A pilot has hit out at a staggering £677 rise in his council tax – which was told to him in a letter dated Christmas Day.
Martyn Young’s bills will soar after his home was re-banded by a Government agency without his involvement.
Mr Young, 61, has been landed with a 37% increase after his detached property at Almondbury was moved from band E to band G by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
His ‘rates’ have now shot up from £1,861 a year to £2,538.
Mr Young, a commercial pilot working out of Leeds Bradford Airport, said he believed a neighbour’s failed bid for a council tax band reduction had led to his being moved up without him requesting any review.
Homeowners are allowed to apply for council tax band re-valuations if they think they are paying too much.
But it is almost unheard of for households to receive unsolicited increases of several hundred pounds.
Mr Young said he received notice from the VOA in early December that they were checking his property was in the correct council tax band.
Then last week he received a letter dated December 25 that his home had been lifted to band G – the second highest band.
Mr Young said he would be fighting the decision.
“A neighbour in a similar house is already on band G and another has looked for a reduction,” he explained.
“It seems the VOA has refused it and it’s probably as a result of that, that this has happened.
“But it’s unacceptable to hit everyone with a two band tax rise.
“It seems a bit arbitary – there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason why they’ve done it.
“It just goes to show the way the Government works – in refusing one person’s reduction they’ve decided to put everybody else’s up.
“It’s very unfair and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
“It all seems like a fait accompli. I would have thought twice about buying this house if it had been band G at the time.”
A VOA spokesperson said an automated system had printed the letter on Christmas Day.
“We do not discuss individual cases,” said the spokesperson.
“The VOA may review your property’s council tax for a number of different reasons, for example if the previous owner improved your property, or we have found your band to be incorrect following a review on another property nearby.
“If a taxpayer has concerns about their band, they can contact the VOA at any time to explain why they think it might be wrong.
“The VOA can then review the band free of charge.
“We will also review the bands of similar neighbouring properties to ensure they are correct.
“You can find out more about how homes are banded here: https:// www.gov.uk/council-tax ”
Council tax valuations are based on the price the property would have sold for on the open market on April 1, 1991 in England even if, like Mr Young’s, the house wasn’t even built on that date.