Hundred Blackburn residents challenged council tax bills

council tax bills

All homes are given a council tax valuation band by the VOA based on its value in April 1991

A hundred Blackburn residents attempted to challenge their council tax bills last year, figures reveal.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) received 100 challenges from Blackburn with Darwen residents over their council tax bill in 2020-21, compared with 110 challenges it received the year before.

Out of the 110 challenges which were resolved last year, 40 (36%) resulted in the occupier’s council tax bill decreasing, and 60 in no change, though some of these may have been submitted in previous years.

40,620 challenges were launched across England and Wales last year, compared with 43,650 in 2019-20.

Out of the 38,070 resolved disputes, 11,670 (31%) resulted in the council tax band being decreased – up from 29% in 2019-20.

Just 40 households saw their council tax band increase.

All homes are given a council tax valuation band by the VOA based on its value in April 1991. These range from the cheapest band A to the most expensive band H, with band D the most common.

Bright Blue said the rise in successful challenges is evidence that England’s domestic property tax system is out of date.

Joseph Silke, communications officer at the think tank, 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, IEA 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.

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

An MHCLG spokeswoman added: We are providing councils with £670 million of new grant funding to enable them to continue reducing council tax bills this year for those least able to pay.

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