed in getting their bills reduced
August 16, 2021
Almost 100 residents in Wandsworth complained about their council tax bill last year, with 20 winning their fight for a lower rate.
But the remaining residents were made to keep paying their Wandsworth Council tax bill as is.
A total of 90 council tax complaints from residents across the borough from 2020 to 2021, down from 100 the previous year – were reported by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
The VOA give all homes a council tax valuation band based on its April 1991 value.
The cheapest is band A, the most expensive is H – with the most common being band D.
A VOA spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service, “We carefully consider various factors including a property’s size, character and location when determining the appropriate council tax band.
“Should a ratepayer believe they are in the wrong band there is specific evidence they must provide for us to be able to consider their case.”
The VOA said it cannot comment on individual cases.
There has been a rise in the number of successful complaints across England – according to think tank Bright Blue.
In England and Wales, over 40,000 complaints were made last year which is down from over 43,000 the year before.
It was found 38,000 disputes were resolved with 31 per cent of them leading to their council tax decreasing, a rise from 29 per cent in 2019-20.
Joseph Silke, of 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 and stamp duty should be entirely replaced with a fairer annual proportional property tax.”
Andy Mayer, Institute of Economic Affairs chief operating officer, said, “Often one person’s appeal triggers the revaluation of a whole group of homes, leading to further appeals.
“Pandemic restrictions have made this more difficult, leading to a backlog of cases.
“At some point the whole system will need to be rebooted, and potentially replaced.”
Wandsworth Council were contacted for comment.
James Mayer - Local Democracy Reporter