Hundreds of council tax challenges launched in the East Riding

Hundreds of East Riding residents attempted to challenge their council tax bills last year, figures reveal.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 8:37 am
The Valuation Office Agency received 290 challenges from East Riding residents over their council tax bill in 2020-21. Photo: PA Images

Think tank Bright Blue said a rise in the proportion of successful challenges across England shows that the country’s tax system has “long passed its sell-by date”.

The Valuation Office Agency – which gives the Government property valuations and advice – received 290 challenges from East Riding residents over their council tax bill in 2020-21 – the same number as the year before.

Of the 250 challenges which were resolved last year, 70 (28%) resulted in the occupier’s council tax bill decreasing, and 180 in no change – though some of these may have been submitted in previous years.

Across England and Wales, 40,620 challenges were launched last year – down from 43,650 in 2019-20.

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Bright Blue said the rise in successful challenges is evidence that England’s domestic property tax system is out of date.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

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.

“We have allocated over £12 billion directly to councils in England since the start of the pandemic and we continue to keep the position of councils under close review.”