Residents should pay up and shut up

THE group of Stevenage residents who are appealing against the £40 monthly increase to their council tax bill, because an error made in 1991 has been spotted, should stop moaning and be grateful for the period of time they have got away with paying less t

THE group of Stevenage residents who are appealing against the £40 monthly increase to their council tax bill, because an error made in 1991 has been spotted, should stop moaning and be grateful for the period of time they have got away with paying less than they should have.

About 350 households in the Chells Manor area have had their council tax band increased from D to E by the Valuations Office Agency (VOA).

It seems the mistake has come to light because a number of residents have queried the fact that some properties in the area were band D when their neighbours were band E.

The VOA has informed those lucky residents who have been paying less than they should have been that they will be rectifying the error, and rightly so.

Why should residents continue to pay less than their neighbours if they live in houses of the same size?

The VOA has said the increase will be brought into effect from the date Stevenage Borough Council was made aware of the discrepancy.

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Why do these residents feel they should be given special treatment and be allowed to continue to pay a lower rate of council tax? A genuine mistake was obviously made but, now it has been highlighted, it should be corrected, in the interest of fairness to all council tax payers.

Those residents appealing against the VOA's decision appear to be clutching at an extremely lame and pathetic reason to get out of paying the extra money - simply that there has been no adequate explanation for the hike.

A mistake was made 17 years ago that is now being rectified, how much more of an explanation do they want?