Almost 100 households challenge council tax bill in just one year

Band D households, the most common tax band, saw their council tax bills rise by 5% in April.
Band D households, the most common tax band, saw their council tax bills rise by 5% in April.

Almost 100 Scarborough residents contested their council tax bills last year, figures reveal.

Think tank Resolution Foundation slammed the “deeply regressive” council tax system, and said it was unsurprising so many people across England and Wales are disputing their costs.

Scarborough Borough Council received 100 challenges from residents over their council tax bill in 2018-19, according to figures from the Valuation Office Agency.

That’s a drop from 130 the previous year.

A total of 110 complaints, including some that were carried over from previous years, resulted in a reduction in tax bills during the course of the year, while 60 were unchanged.

Adam Corlett, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Council tax is an extremely poorly designed tax so it’s understandable that so many people are making challenges to it.

“It’s farcical that our main property tax is so deeply regressive, and based on house values from nearly 30 years ago.”

Band D households in Scarborough, the most common tax band, saw their council tax rise by 5% in April.

The latest rise brought the Band D bill to £1,896, compared with £1,801 last year.

The Local Government Association said at the time that many councils feel they have “little choice” but to raise tax this year, to try and protect their local services from ongoing funding pressures.

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswomen said: “Council tax is essential for public services, so everyone who is eligible should pay their fair share.

“There is a wide range of discounts and exemptions, and local council tax reduction schemes are available in every area to provide support to those with lower incomes.

“Individual authorities decide what level of council tax to set, reflecting the service needs of each area and a predictable source of funding for local authorities to enable them to deliver vital services for local people.”