Rise in number of Fenland householders challenging their annual Council Tax bills
More Fenland residents are contesting their council tax bills, 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.
Fenland District Council received 60 challenges from residents over their tax bill in 2018-19, according to figures from the Valuation Office Agency. That’s an increase from 50 the previous year.
A total of 60 complaints, including some that were carried over from previous years, resulted in a reduction in tax bills during the course of the year, while 30 were unchanged.
Across England and Wales, 36,950 households mounted challenges against their bills, 15,200 of which were requests for a property's band to be reviewed.
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.
“Sooner or later, we are going to need to replace council tax with a far fairer system of property taxation.”
Band D households in Fenland, the most common tax band, saw their council tax rise by 5 per cent in April. The latest rise brought the Band D bill to £1,912, compared with £1,825 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 to 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.”
She added that the Government has no plans for a revaluation or to create new bands, as this would be expensive to undertake and could result in increases to bills.