Council Tax blunder could cost a staggering £5million

Gavin Owen
Gavin Owen

Almost 1,000 householders in Bishopbriggs may have been overcharged council tax for 20 years after an error with valuation bands.

It’s been revealed that around 994 houses in Bishopbriggs South may have been wrongly put in Band E instead of Band D, when the council tax was introduced in 1993.

If residents are successful in having their banding changed, they could be paid back as much as £5,000 each.

It means that East Dunbartonshire Council could be faced with a total payout of £5million, plus a loss of £275,000 a year.

However, the local authority is not responsible for handling the bands. They were originally set by the former Srathclyde Regional Council and are now the responsibility of the Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Valuation Joint Board.

They have confirmed that a review is underway for certain types of three bedroom, semi-detached houses in Bishopbriggs.

Hundreds of houses will be surveyed and may be affected by a band revision.

Gavin Owen has lived in Fintry Crescent since 1985 and is the treasurer of Bishopbriggs Community Council.

He said: “My concern is that this has been going on for months and the council were not attempting to contact individual households.

“It’s been through word of mouth that people have found out.

“About a month ago I got Councillor Gordan Low involved and he knew nothing about it. The council knew what was going on and didn’t even tell the councillor.

“Councillor Low then sent an e-mail to the director of finance.

“An assessor has been to look at my house.”

A joint statement from the Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Valuation Joint Board and East Dunbartonshire Council said: “Recent evidence indicates there is a prospect that properties in Bishopbriggs South could be revised from Band E to Band D. 

“The band reduction will not apply to all the houses under review, however, as Band E is likely to be retained throughout the area where evidence is available that supports the initial banding.

“The Valuation Joint Board will continue to investigate council tax band appeals as they arise. This will take time and we would urge council tax payers who are appealing to be patient as this process is carried out.”

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